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Skull Base Brain Tumor Research

Spring 2001 Update
By Hrayr Shahinian, MD

I am extremely pleased at the tremendous growth and progress in patient care that has taken place at the Skull Base Institute over the past year. The addition of Dr. Timothy Katzen, as well as a physician assistant and two nurses have expanded our capabilities and allowed for the addition of a second operating room to our schedule. Because of our increased operating capabilities we have been extremely busy and expect to perform well over 200 cases this year.

Publication of our endoscopic techniques, as well as media coverage on the BBC and Discovery Channel have made both physicians and patients aware of the minimally invasive techniques offered here at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Referrals from around the world have increased and several visiting professors have come to observe and learn how to perform these novel intracranial endoscopic procedures.

Our commitment to patient education and support continues with both the Third Annual Cedars-Sinai Trigeminal Neuralgia Patient Conference in February, which was followed in March by the pituitary patient conference: You and Your Pituitary. Both conferences were well received and provided a forum for patients and physicians to learn about the latest medical and surgical treatments for these disorders.

Research at the Skull Base Institute has continued at a head turning pace. We recently completed a review of all patients having undergone a fully endoscopic surgery for both pituitary tumors and Trigeminal Neuroglia. These series have been submitted for publication, and demonstrated improved patient outcomes with fewer complications when compared to the traditional microsurgical approaches. We also presented these results at the Third Annual Trigeminal Neuralgia Association Conference in Pittsburgh.

As mentioned in the research segment we will begin an endoscopic skull base surgery atlas in April of this year. We have also been working to develop new instrumentation not currently available, specifi-cally suited for these endoscopic procedures. We look forward to applying these new 3-dimensional endoscopic technologies and instrumentation to our minimally invasive surgical approach.

We are also very pleased to announce the launching of our interactive Skull Base Institute web site ( This site contains information for patients regarding endoscopic surgery for Acoustic Neuromas, Pituitary Tumors, and Trigeminal Neuralgia. Digital video containing operating room footage and descriptions of procedures are available with the click of a mouse. Also available are links to patient resources and contact information to get in touch with our staff.