Facial Pain, Spasm and Paralysis Center (Facial PSP Center) at The Skull Base Institute
Skull Base Institute Programs

Facial Pain, Spasm and Paralysis Center (Facial PSP Center) at The Skull Base Institute

Benefits Of Endoscopic Skull Base Surgery
Endoscopic skull base surgery offers dramatic benefits to patients. Using extremely thin, flexible and precise endoscopic instruments, these minimally invasive approaches eliminate large craniotomies, scarring and nasal packing. They shorten surgery time, dramatically reduce length of stay in the hospital, and result in faster overall recovery, return to work and normal activities. These facts have been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals and have been quoted extensively.

Endoscopic "keyhole approach" for microvascular nerve compression syndromes
The endoscope is being used at the Skull Base Institute to treat trigeminal neuralgia, or severe facial pain. This condition is universally acknowledged as the most painful affliction known to adult men and women and affects thousands of Americans each year. The episodes of intense, stabbing, electric shock-like facial pain are caused when a blood vessel comes in contact with the fifth cranial (trigeminal) nerve, applying pressure to the nerve.

The shock of this excruciating pain can actually cause a sufferer's head to snap back, or it can immobilize the individual. The pain attacks viciously and without warning. Left untreated, trigeminal neuralgia tends to worsen over time. Patients with neurovascular problems such as trigeminal neuralgia, hemifacial spasm, intractable vertigo and spasmodic torticollis benefit from the Skull Base Institute's innovative endoscopic "keyhole" approach to these disorders.

At the Institute, surgeons perform this delicate microvascular decompression procedure through a dime-size opening behind the ear. Through this opening, surgeons insert a 2.7 mm endoscope. They can then identify the problem and perform the procedure - meticulously separating the nerve and blood vessel, and inserting a Teflon disk between them. Once the pressure has been relieved, patients often report immediate and complete relief from the pain.

In many cases, the endoscopic "keyhole" surgery is the preferred approach to traditional methods, in which instruments are inserted in a larger opening behind the ear, and the brain pushed aside to reach the nerve compression area.

Of all the exciting advances within the field of microvascular nerve compression syndromes, the near future advent of 3-D endoscopy will be the next refinement in he surgical management of these disorders. We are currently experimenting with new technology that once again will revolutionize the way the keyhole endoscopic decompression procedure is performed. Of all the current procedures that are being performed at the base of the skull we are confident that the treatment for disorders such as Trigeminal Neuralgia and Hemifacial Spasms will be one of the first to benefit from the application of 3-D endoscopy.

Endoscopic skull base and brain tumor research and published papers: Skull Base Institute