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Pituitary Programs, Skull Base Programs, Childrens Pituitary Programs: Skull Base Institute

One of the most extraordinary advances pioneered at the Skull Base Institute is the minimally invasive, fully endoscopic approach to treating pituitary tumors (pituitary adenomas) and other skull base disorders.

This innovative procedure utilizes a tiny endoscope - 2.7 mm wide and 20 cm long - with angled tips that is inserted through the nostril and into the skull base. This technique offers numerous advantages in terms of the surgery and recovery. To date more than 1000 pituitary cases have been successfully treated utilizing this technique and overall more than 2200 different types of tumors including acoustic neuromas, craniopharyngiomas, and meningiomas have similarly been treated using minimally invasive endoscopic techniques.

One of the amazing benefits is the view of the surgical field. Since the camera is "placed" at the tip of the endoscope, surgeons have a vivid panoramic view of the brain. They can look around corners and make a full visual assessment. This panoramic view also provides surgeons with the ability to remove the entire tumor in most cases. This process is in sharp contrast to the traditional approach, which requires viewing the tumor site through a microscope outside the skull at a focal distance that limits visibility.

Since the point of entry is through a nostril, no incision is required. Consequently, there is no scarring, no nasal packing, and the brain is undisturbed. The time required for the actual surgical procedure, the length of hospital stay and overall recovery time are dramatically reduced. Patients return home within 24-48 hours of surgery, enjoy a rapid overall recovery, and return to work and normal activities.

Today, our research and development is focused on yet further innovating the field of Minimally Invasive Brain and Skull Base surgery in general and pituitary surgery in particular. High definition intraoperative digital imaging, 3D endoscopy, custom designed microinstruments, headsup displays and even nanotechnology are all being tapped in order to provide our patients with the most cutting edge and yet least invasive approaches to rid them of their tumors.

Facial Pain, Spasm and Paralysis Center (Facial PSP Center) Endoscopic skull base and brain tumor research and published papers: Skull Base Institute