Our professional surgeons at Marina del Rey Hospital know how important surgeries are when treating a disease, so they take special care when performing them to ensure the patient’s health.
Cancer is one of the worst illnesses that can befall a human. There are different types of cancer, but all of them are incredibly dangerous. Unfortunately, sometimes tumors can develop at the base of the skull. This is a very sensitive and important area, so getting the surgical procedure can be an important step to take when treating this.
The base of the skull is a very important part of the human body. Besides being near the brain, it is also in the vicinity of the human spine, another sensitive part. Due to some conditions, diseases or traumas, certain abnormalities, such as tumors, can develop in that area. Because they pose a risk both to the brain and to the spine, it is incredibly important that they are dealt with as soon as possible.
Skull base surgery is a minimally invasive procedure in which the doctor carefully extracts the tumor from the base of the skull.
Since this is a very delicate procedure, before the surgery, several tests and scans are done to determine what the abnormality is and where it is located. Several types of doctors will be consulted for this procedure, and many will be present during the surgery. The patient is put under general anesthesia so he doesn’t feel any pain and doesn’t move at all as this procedure needs to be done very precisely. In these days, the surgeon can reach the base of the skull without doing a craniotomy (removing a bone flap from the skull). Nowadays, he uses special tools to go through the nose, sometimes the mouth. The doctor begins by inserting an endoscope into the patient’s nostrils. He opens up the back of the nasal cavity so he can have a clear path to the base of the skull. There, using a tiny camera and a flashlight, the surgeon searches for the abnormality. Once found, it is either repaired or removed. When this is done, he stitches the incisions and the surgery is over.
These are the benefits of this procedure:
This is a very delicate procedure, so after the surgeries, the patient will be kept in the hospital for a few days to monitor his condition closely. The patient will be hooked up to a breathing tube until he wakes up from the anesthesia. He will have a headache and maybe pain from the incisions, so he will have to take painkillers. As soon as he is able, the patient can resume his normal activities. Lifting heavy or strenuous exercise should be avoided for some time. Depending on the tumor, the patient will have to undergo other procedures such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
Since this is such a complex type of surgery, there are a number of risks attached to it. The most common complication is that the cranial nerves can be damaged, which could have terrible consequences. If damaged, spinal fluid may leak which can cause headaches, stiffness in the neck and a sense of imbalance. Other risks include infection, severe bleeding, strokes, and seizures.
Having to go through skull base surgery can be a difficult process, both physically and mentally. It is a very sensitive area and only professional surgeons can safely perform this surgery. Call Marina del Rey Hospital at 888.600.5600 and come to speak with one of our expert surgeons.
Matthew K. Lee, M.D.See Profile »
Evan S. Walgama, M.D.See Profile »
Henry H. Chen, M.D., M.B.A.See Profile »
Gene C. Liu, M.D.See Profile »
Arthur W. Wu, M.D.See Profile »
Stephen Pincus, M.D.See Profile »
Abraham Tzadik, M.D.See Profile »
Marc J. Kayem, M.D.See Profile »
Allen Ho, M.D.See Profile »
Jon Mallen-St. Clair, M.D., Ph.D.See Profile »
Anca Barbu, M.D., FACSSee Profile »