Skull Base Tumors: Viewpoint—Surgery

  • Richard F. Schmidt
  • Smruti K. Patel
  • Robert W. Jyung
  • Jean Anderson Eloy
  • James K. Liu


Tumors of the skull base have historically posed a unique surgical challenge. The abundance of critical neurovascular structures in this region necessitates a distinct balance between the goals of maximal tumor removal and avoidance of neurological deficits. A number of these lesions do not have a set standard treatment paradigm, thus requiring a highly personalized plan of care based around the individual patient. Surgical resection of these lesions has the benefit of allowing direct decompression of the neurovascular elements, potentially leading to significant clinical improvement. Additionally, in a number of scenarios, surgery may be the only treatment option that offers a cure. On the other hand, the primary goal of stereotactic radiosurgery is tumor control, preventing further growth of an existing tumor or residual lesion. The desired therapeutic intervention should be determined based on various factors including the individual patient’s age, symptoms, comorbidities, tumor location, and extent of the involvement of surrounding neurovascular structures. This chapter discusses the surgical considerations for a variety of skull base tumors, including indications for surgery, surgical approaches, and patient outcomes. Due to the variability in location, natural history, and clinical presentation of skull base tumors, the discussion will illustrate the different surgical considerations for specific tumors, including trigeminal schwannomas, glomus jugulare tumors, chordomas, chondrosarcomas, esthesioneuroblastomas, craniopharyngiomas, and skull base meningiomas.


Skull Base Cavernous Sinus Gross Total Resection Optic Canal Skull Base Tumor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard F. Schmidt
    • 1
  • Smruti K. Patel
    • 1
  • Robert W. Jyung
    • 2
  • Jean Anderson Eloy
    • 3
  • James K. Liu
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Neurological SurgeryRutgers New Jersey Medical SchoolNewarkUSA
  2. 2.Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck SurgeryRutgers New Jersey Medical SchoolNJUSA
  3. 3.Departments of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and Neurological Surgery, Center for Skull Base and Pituitary SurgeryRutgers New Jersey Medical SchoolNJUSA
  4. 4.Departments of Neurological Surgery and Otolaryngology-Head and Neck SurgeryCenter for Skull Base and Pituitary Surgery, Neurological Institute of New Jersey, Rutgers New Jersey Medical SchoolNewarkUSA

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