What is the base of the skull?
The skull base is the zone where the brain rests on and separates it from the nose and the face. It is the floor or the brain and the ceiling of the nose.
It is the hardest to reach region of the body. It has multiple openings of various sizes through which important vessels and nerves go. The tumours that grow here are hard to reach since they hide in those holes or get tangled with nerves and blood vessels of vital importance.
- Tumours of the base of the skull
A great diversity of tumours may appear on the base of the skill: meningiomas, pituitary gland tumours, melanomas, carcinomas. Approximately half of the cases are benign, the other half are cancerous.
- Tumours of the base of the skull treatment
One of the most significant advances done in the treatment of these tumours has been achieved by collaboration between neurosurgeons and otorhinolaryngologists (nose endoscopists, head and neck surgeons and otologists). This collaboration, which started less than a decade ago, is needed to work better with these tumours, which are placed in the frontiers between different fields (brain, nose, ear and neck). Hence they require a multidirectional approach.
That is why the Unidad multidisciplinar de base de cráneo del Centro Médico Teknon (Base of the Skull Multidisciplinary Unit of Teknon Medical Centre) has been created.
- Scarcely invasive techniques
The surgical treatment of tumours of the base of the skull has advanced spectacularly due to the use of scarcely invasive techniques.
In the past the removal of these tumours required big facial incisions and displacement of facial bones, which implied scars and deformities. Moreover, these operations used to be very long (10-14 hours), carrying long and complicated post surgeries.
- Brain surgery through the nose
Scarcely invasive surgery allows an endoscopic approach through the nasal cavity without opening the skull. This carries many benefits compared to traditional surgery (which required to opening the skull or the face) such as: shorter duration, shorter stay in the hospital and the possibility of operating in places inaccessible until now and extirpating bigger tumours that were not removable a few years ago.
The optic and endoscopic tools used in surgery through the nose allow a high definition view obtained with stereoscopic optical fibre cameras that allow the surgeon to see the zone he has to operate in 3D and in colour with a high resolution magnified image.
The usage of mechanisms of control (monitoring brain and facial nerves during the whole procedure) contributes to preventing any damaging of those nerves.
- Unidad multidisciplinar de Base de cráneo de Centro Médico Teknon
It is formed by a team of specialists of different areas:
- Dr. Javier Maiz. Otorrinolaringólogo Head and neck surgeon otorhinolaryngologist, Coordinator of the Unit.
- Dr. Bartolomé Oliver. Neurosurgeon. President of the Sociedad Europea de la Base del Cráneo (2003-2005)
- Dr. Humbert Massegur. Base of the skull endoscopist otorhinolaryngologist
- Dr. Jordi Coromina. Otoneurologist
- Dr. Emilio Ayats. Neurosurgeon
- Dr. Emilio Amilibia. Otoneurologist
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