Advances in Approaches to the Cranial Base: Minimizing Morbidity

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The most innovative and meaningful recent advances regarding surgery of the cranial base involve the ability to perform a complete resection followed by a water- and airtight reconstruction while minimizing facial incisions and morbidity. Perhaps the first step in this direction took place when the subcranial/subfrontal approach was introduced for anterior skull base surgery. Originally developed by Raveh in 1978 for the management of severe skull base injuries, these approaches were later adapted for the treatment of congenital anomalies prior to their utilization for resection of anterior skull base tumors. The endoscopic approaches are quite practical with promising long-term efficacy for the treatment of most benign, infectious, and inflammatory disorders. The minimal recovery time, functional outcomes, and obvious aesthetic advantages are only tempered by the lack of long-term data regarding the efficacy of these approaches in the treatment of malignancies.

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