Aggressive maxillofacial disassembly in skull base surgery

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OBJECTIVE:To review our favorable experience with maxillofacial disassembly for exposure and resection of tumors of the skull base.PATIENTS AND METHODS:This is a retrospective review of 31 patients from 1997 to 2005 treated by maxillofacial disassembly and includes 22 patients with midface disassembly and 9 patients with mandible with or without midface disassembly.RESULTS:Follow-up ranges from 2 weeks to 7 years: 23 (74.2%) of 31 patients are alive and disease free; 3 patients are alive with disease; 3 patients have died of distant metastasis. There were 14 complications in 12 (38.7%) patients; 13 of 14 complications were minor. One major complication (cardiovascular accident) resulted in the single postoperative mortality in this series.CONCLUSION:Our technique of maxillofacial disassembly allows for tailored exposure of all regions of the anterolateral skull base with acceptable perioperative morbidity in appropriately selected patients.EBM rating: C-4

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