The Safety and Accuracy of Surgical Navigation Technology in the Treatment of Lesions Involving the Skull Base

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As compared with the normal anatomy, structures of the skull base and its surroundings have been dramatically altered of the lesion near the skull base. How to remove the lesion at the skull base was mainly depending on surgeon's personal experience during past years. In this study, the authors explored the safety and accuracy of the surgical navigation system in resecting lesions near the skull base.


The surgical cases consisted of 15 patients who underwent surgery involving the skull base with the using of surgical navigation technology. Five patients had adenoid cystic carcinoma at minor salivary glands of the palate extending to the skull base and 10 patients were suffered from bony ankylosis of temporomandibular joint. After the system converted patient's computed tomography scans into three-dimensional reconstructive images, preoperative planning and simulation of the operation process could be made by surgeons. During the operation, the virtual images were matched with the patient through individual registration. The system provided surgeon with feedback about the operation on the screen instantly with moving the navigated pointer.


The application of surgical navigation system was safe and reliable for resecting the ankylotic bone and identifying the extent of tumors resection near the skull base. No complications including cerebrospinal fluid leak, cranial nerve injuries, severe bleeding happened to those patients.


Given the safety and accuracy of the surgical navigation system, surgery near the skull base appeared to be an ideal field for using with its complex anatomy.

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