Surgeries of Skull Base Tumors:

  • A chordoma is a malignant tumor that can arise from the bones of the skull base.
  • If it is small, it may not cause symptoms.
  • Larger tumors may cause headache and problems with vision, hearing, walking, or balance.
  • These tumors are often slow growing. Most skull base tumors grow inside of the skull, but some form on the outside.
  • Tumors may originate in the skull base or spread there from cancer elsewhere in the body (metastatic).
  • Treating skull base tumors and conditions is challenging because they are close to critical nerves and blood vessels in the brain, head, neck, and spinal cord.
  • Skull base tumors can sometimes be removed surgically. Techniques include minimally invasive end nasal endoscopic removal through the nose or through a small incision in the eyebrow or behind the ear.

  • There is no obvious cause for skull base tumors.
  • Radiation therapy to the head, specific genetic conditions and exposure to certain toxic chemicals may increase the risk.
  • A craniotomy for skull base tumors is performed using general anesthesia.
  • Doctors will wake the patient after the procedure and perform a neurological assessment to ensure important nerves were preserved during surgery.
  • The hospital stay after surgery for a skull base tumor can range from a few days to a week.
  • Minimally invasive procedures, such as endoscopic endonasal surgery, may allow patients to recover more quickly, although everyone has a different healing time.


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