Skull Base Surgery


The skull base is the bottom part of the skull (cranium) that supports the undersurface of the brain where many vital structures are located. The cranial nerves in the skull base control many basic functions, including the senses of smell, taste, sight, facial movements, sensitivity and hearing. The skull base also contains critical blood vessels that enter or exit the skull, making the cranium one of the most delicate and complex areas of the human body and skull base surgery a delicate procedure that is performed by our multidisciplinary skull base surgery team.

Skull base surgery may be performed to treat a wide range of cranial disorders, including brain aneurysms, various types of brain tumors, artery malformations, and infections. For example, brain aneurysm surgery may be done at the skull base to reach an aneurysm occurring beneath the brain. Or skull base surgery may be performed as part of brain cancer treatment for tumors located near the skull base, including pituitary tumor surgery.

Patients with a wide variety of cranial disorders are treated with state-of-the-art skull base surgery at the Brigham and Women's Hospital Department of Neurosurgery.

Brigham and Women's Hospital: comprehensive skull base surgery services

The Department of Neurosurgery at Brigham and Women's Hospital provides a full range of expert services for patients with cranial base disorders. Our multidisciplinary skull base surgery team, using the latest imaging technology, is able to reach all areas of the skull base to treat a wide variety of cranial disorders. In addition, our neurosurgeons are highly-trained experts at skull base surgery to ensure that we offer the safest and highest care available to our patients.

The skull base surgery options available at Brigham and Women's Hospital include :

  • Expanded Endonasal Approaches (EEA) to the skull base, which are minimally invasive techniques in which surgeons reach areas of the brain through the nose
  • Anterior craniofacial surgery and posterior skull base surgery, which are traditionally open skull surgeries; however, new minimally invasive techniques may be an option for some patients
  • Skull base radiosurgery, including stereotactic radiosurgery which uses highly focused, precise x-ray beams to treat the tumors or aneurysms

Learn more about skull base surgery at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

Brigham and Women's Hospital's world-class skull base surgery team

The skull base surgery team at Brigham and Women's Hospital has an international reputation for excellence in the treatment of diseases affecting the skull base with a comprehensive multi-disciplinary treatment. The team is dedicated to providing the highest level of clinical care to our patients by offering the most up-to-date diagnostic and treatment modalities. New techniques enable our surgeons to minimize injury to surrounding areas of the brain by accessing the skull base from below or at the side of the skull. These innovations result in fewer complications and faster recovery for patients.

Learn more about skull base surgery and other services provided by our neurosurgery specialists at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

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