Ian F. Dunn, MD, Director, Center for Skull Base and Pituitary Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital describes novel surgical treatment for skull base and pituitary tumors.
The skull base serves as the foundation for the brain and contains important structures such as the carotid artery and ear and balance structures. There are also many important blood vessels and nerves that run around the skull base. The skull base is the site for many types of tumors such as vestibular schwannomas, also known as acoustic neuromas, meningiomas, chordomas and chondrosarcomas. Pituitary tumors are also accessed through the skull base.
Tumors of the skull base can present in many different ways. For instance, the vestibular schwannomas or acoustic neuromas often present with noticeable hearing loss or dizziness. Tumors a little bit farther forward can affect the visual system. Patients can notice visual loss in one or both eyes. And that's especially common with tumors in the pituitary gland that arise just underneath the visual nerves where they intersect.
Surgical treatment for skull base and pituitary tumors involves novel surgical approaches to reach the skull base and collaboration with physicians in other specialties such as otolaryngology or ophthalmology.
Learn more about skull base and pituitary surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital:
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