TUESDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- A new surgical method that
uses a natural opening to remove skull base tumors results in fewer
complications, less scarring and faster recovery for patients,
according to the surgeons who developed the technique.
The natural opening used in this type of procedure is located
behind the molars, above the jawbone and beneath the cheekbone.
Traditional surgeries to remove skull base tumors require
incisions through the face and bone removal. These procedures can
be disfiguring, cause nerve damage that results in facial
paralysis, and require days or weeks of hospitalization and
The new approach developed by Johns Hopkins University School of
Medicine surgeons was first performed on a patient last year.
Surgery time was reduced from six hours to two hours, the patient
was discharged from the hospital the next day and had no visible
evidence of the surgery.
Since then, six more patients have had the new procedure. The
details of three of the seven surgeries are outlined in a report in
the October issue of the
Along with the benefits for patients, the new technique is much
less complicated for surgeons to perform, offers an excellent view
of the skull base area and could reduce health care costs because
of shorter patient hospital stays, according to the Johns Hopkins
However, this type of surgery isn't an option for patients who
have very large skull base tumors or tumors that wrap around blood
vessels. Traditional skull base surgery is the best choice for
The University of Cincinnati College of Medicine has more about
skull base tumors.