Ricardo Carrau, MD, Professor of Otolaryngology and Director of the Department's Cranial Base Surgery Program describes the state-of-the-art technology used to remove skull-based tumors through the nose.
This technique has important advantages for patients:
• Avoids scars from facial or scalp incisions
• Prevents the need for a craniotomy and retracting the brain to reach the tumor, which reduces the risk of tissue swelling and of cognitive or personality changes that sometimes follow traditional skull base surgery
• Allows patients to typically recover faster and have shorter hospital stays
Surgeons work through both nostrils using an endoscope, and through the mouth with robotic assisted instruments, to gain access to the base of the skull, intracranial cavity and top of the spine.
Pairing these techniques gives surgeons access to tumors that are difficult to reach, including those considered to be inoperable. This procedure provides a minimally invasive approach to managing conditions such as:
• Benign intracranial tumors (pituitary, adenoma, meningioma, craniopharyngioma and schwannoma)
• Malignant cranial base tumors (chordoma, chondrosarcoma, olfactory neuroblastoma)
• Benign cranial base disorders (encephaloceles, mucoceles, cerebrospinal fluid leak, osteomas)
• Benign sinonasal tumors (inverted papilloma, nasal polyps)
• Malignant sinonasal tumors (squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma)
Ohio State is one of only 10 centers in the country providing comprehensive care for skull base tumors. Patients have ready access to the core members of their team at one location, including their head and neck surgeon, neurosurgeon, reconstructive surgeon, and nurse practitioners, as well as endocrinologists, ophthalmologists, speech and swallowing therapists and prosthetic experts, if needed.
Ohio State surgeons began using robotics for gastrointestinal cancers in 2010 and since then have performed more than 50 operations using this minimally invasive approach. For patients with rectal cancer, surgeons cite the robot's ability to reach deep into the pelvis, combined with the camera's enhanced visualization, as significant benefits of robotics.
Cancer surgeons at Ohio State are expanding the types of gastrointestinal and abdominal cancers removed using robotic operations, including cancers of the esophagus, liver, pancreas, stomach and adrenal glands.
Gastrointestinal cancer surgery is one of many areas that have been transformed by our commitment to improving patient care through robotic surgery.
"The benefit of having robotic surgery at Ohio State is the availability of national experts in all disciplines, ready to share their expertise. That means we're using our expertise to develop procedures that are becoming the standard of care around the world." -- Carl Schmidt, MD, Assistant Professor of Surgical Oncology