The skull base supports the bottom of the brain and consists of five bones, including those behind the eyes and nose. A complex network of blood vessels, nerves and the spinal cord are interwoven through the skull base. Tumors and other growths can sometimes form in these hard-to-reach areas close to delicate structures. As such, neurosurgeons performing skull base surgery must be highly trained and skilled in their craft. More importantly, they must work seamlessly with other surgical specialists to ensure the best outcomes for patients.
Tampa General Hospital's Ear, Nose & Throat Institute and Neuroscience Institute have assembled an incredible team of experts in the Skull Base Surgery Center. Comprising ear, nose and throat surgeons, neurosurgeons, neurovascular interventionalists, ophthalmologists, oral maxilla-facial surgeons, endocrinologists and many other specialists, the team expertly performs skull base neurosurgery for any of the conditions that may require it. These surgeons are among the top in their field, and for that reason, Tampa General Hospital is recognized as One of the Nation's Best Hospitals for Ear, Nose & Throat and one of the Top 10% in the Nation for Neurology & Neurosurgery by U.S. News & World Report 2023-24. In addition, our affiliation with the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine has helped us earn designation as a Multidisciplinary Team of Distinction by the North American Skull Base Society.
Skull Base Surgery Options
Traditionally, skull base surgery is performed as an open surgery, requiring the removal of bone to access the internal structures of the skull base. While open surgery is sometimes required in whole or part to treat certain patients, TGH’s ENT surgeons and neurosurgeons frequently perform minimally invasive skull base surgery. Taking an endoscopic approach through a patient’s nose reduces their risk for brain retraction and cerebrospinal fluid leaks. In addition, patients who undergo endoscopic procedures enjoy a shorter hospital stay and less risk for cognitive decline than those who undergo open procedures. Ultimately, the Skull Base Center's multidisciplinary tumor board will recommend the surgical approach that will most benefit the patient.
State-of-the-Art Surgical Techniques
Navigating the intricate environment of the skull base requires extremely advanced surgical skills. At TGH, our expert skull base surgeons employ unique technologies and robotics to help plan and safely execute procedures for our patients. Intraoperative MRI, surgical navigation systems, and high-definition video equipment are standard in our operating suites.
At TGH’s Skull Base Surgery Center, we embrace endoscopic technology, and our team includes some of the most respected doctors in neurosurgery. This has led to international recognition of our highly competitive neurosurgery fellowship, for which applicants apply three years in advance.