Skull base surgery slides
February 2022 News

The UC Davis Center for Skull Base Surgery has been recognized by the North American Skull Base Society as a multidisciplinary team of distinction. The group performs surgeries like the tumor removal procedure that changed one Elk Grove woman’s life.


The UC Davis Center for Skull Base Surgery is an internationally recognized program that provides state-of-the-art care for patients with a variety of tumors and other disease processes that affect the skull base. Skull base tumors are disorders can be among the most challenging conditions to treat, as they can affect critical blood vessels and nerves that are responsible for vision, speech and swallow, hearing, facial sensation and movement, and brainstem function. At UC Davis, we believe that our experience, expertise, and dedication to treating patients with skull base diseases allows us to provide the best care available to our patients.

 Skull Base Logo
Philosophy of Care

The Center for Skull Base Surgery at UC Davis has been an international leader in the field of skull base surgery for many decades. We are dedicated to providing our patients with state-of-the-art care. When appropriate, minimally invasive approaches are used and quality-of-life is prioritized when developing treatment plans. At UC Davis, care for skull base tumors and disorders is provided in a multidisciplinary manner, with discussion and input from a variety of surgical and medical experts in the group.

Skull Base Disease and Tumors
The skull base is among the most complex anatomic area of the human body and treatment of diseases in this area require highly trained physicians with specialized equipment and expertise. Our collection of fellowship-trained skull base experts treat a variety of diseases and tumors that affect the skull base, including the following:

  • Meningioma
  • Schwannoma/Acoustic Neuroma
  • Pituitary tumors
  • Craniopharyngioma
  • Chordoma
  • Cranial nerve disorders (trigeminal neuralgia, hemifacial spasm)
  • Encephalocele and CSF leak
  • Tumors of the sinus, face, head, and neck
  • Skull base fractures/trauma
Multidisciplinary Care

The Center for Skull Base Surgery at UC Davis includes a diverse group of specialists with training, experience, and expertise in managing diseases and tumors that involve the skull base. Our team is led by fellowship-trained experts in skull base surgery, and includes individuals that are national and internationally recognized for their expertise in patient care, educational, and research in management of skull base disorders. Team members include the following:

 Kia at computer
  • Neurosurgeons
  • Otolaryngologists
  • Neuro-otologists
  • Head and neck surgeons
  • Plastic Surgeons
  • Ophthalmologists
  • Radiation oncologists
  • Medical oncologists
  • Neuroradiologists
  • Neuropathologists
  • Therapists (speech, swallow, balance)
  • Audiologists

Our group of experts meets on a biweekly basis to discuss patient management decisions, developing surgical, medical, and radiation treatment plans customized for each patient.


As a result, the North American Skull Base Society (NASBS) has recognized the UC Davis Center for Skull Base Surgery as a NASBS Multidisciplinary Team of Distinction ( NASBS is the international society that brings together leading experts in skull base surgery from around the world. Their recognition of UC Davis as the only center in Northern California, one of just two centers in all of California, is a significant distinction!



The UC Davis Center for Skull Base Surgery offers world-class, innovative treatment options for patients with skull base tumors and diseases. Our team works closely with technology and engineering leaders to incorporate state-of-the-art tools into our treatment plan. For example, virtual/augmented reality and patient-specific 3D models are often used to prepare for complex surgical procedures. Intraoperative imaging, live surgical 3D navigation, and robotics are often used to maximize patient safety and surgical success. Many skull base tumors can be removed with small “keyhole” approaches or using natural corridors through the nasal cavity and sinuses, resulting in less risk, less discomfort, and shorter hospital stay when compared to more traditional open procedures. Examples of minimally invasive approaches often used for skull base surgery include the following:

  • Endoscopic endonasal approaches
  • Supraorbital eyebrow keyhole approach
  • Retrosigmoid keyhole approach

Recent Publications:

2018   Noblett DA, Chang J, Shahlaie K. Prominent Retroclival Venous Plexus, Normal Anatomic Variant. Applied Radiology 47(7): 42-4.

2018   Ament JR, Yang Z, Khatchadourian V, Strong EB, Shahlaie K. Cost-effectiveness of endoscopic versus microscopic transsphenoidal surgery for pituitary adenoma.World Neurosurgery. 110:    e496-e503.

2018    Noblett DA, Chang J, Toussi A, Dublin A, Shahlaie K.Hemangioma of the cavernous sinus: A case series. Journal of Neurological Surgery, R.79(2):e26-e30.

2018    Goodarzi A, Ahmadpour A, Toussi A, Shahlaie K. A multilayered technique for repair of the suboccipital retrosigmoid craniotomy. Journal of Neurological Surgery Part B:Skull Base. 79(15):508-514.

2020  Goodarzi A, Toussi A, Garza N, Lechpammer M, Diaz R, Brodie H, Shahlaie K. Internal acoustic canal stenosis due to hyperostosis. Journal of Neurological Surgery – Part B. 81(B3):216-22.

2021  Lee D, Omofoye OA, Nuno MA, Riestenberg RA, Shahlaie K. Treatment outcomes of intracranial myeloid sarcomas: a meta-analysis.World Neurosurgery 148:29-37.

2021  Reddy RK, Gill AS, Hwang J, Wilson MD, Shahlaie K, Harsh GR, Strong EB, Steele TO. The impact of a surgical receipt cost feedback system on operating room supply expense in endoscopic skull base surgery. Neurosurgery 67(1)

2021  Gill A, Hagwood GT, Biggs CP, Beliveau AM, Strong EB, Shahlaie K, Steele TO. Health literacy and web-based audiovisual multimedia in pituitary and endoscopic skull base surgery. Journal of Neurological Surgery – Part B  [in press]

2021  Lee DJ, Omofoye OA, Shahlaie K. Intracranial myeloid sarcoma presentation in distant acute myeloid leukemia remission. Journal of Clinical Neuroscience[in press].

2021  Reddy RK, Gill AS, Hwang J, Wilson, Shahlaie K, Harsh GR, Strong EB, Steele TO. Surgeon education through a surgical cost feedback system reduces supply cost in endoscopic skull base surgery. Journal of Neurosurgery [Aug 13;1-9, Online ahead of print].

2021  Virk HJ, Shahlaie K, Ramani B, Perry A, Fragoso R, Tuscano J, Liu YA. Orbital Rosai-Dorfman disease presenting as optic neuritis. Journal of Neuro-Ophthalmology [in press].

2021  Lubomirsky B, Jenner ZB, Jude MB, Shahlaie K, Asssadsangabi R, Ivanovic V. Sellar, suprasellar, and parasellar masses: imaging features and neurosurgical approaches.The Neuroradiology Journal  [Dec 2;19714009211055195]

2021  Robinow ZM, Peterson C, Waldau B, Shahlaie K. Supraorbital keyhole craniotomy via eyebrow incision: a systematic review and meta-analysis. World Neurosurgery [Nov 11;S1878-8750(21)01714-9].

2022  Anigol DM, Gerndt CH, Bobinski M, Strong EB, Steele TO, Darrow M, Liu YA, Fragoso R, Harsh G, Shahlaie K. Chondrosarcoma of the sella turcica: case report and review.Interdisciplinary Neurosurgery [in press].