For some tumors, a tiny incision within the eyebrow (often about 1 inch) is used to remove tumors in the anterior fossa and the pituitary region.  This “eyebrow” craniotomy allows surgeons to remove the tumor by going under and/or around the brain, resulting in a faster recover with less pain.  This approach can also be used for aneurysm surgery.

In the past, tumors located near the brain stem presented unique surgical challenges and often meant long, difficult surgeries.  Today a “quarter-size” incision in the bone behind the ear allows access to the cerebellum and brainstem.  This approach has been used successfully to treat a variety of conditions in this region, including trigeminal neuralgia, hemifacial spasm, and tumors such as acoustic neuroma, schwannoma and meningioma.

In order to avoid critical brain structures such as blood vessels and nerves, our neurosurgeons utilize state of the art intraoperative neuronavigation whenever possible.  Similar to “GPS”, global positioning satellite navigation systems, this computer technology is often referred to as “GPS for the brain”.  Neuronavigation systems create precise, live 3D images which the neurosurgeon uses to correctly identify landmarks throughout the procedure.  Use of these surgical techniques shorten incision size, reduce surgical risks and facilitate faster recoveries.

This surgical technique allows neurosurgeons to remove brain tumors and cysts through a “port”: a small tube used to create a safe passage for accessing tumors deep in the brain.  With the use of an endoscope and specialized surgical instruments, tumors can be safely removed with minimal trauma to the surrounding brain.