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Transnasal Endoscopic
Surgery For
Skull-Based Tumors

Innovative Surgery Removes Skull-Based Tumors Using a Natural Passageway: The Nose
May 8, 2008 at 3:00 PM EDT
(19:00 UTC)
From Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, Norfolk, VA

Norfolk, Virginia - - Surgeons at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital are the first in the area to remove a brain tumor through their patient's nostril. Brain tumors, mostly those affecting the pituitary gland, are ideally positioned just behind the nose for this advanced surgical technique.

The first part of the surgery is done by a skillful ear, nose, and throat surgeon who navigates the sinus cavity allowing direct access to these skull-based tumors. Using an endoscope—tubing with a light and lens attached—neurosurgeons at Norfolk General then get a panoramic view of the brain. With a more complete view, surgeons can remove the entire tumor in most cases.  MORE...

Norfolk, Virginia - - Surgeons at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital are the first in the area to remove a brain tumor through their patient's nostril. Brain tumors, mostly those affecting the pituitary gland, are ideally positioned just behind the nose for this advanced surgical technique.

The first part of the surgery is done by a skillful ear, nose, and throat surgeon who navigates the sinus cavity allowing direct access to these skull-based tumors. Using an endoscope—tubing with a light and lens attached—neurosurgeons at Norfolk General then get a panoramic view of the brain. With a more complete view, surgeons can remove the entire tumor in most cases.

Since the endoscope is passed through the patient's nostril, no incision is required. The new technique, much shorter than the traditional surgery, means no nasal packing and little pain. Most patients go home within 48 hours. This advancement contrasts sharply with the traditional approach.

Before, a patient with a pituitary tumor would have endured at least a four-hour surgery where an incision was made through their gums. Others tools would be snaked into position under their face, and a microscope would be used to view the tumor. Since the microscope had limited movement, seeing the entire tumor would be difficult.

Dr. Joseph Koen, a neurosurgeon who also performs this procedure will serve as moderator during the live webcast. Drs. Joseph Han, an ear, nose, and throat surgeon and associate professor at Eastern Virginia Medical School, and Ran Vijai Singh, neurosurgeon, will perform this innovative surgery from an operating room at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.

Drs. Han, Singh and Koen were involved in a local study whose findings are being presented at the 2008 American Rhinologic Society/Combined Otolaryngology Spring Meeting (April 30-May 3, 2008).

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