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Eyebrow craniotomy for anterior skull base lesions: how I do it

Abstract

Background

The eyebrow craniotomy is a less invasive alternative approach for accessing anterior skull base lesions, compared to traditional and more extensive exposures. We give a stepwise description of this minimally invasive technique with discussion on the indications, limitations and key aspects of perioperative management.

Methods

Positioning of the head and planning the surgical corridor are dictated by the nature, site and size of the target lesion. The eyebrow incision should spare the medial and posterolateral neural structures. Microsurgical strategy is based on opening up the basal cisterns and respecting the distorted neurovascular anatomy. Selective use of brain retractor and angulation of the operative microscope enable the surgeon to make use of the “keyhole effect” for accessing a larger target. Perioperative measures are in part dictated by the nature of the pathology, involvement of the optic apparatus and changes to pituitary function.

Conclusion

The eyebrow craniotomy may be safely used as a minimally invasive approach for a variety of anterior skull base lesions. There is an operative learning curve and some types of pathologies are easier to approach by this technique than others.

Key points

• The eyebrow craniotomy is an alternative less invasive approach for accessing anterior skull base lesions

• Positioning of the head and planning the surgical corridor are dictated by the nature, site and size of the target lesion

• Microsurgical strategy is based on opening up the basal cisterns and respecting the distorted neurovascular anatomy.

• Selective use of brain retractor and angulation of the operative microscope enable the surgeon to make use of the “keyhole effect” for accessing a larger target

• Perioperative measures are in part dictated by the nature of the pathology, involvement of the optic apparatus and changes to pituitary function.

• There is an operative learning curve and some types of pathologies are easier to approach by this technique than others.

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Conflicts of interest

None.

Author information

Correspondence to Kanna Gnanalingham.

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Zador, Z., Gnanalingham, K. Eyebrow craniotomy for anterior skull base lesions: how I do it. Acta Neurochir 155, 99–106 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00701-012-1552-5

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Keywords

  • Eyebrow craniotomy
  • Keyhole approach
  • Anterior skull base