Acta Neurochirurgica

, Volume 157, Issue 4, pp 611–615 | Cite as

Fully endoscopic retrosigmoid approach for posterior petrous meningioma and trigeminal microvascular decompression

  • Francisco Vaz-Guimaraes
  • Paul A. Gardner
  • Juan C. Fernandez-MirandaEmail author
How I Do it - Spine - Neurosurgical Techniques



Cerebellopontine angle tumor resection and cranial nerve microvascular decompression are usually performed with the aid of the surgical microscope. The endoscope is commonly used as an adjuvant.


A retrosigmoid craniectomy is done. Upon dural opening, the endoscope is inserted into the operative field along the petrotentorial junction. Cerebrospinal fluid drainage provides a wider space for introduction of the endoscope and surgical instruments. Traditional microsurgical techniques are used during the entire procedure.


A fully endoscopic retrosigmoid approach is a safe and effective procedure for cerebellopontine angle tumor resection and cranial nerve microvascular decompression.

Key points

Careful examination of preoperative studies is needed to identify anatomical peculiarities.

Patient positioning: the head must be gently flexed and its vertex gently tilted toward the floor.

Neurophysiologic monitoring and intraoperative navigation.

Craniectomy: partial exposure of the transverse and sigmoid sinuses.

Curvilinear dural incision reflected laterally to minimize the risk of sinus injury.

Opening the cerebellomedullary cistern for CSF drainage and cerebellar relaxation.

Dynamic endoscopy enhances depth perception and must be performed by a team with experience in endoscopic intracranial surgery.

Traditional microsurgical techniques have to be applied during the entire operation.

Multilayer reconstruction, including watertight dural closure.

Meningiomas causing brainstem shift are not suitable for endoscopic resection.


Retrosigmoid approach Endoscope Posterior petrous meningioma Microvascular decompression 


Conflict of interest

All authors certify that they have NO affiliations or involvement with any organization or entity with any financial interest (such as honoraria; educational grants; participation in speaker’s bureau; membership, employment, consultancies, stock ownership or other equity interest; and expert testimony of patent-licensing arrangements) or non-financial interest (such as personal or professional relationships, affiliations, knowledge or beliefs) in the subject matter or materials discussed in this manuscript.

Supplementary material


Video 1: Fully endoscopic retrosigmoid approach for posterior petrous meningioma and trigeminal microvascular decompression (MOV 235179 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francisco Vaz-Guimaraes
    • 1
  • Paul A. Gardner
    • 1
  • Juan C. Fernandez-Miranda
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Neurological SurgeryUniversity of Pittsburgh Medical CenterPittsburghUSA

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