Infratemporal Fossa Approach

  • Paul W. Gidley
  • Franco DeMonte
  • Randal S. Weber


The infratemporal fossa is a relatively simple area of anatomy located centrally among a number of adjacent complex and important anatomic regions. A variety of tumors can arise or invade this space by contiguous spread, including parotid cancers, nasopharyngeal cancers, sarcomas, neuromas, and meningiomas. Given the variety of tumor histologies and varied primary locations, a number of surgical approaches have been developed to excise these tumors. This chapter describes the transtemporal approach to the infratemporal fossa. The important anatomical landmarks are depicted and are the keys to success with this approach. The indications and preoperative assessment are explained. A major advantage of this approach is the wide exposure of the petrous carotid artery. This approach is best performed by a multidisciplinary team. Adjuvant radiotherapy is indicated for most patients. Chemotherapy has a role in either the pre- or postoperative setting.


Anatomy Infratemporal fossa Transtemporal approach Squamous cell carcinoma Parotid cancer Nasopharyngeal cancer Petrous carotid artery 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul W. Gidley
    • 1
  • Franco DeMonte
    • 2
  • Randal S. Weber
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Head and Neck SurgeryThe University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Department of NeurosurgeryThe University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA

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