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Neurosurg Clin N Am. 2013 Jan;24(1):19-37. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2012 Sep 13.

Minimally invasive approaches to the anterior skull base.

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Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California San Francisco, CA 94143-0112, USA.


The use of minimally invasive approaches to the anterior skull base is a valuable tool to improving the treatment in patients with aggressive anterior skull base neoplasms. This article discusses the history, advantages and disadvantages relative to open approaches, the corridors and pathways used in approach, the equipment and operating room setup, perioperative care, and complication avoidance. Although outcomes are difficult to compare to open approaches, due to often small and varying patient cohorts, these approaches continue to gain acceptance as an effective treatment of anterior skull base tumors in the experienced surgeon's hands with proper patient selection.

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