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J Neurol Surg B Skull Base. 2015 Jun;76(3):239-47. doi: 10.1055/s-0034-1543964. Epub 2015 Jan 21.

Optic Nerve Decompression through a Supraorbital Approach.

Author information

1
Department of Neurological Surgery, Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell University, New York, United States ; Neurosurgery Institute, Catholic University School of Medicine, Rome, Italy.
2
Department of Neurological Surgery, Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell University, New York, United States.
3
Department of Neurological Surgery, Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell University, New York, United States ; Department of Neurosurgery, San Carlo Borromeo Hospital, Milan, Italy.
4
Department of Neurological Surgery, Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell University, New York, United States ; Department of Neurosurgery, University of São Paulo Medical School (FMUSP), São Paulo, Brazil.

Abstract

Objective We propose a stepwise decompression of the optic nerve (ON) through a supraorbital minicraniotomy and describe the surgical anatomy of the ON as seen through this approach. We also discuss the clinical applications of this approach. Methods Supraorbital approaches were performed on 10 preserved cadaveric heads (20 sides). First, 3.5-cm skin incisions were made along the supraciliary arch from the medial third of the orbit and extended laterally. A 2 × 3-cm bone flap was fashioned and extradural dissections were completed. A 180-degree unroofing of the ON was achieved, and the length and width of the proximal and distal portions of the optic canal (OC) were measured. Results The supraorbital minicraniotomy allowed for identification of the anterior clinoid process and other surgical landmarks and adequate drilling of the roof of the OC with a comfortable working angle. A 25-degree contralateral head rotation facilitated visualization of the ON. Conclusion The supraorbital approach is a minimally invasive and cosmetically favorable alternative to more extended approaches with longer operative times used for the management of ON decompression in posttraumatic or compressive optic neuropathy from skull base pathologies extending into the OC. The relative ease of this approach provides a relatively short learning curve for developing neurosurgeons.

KEYWORDS:

decompression; minimally invasive; optic nerve; optic neuropathy; supraorbital approach

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