History of endoscopic skull base surgery: its evolution and current reality

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✓The history of the endoscope exemplifies the manner in which technological advances influence medicine and surgery. Endoscopic systems have evolved and improved, and they currently provide detailed visualization of a variety of deep organ structures. Otorhinolaryngological surgeons have used the endoscope for more than 30 years. In the 1990s, a number of influential neurosurgeons and otorhinolaryngological surgeons began performing purely endoscopic pituitary surgery. Endoscopic transsphenoidal operations are now extending beyond the sella. The collaboration between otorhinolaryngologists and neurosurgeons has produced a new subspecialty of “endoscopic skull base surgery.” There is a great deal of progress still to be made in developing skills, instruments, and improving skull base repair. The extended skull base approaches allow surgical exposures from the olfactory groove to C-2 and to the infratemporal region and jugular fossa laterally. This article discusses the history of the endoscope, the pivotal technological advances, and the key figures in the burgeoning field of endoneurosurgery.

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Contributor Notes

Address reprint requests to: Edward R. Laws Jr., M.D., Department of Neurosurgery, Stanford University Medical Center, Advanced Medicine Center, 875 Blake Wilbur Drive, Room CC-2330, MC 5821, Stanford, California 94305-5821. email: erlaws@stanford.edu.
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