Craniopharyngioma is a rare and benign intracranial tumor of the sellar and suprasellar region. Historically, these tumors were mostly accessed through transcranial corridors and resected with microsurgical techniques. Endoscopic endonasal surgery has recently gained popularity in the treatment of these tumors and has shown at least comparable results to transcranial approaches. The endoscopic endonasal approach provides direct midline access through a transplanum transtuberculum corridor and gives excellent visualization of the undersurface of the optic chiasm to allow safe bimanual sharp dissection of the tumor from the hypothalamus. In this operative video, we demonstrate the case of a 56-year-old female who had a complex craniopharyngioma with solid and cystic components extending superolaterally into the right frontal lobe. This lesion was invasive and partially encased the right optic nerve, optic chiasm, and anterior communicating artery complex. Although a traditional transcranial approach could have been utilized, we elected for an endoscopic endonasal approach for a maximal safe near-total resection, preserving the neurovascular structures. The patient underwent radiation therapy with favorable regression of the residual tumor on subsequent imaging studies. This case illustrates the feasibility of a combined strategy of maximal safe endoscopic endonasal resection followed by early radiation therapy for a complex, invasive cystic and solid craniopharyngioma. The technical nuances of safe bimanual microsurgical dissection of tumor adhesions off of critical neurovascular structures are demonstrated.
The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/z0AINLpRZGs.