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Jay Jagannathan, Daniel M. Prevedello, Vivek S. Ayer, Aaron S. Dumont, John A. Jane Jr. and Edward R. Laws


In this study the authors address the efficacy and safety of frameless stereotaxy in transsphenoidal surgery.


One thousand transsphenoidal operations were performed at the authors' institution between June 2000 and July 2005. This series consists of a retrospective review of 176 patients entered in a prospectively obtained database who underwent frameless stereotactic transsphenoidal surgery in which magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, computerized tomography (CT) scanning, or fluoroscopic guidance was used. Of the 176 patients, 104 (59%) had suprasellar extension of their tumor, 70 (40%) had involvement of the visual apparatus, and 65 (37%) had cavernous sinus involvement. All patients underwent detailed pre- and postoperative neurological, endocrinological, radiographic, and ophthalmological follow-up evaluations. Records were reviewed retrospectively for intraoperative and postoperative complications related to the surgical approach.

No instances of visual deterioration, carotid artery (CA) stenosis, or stroke were observed following transsphenoidal surgery. Only one patient sustained damage to the CA intraoperatively, and this was controlled in the operating room. Five patients (3%) required an intensive care unit stay postoperatively. Intraoperative cerebrospinal fluid leakage was encountered in 112 patients (64%) and was more frequently observed in tumors with suprasellar involvement.


Frameless stereotaxy is a safe and effective modality for the treatment of recurrent or invasive sellar masses. All three frameless stereotaxy modalities provided accurate information regarding the anatomical midline and the trajectory to the sella turcica. The MR imaging, CT scanning, and fluoroscopic stereotaxy modalities all have unique advantages as well as specific limitations.

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John A. Jane Jr., Joseph Han, Daniel M. Prevedello, Jay Jagannathan, Aaron S. Dumont and Edward R. Laws Jr.

Sellar tumors are most commonly approached through the transsphenoidal corridor, and tumor resection is most often performed using the operating microscope. More recently the endoscope has been introduced for use either as an adjunct to or in lieu of the microscope. Both the microscopic and endoscopic transsphenoidal approaches to sellar tumors allow safe and effective tumor resection. The authors describe their current endoscopic technique and elucidate the advantages and disadvantages of the pure endoscopic adenomectomy compared with the standard microscopic approach.

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Jay Jagannathan, Aaron S. Dumont, John A. Jane Jr. and Edward R. Laws Jr.

The diagnosis and management of pediatric sellar lesions is discussed in this paper. Craniopharyngiomas account for the majority of pediatric sellar masses, and pituitary adenomas are extremely uncommon during childhood. The diagnosis of sellar lesions involves a multidisciplinary effort, and detailed endocrinological, ophthalmological, and neurological testing is critical in the evaluation of a new sellar mass. The management of pituitary adenomas varies depending on the entity. For most tumors other than prolactinomas, transsphenoidal resection remains the mainstay of treatment. Less invasive methods, such as endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery and stereotactic radiosurgery, have shown promise as primary and adjuvant treatment modalities, respectively.

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Edward R. Laws, Adam S. Kanter, John A. Jane Jr. and Aaron S. Dumont

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The transsphenoidal approach

A historical perspective

Adam S. Kanter, Aaron S. Dumont, Ashok R. Asthagiri, Rod J. Oskouian, John A. Jane Jr. and Edward R. Laws Jr.

Over the last century, the transsphenoidal approach has evolved into the first-line method of treatment for sellar as well as select groups of parasellar and suprasellar lesions. The journey to its current popularity has been marked by controversy and near abandonment in the late 1920s, followed by its renaissance in the late 1960s. Despite the profound skepticism with which this procedure was viewed, several visionary neurosurgeons persevered through its nadir in popularity, preserving this surgical corridor to the skull base. Advances in medical and surgical techniques, paralleling an improved understanding of pituitary pathophysiology, contributed to its resurgence. The transsphenoidal procedures now performed stem from an array of modifications and refinements accumulated through nearly 100 years of medical and surgical evolution. This era's critical innovations and neurosurgical personalities are the topic of this historical overview.

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Giuseppe Lanzino, Aaron S. Dumont, M. Beatriz S. Lopes and Edward R. Laws Jr.

Cranial base chordomas are locally invasive tumors that, from a midline, clival location, extend in different directions and display various patterns of skull base invasion. Although histologically benign, their invasive nature makes true “oncological” resection virtually impossible to achieve in most cases, despite modern skull base surgical techniques. Moreover, because of the tumor's location and proximity to critical neural and vascular structures, surgery-related morbidity can be significant when an aggressive resection is undertaken. Cytoreductive surgery assumes a critical role in the management of these lesions. The choice of surgical approach and the extent of resection are dependent on several factors: location and extension of the tumor, the surgeon's philosophy and familiarity with a specific approach, and the patient's preexisting clinical status. Proton-beam radiotherapy seems to be effective as an adjunct to surgery in achieving local tumor control. The timing of radiation therapy, however, remains controversial. Gamma knife surgery has been proposed as an adjunctive therapy, but the limited experience and short follow-up periods do not permit formulation of meaningful conclusions at this time. Recurrences are common, although in a subset of patients prolonged disease-free survival is demonstrated.