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Amin B. Kassam, Paul Gardner, Carl Snyderman, Arlan Mintz and Ricardo Carrau

Object

The middle third of the clivus and the region around the petrous internal carotid artery (ICA) is a difficult area of the skull base in terms of access. This is a deep area rich with critical neurovascular structures, which is often host to typical skull base diseases. Expanded endoscopic endonasal approaches offer a potential option for accessing this difficult region. The objective of this paper was to establish the clinical feasibility of gaining access to the paraclival space in the region of the middle third of the clivus, to provide a practical modular and clinically applicable classification, and to describe the relevant critical surgical anatomy for each module.

Methods

The anatomical organization of the region around the petrous ICA, cavernous sinus, and middle clivus is presented, with approaches divided into zones. In an accompanying paper in this issue by Cavallo, et al., the anatomy of the pterygopalatine fossa is presented; this was observed through cadaveric dissection for which an expanded endonasal approach was used. In the current paper the authors translate the aforementioned anatomical study to provide a clinically applicable categorization of the endonasal approach to the region around the petrous ICA. A series of zones inferior and superior to the petrous ICA are described, with an illustrative case presented for each region.

Conclusions

The expanded endonasal approach is a feasible approach to the middle third of the clivus, petrous ICA, cavernous sinus, and medial infratemporal fossa in cases in which the lesion is located centrally, with neurovascular structures displaced laterally.

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Amin Kassam, Carl H. Snyderman, Ricardo L. Carrau, Paul Gardner and Arlan Mintz

The increasing popularity of minimally invasive neurosurgery has led to the development of transnasal expanded approaches for the treatment of skull base lesions. One of the greatest challenges in safely accomplishing resection of tumors, particularly intradural lesions, is effective hemostasis. Over the past 7 years the authors have progressively developed an organized approach to address this challenge. This has required the development of new instrumentation as well as variations on standard techniques. In this report they present the technique that has evolved at their institution for endoneurosurgical hemostasis.

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Laligam N. Sekhar, Anil Nanda, Chandra N. Sen, Carl N. Snyderman and Ivo P. Janecka

✓ The extended frontal approach is a modification of the transbasal approach of Derome. The addition of a bilateral orbitofrontal or orbitofrontoethmoidal osteotomy improves the exposure of midline lesions of the anterior, middle, and posterior skull base, while minimizing the need for frontal lobe retraction. The authors present a 5-year experience with 49 patients operated on via the extended frontal approach. In seven patients, the extended frontal approach was used alone; in the remaining 42, it was combined with other skull base approaches. Highly malignant tumors were removed en bloc, whereas benign tumors and low-grade malignancies were removed either en bloc or piecemeal. Reconstruction was usually performed using fascia lata, a pericranial flap, and/or autologous fat. A temporalis muscle flap or a distant microvascular free flap was required for some patients.

One patient died 1 month postoperatively due to superior mesenteric artery thrombosis. Three patients had postoperative infections, two had cerebrospinal fluid leaks requiring reoperation, and four had brain contusions or hematomas. All but two patients recovered to their preoperative functional level. After an average follow-up period of 26 months (range 6 to 56 months), 64% of patients with benign lesions, 64% of patients with low-grade malignancies, and 44% of patients with high-grade lesions were alive with no evidence of disease.

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Amin Kassam, Carl H. Snyderman, Arlan Mintz, Paul Gardner and Ricardo L. Carrau

Object

Transsphenoidal approaches have been used for a century for the resection of pituitary and other sellar tumors. Recently, however, the standard endonasal approach has been expanded to provide access to other parasellar lesions. With the addition of the endoscope, this expansion has significant potential for the resection of skull base lesions.

Methods

The anatomical landmarks and surgical techniques used in expanded (extended) endoscopic approaches to the clivus and cervicomedullary junction are reviewed and presented, accompanied by case illustrations of each segment (or module) of approach.

The caudal portion of the midline anterior skull base and the cervicomedullary junction is divided into modules of approach: the middle third of the clivus, its lower third, and the cervicomedullary junction. Case illustrations of successful resections of lesions via each module of the approach are presented and discussed.

Conclusions

Endoscopic expanded endonasal approaches to caudally located midline anterior skull base and cervicomedullary lesions are feasible and hold great potential for decreased morbidity. The effectiveness and appropriate use of these techniques must be evaluated by close examination of outcomes as case series expand.

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Amin Kassam, Carl H. Snyderman, Arlan Mintz, Paul Gardner and Ricardo L. Carrau

Object

Transsphenoidal approaches have been used for a century for the resection of pituitary and other sellar tumors. More recently, the standard endonasal approach has been expanded to provide access to other, parasellar lesions. With the addition of the endoscope, this expansion carries significant potential for the resection of skull base lesions.

Methods

The anatomical landmarks and surgical techniques used in expanded (extended) endoscopic approaches to the rostral, anterior skull base are reviewed and presented, accompanied by case illustrations of each segment (or module) of approach. The rostral half of the anterior skull base is divided into modules of approach: sellar/parasellar, transplanum/transtuberculum, and transcribriform. Case illustrations of successful resections of lesions with each module are presented and discussed.

Conclusions

Endoscopic, expanded endonasal approaches to rostral anterior skull base lesions are feasible and hold great potential for decreased morbidity. The effectiveness and appropriate use of these techniques must be evaluated by close examination of outcomes as case series expand.

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Juan C. Fernandez-Miranda, Carlos D. Pinheiro-Neto, Paul A. Gardner and Carl H. Snyderman

The authors present the technical and anatomical nuances needed to perform an endoscopic endonasal removal of a tuberculum sellae meningioma. The patient is a 47-year-old female with headaches and an incidental finding of a small tuberculum sellae meningioma with no vascular encasement, no optic canal invasion, but mild inferior to superior compression of the cisternal segment of the left optic nerve. Neuroophthalmology assessment revealed no visual defects. Treatment options included clinical observation with imaging follow-up studies, radiosurgery, and resection. The patient elected to undergo surgical removal and an endonasal endoscopic approach was the preferred surgical option.

Preoperative radiological studies showed the presence of an osseous ring between the left middle and anterior clinoids, the so-called carotico-clinoidal ring. The surgical implications of this finding and its management are illustrated. The surgical anatomy of the suprasellar region is reviewed, including concepts such as the chiasmatic sulcus and limbus sphenoidale, medial and lateral optico-carotid recesses, and the paraclinoidal and supraclinoidal segments of the internal carotid artery. Emphasis is made in the importance of exposing the distal dural ring of the internal carotid artery and the precanalicular segment of the optic nerve for adequate intradural dissection. The endonasal route allows for early coagulation of the tumor meningeal supply and extensive resection of dural attachments, and importantly, provides an inferior to superior access to the infrachiasmatic region that facilitates complete tumor removal without any manipulation of the optic nerve. The lateral limit of dural removal is formed by the distal dural ring, which is gently coagulated after the tumor is resected. A 45° scope is used to inspect for any residual tumor, in particular at the entrance of the optic nerve into the optic canal and at the most anterior margin of the exposure (limbus sphenoidale). The steps for reconstruction are detailed and include intradural placement of dural substitute and extradural placement of the nasoseptal flap. The nuances for proper harvesting, positioning, and reinforcement of the flap are described. No lumbar drain was used.

The patient had an uneventful recovery with no CSF leak or any other complications. Imaging follow-up at 6 months showed complete removal of the tumor. The patient had no sinonasal or neurological symptoms, and olfaction was fully preserved.

The video can be found here: http://youtu.be/kkuV-yyEHMg.

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Amin Kassam, Ricardo L. Carrau, Carl H. Snyderman, Paul Gardner and Arlan Mintz

Harvey Cushing first popularized the transsphenoidal route to the sella turcica, and Jules Hardy subsequently refined it by adding the operating microscope. Over the ensuing decades, attempts at extending the application of this approach have been advanced by Edward Laws and others. With the evolution of endoscopic approaches, the natural expansion of their use to intradural lesions followed. For the expanded endonasal approach to become a viable option, the paramount concerns surrounding consistent reconstruction of the dura mater must be overcome. In this review the authors chronicle the evolution of the reconstruction technique they currently use after performing expanded endonasal approaches. They also report the use of a balloon stent to buttress the reconstruction and counter the effects of graft migration and cerebrospinal fluid fistula formation. The technique described in this report represents an important step forward in the reconstruction of defects resulting from expanded endonasal approaches.

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Danilo Silva, Moshe Attia and Theodore H. Schwartz

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Maria Koutourousiou, Paul A. Gardner, Juan C. Fernandez-Miranda, Elizabeth C. Tyler-Kabara, Eric W. Wang and Carl H. Snyderman

Object

The proximity of craniopharyngiomas to vital neurovascular structures and their high recurrence rates make them one of the most challenging and controversial management dilemmas in neurosurgery. Endoscopic endonasal surgery (EES) has recently been introduced as a treatment option for both pediatric and adult craniopharyngiomas. The object of the present study was to present the results of EES and analyze outcome in both the pediatric and the adult age groups.

Methods

The authors retrospectively reviewed the records of patients with craniopharyngioma who had undergone EES in the period from June 1999 to April 2011.

Results

Sixty-four patients, 47 adults and 17 children, were eligible for this study. Forty-seven patients had presented with primary craniopharyngiomas and 17 with recurrent tumors. The mean age in the adult group was 51 years (range 28–82 years); in the pediatric group, 9 years (range 4–18 years). Overall, the gross-total resection rate was 37.5% (24 patients); near-total resection (> 95% of tumor removed) was 34.4% (22 patients); subtotal resection (≥ 80% of tumor removed) 21.9% (14 patients); and partial resection (< 80% of tumor removed) 6.2% (4 patients). In 9 patients, EES had been combined with radiation therapy (with radiosurgery in 6 cases) as the initial treatment. Among the 40 patients (62.5%) who had presented with pituitary insufficiency, pituitary function remained unchanged in 19 (47.5%), improved or normalized in 8 (20%), and worsened in 13 (32.5%). In the 24 patients who had presented with normal pituitary function, new pituitary deficit occurred in 14 (58.3%). Nineteen patients (29.7%) suffered from diabetes insipidus at presentation, and the condition developed in 21 patients (46.7%) after treatment. Forty-four patients (68.8%) had presented with impaired vision. In 38 (86.4%) of them, vision improved or even normalized after surgery; in 5, it remained unchanged; and in 1, it temporarily worsened. One patient without preoperative visual problems showed temporary visual deterioration after treatment. Permanent visual deterioration occurred in no one after surgery. The mean follow-up was 38 months (range 1–135 months). Tumor recurrence after EES was discovered in 22 patients (34.4%) and was treated with repeat surgery (6 patients), radiosurgery (1 patient), combined repeat surgery and radiation therapy (8 patients), interferon (1 patient), or observation (6 patients). Surgical complications included 15 cases (23.4%) with CSF leakage that was treated with surgical reexploration (13 patients) and/or lumbar drain placement (9 patients). This leak rate was decreased to 10.6% in recent years after the introduction of the vascularized nasoseptal flap. Five cases (7.8%) of meningitis were found and treated with antibiotics without further complications. Postoperative hydrocephalus occurred in 7 patients (12.7%) and was treated with ventriculoperitoneal shunt placement. Five patients experienced transient cranial nerve palsies. There was no operative mortality.

Conclusions

With the goal of gross-total or maximum possible safe resection, EES can be used for the treatment of every craniopharyngioma, regardless of its location, size, and extension (excluding purely intraventricular tumors), and can provide acceptable results comparable to those for traditional craniotomies. Endoscopic endonasal surgery is not limited to adults and actually shows higher resection rates in the pediatric population.

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Cristian Ferrareze Nunes, Stefan Lieber, Huy Q. Truong, Georgios Zenonos, Eric W. Wang, Carl H. Snyderman, Paul A. Gardner and Juan C. Fernandez-Miranda

OBJECTIVE

Pituitary adenomas may extend into the parapeduncular space by invading through the roof of the cavernous sinus. Currently, a transcranial approach is the preferred choice, with or without the combination of an endonasal approach. In this paper the authors present a novel surgical approach that takes advantage of the natural corridor provided by the tumor to further open the oculomotor triangle and resect tumor extension into the parapeduncular space.

METHODS

Six injected specimens were used to demonstrate in detail the surgical anatomy related to the approach. Four cases in which the proposed approach was used were retrospectively reviewed.

RESULTS

From a technical perspective, the first step involves accessing the superior compartment of the cavernous sinus. The interclinoid ligament should be identified and the dura forming the oculomotor triangle exposed. The oculomotor dural opening may be then extended posteriorly toward the posterior petroclinoidal ligament and inferolaterally toward the anterior petroclinoidal ligament. The oculomotor nerve should then be identified; in this series it was displaced superomedially in all 4 cases. The posterior communicating artery should also be identified to avoid its injury. In all 4 cases, the tumor invading the parapeduncular space was completely removed. There were no vascular injuries and only 1 patient had a partial oculomotor nerve palsy that completely resolved in 2 weeks.

CONCLUSIONS

The endoscopic endonasal transoculomotor approach is an original alternative for removal of tumor extension into the parapeduncular space in a single procedure. The surgical corridor is increased by opening the dura of the oculomotor triangle and by working below and lateral to the cisternal segment of the oculomotor nerve.