Over the past three decades, endoscopic endonasal surgery has unlocked new corridors to treat a wide spectrum of ventral skull base lesions. Tuberculum sella meningiomas represent one of the most ideal pathologies for ventral skull base access. Traditionally, these lesions were approached primarily through various subfrontal and frontal-lateral transcranial approaches that have unfortunately been shown to be associated with worsening visual decline postoperatively. The endoscopic endonasal approach is now being attempted by more surgeons and leverages an infrachiasmatic trajectory that provides direct access to the tuberculum sella where most of the vascular supply for these lesions can be taken early, facilitating more efficient surgical resection and mitigating the risk of optic nerve injury. Here we review a challenging case of a large (∼3 cm) tuberculum sella meningioma, encasing critical vessels off the circle of Willis and resected via an endoscopic endonasal approach. We discuss the technical nuances and relevant surgical anatomy of this approach and highlight important considerations in the safe and successful removal of these meningiomas. We show that certain tumors that appear to encase the supraclinoidal carotid artery can be fully resected via an endonasal approach with precise surgical technique and adequate exposure. Furthermore, this case illustrates the risk of injuring a key perforating vessel from the anterior communicating artery complex, called the subcallosal artery. Injury to this vessel is highly associated with tumors like the one presented here that extend into the suprachiasmatic space between the optic chiasm and the anterior communicating complex. Meticulous surgical dissection is required to preserve this perforating vessel as well as branches from the superior hypophyseal artery. Finally, we review our current closure techniques for these challenging approaches and discuss the use of a lumbar drain for 3 days to lower CSF leak rates.
The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/mafyXi5B0MA.