Extended transsphenoidal approach with submucosal posterior ethmoidectomy for parasellar tumors

Technical note

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✓ The authors have developed an extended transsphenoidal approach with submucosal posterior ethmoidectomy for resection of tumors located in the cavernous sinus or the suprasellar region that are difficult to remove via the conventional transsphenoidal approach. Surgery was performed using this approach in 14 patients with large pituitary adenomas, three patients with craniopharyngiomas, and one patient with a meningioma of the tuberculum sellae. The submucosal dissection of the nasal septum used in the conventional transsphenoidal approach was extended to the superior lateral wall of the nasal cavity to expose the bony surface of the superior turbinate lying under the nasal mucosa. Submucosal posterior ethmoidectomy widened the area visualized through the conventional transsphenoidal approach both superiorly and laterally. This provided a safer and less invasive access to lesions in the cavernous sinus or the suprasellar region through the sphenoid sinus. Using this approach the authors encountered no postoperative complications, such as olfactory disturbance, cranial nerve palsy, or arterial injury. In this article the authors present the surgical methods used in this approach.

Article Information

Contributor Notes

Address reprint requests to: Masahiko Kitano, M.D., Department of Neurosurgery, Kinki University School of Medicine, 3772, Ohono-Higashi, Osaka-Sayama, Osaka 589–8511, Japan. email: kitano@med.kindai.ac.jp.
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