Clinical Center for Cranial Base Surgery

At the Clinical Center for Cranial Base Surgery, we know how important it is to not only ensure accurate diagnosis and treatment, but also restore patients to their full appearance and function after surgery. Our team places great importance on maintaining a dialogue with patients’ referring physicians. From initial consultation through hospital discharge and associated follow-up treatments, referring physicians are our partners in patient care. Our goal is to serve as a referral center for difficult cranial base problems–also called skull base problems–and return patients to their local medical communities as soon as clinically possible.

Background on Cranial Base Surgery

A subspecialty derived from neurosurgery and otolaryngology, cranial base surgery has evolved rapidly with the development of new surgical techniques, improved technology, and a better understanding of cranial base anatomy. In addition, the emergence of an interdisciplinary surgical team has greatly contributed to success in cranial base surgery.

Cranial base surgery has also been significantly enhanced due to major improvements in microsurgery and anesthesiology related to surgery on the brain, brain stem, nerves and blood vessels associated with cranial base lesions; intraoperative cranial nerve monitoring; and diagnostic and interventional radiology. In addition, the development of microvascular techniques and their application to cranial base surgery permits functional and aesthetic reconstructive options.

Disorders Treated

The Center’s multidisciplinary team includes well-known leaders in the fields of otolaryngology, neurosurgery, radiation and medical oncology, head and neck reconstructive surgery, interventional neuroradiology, vestibular and rehabilitation medicine. We treat the comprehensive range of cranial base disorders, including lesions in all of the following areas:

  • Cerebello-pontine angle
  • Acoustic neuroma
  • Meningioma
  • Jugular foramen (glomus tumors)
  • Temporal bone
  • Infratemporal fossa
  • Cranio-vertebral junction
  • Orbits
  • Paranasal sinuses
  • Cavernous sinus
  • Parapharyngeal space
  • Advanced head and neck malignancies
  • Nasopharynx
  • Pituitary gland

Carlos A. David, MD, and Elizabeth Toh, MD, FACS, are co-directors of the Clinical Center for Cranial Base Surgery.