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The discovery of a tumor in your brain can be shocking as well as frightening. Fully understanding your condition and the available treatments for it can be a vital tool on your journey to recovery. The old adage goes “knowledge is power”, so let us help you strengthen your arsenal in the fight against brain tumors.

Through Your Sphenoid Sinus

The term transsphenoidal literally translates to “through the sphenoid”. Surgeons can navigate through the sphenoid sinus (a cavity located behind your nose) to reach and remove tumors located within the pituitary gland in your brain.

Pituitary tumors develop within your sella, a bony cavity at the skull base which houses the pituitary gland. Tumors which grow to sizes that compress nerves and arteries in your brain, or those that are secretory (overproduce pituitary hormones), should be treated with surgery. Tumors of this nature can cause you to experience a variety of hormonal problems as well as affect other glands within your brain.

How is it Done?

The use of a high-powered operating microscope, or a fiber-optic endoscope, provides a wider field of view for surgeons as they operate. Your surgeon will create a ½ inch incision in your skull in which small tools are inserted to remove your tumor. Special state-of-the-art instrumentation is used to detach the entire tumor, or portions of spliced tumor that cannot be fully removed. Multiple surgeries may be required to remove your tumor depending on its size and growth direction.

The base of your pituitary chamber is then replaced with fragments of bone removed earlier in the procedure in order to seal your sella wall. Some instances (like lacking a suitable piece of septum for use as a graft) call for fatty tissue from your abdomen to be grafted to the area. This is to prevent leakage of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from your brain to the sinus and nasal cavities. Bionic glue is used to seal the opening of your septum when the direct approach is used. Your nose is then packed or bandaged to complete the procedure.

Multiple Approaches For Your Procedure

Transshpenoidal surgery is rarely performed through craniotomy (an opening in the skull). Instead, minimally invasive instruments and techniques with several approachable options are used. Listed below are three different approaches surgeons may take during your procedure:

  • A direct trans-nasal approach involves entry through the sphenoid sinus via an incision made in the rear wall of your nose. This direct approach requires less nasal packing (bandaging) after the operation.
  • A second approach calls for an incision on the front of your nasal wall, where surgeons then tunnel back into your sphenoid sinus.
  • The third approach involves surgeons making an incision where your inner upper lip meets your gum line. Surgical instruments enter through your upper gum, into the nasal cavity and through the sphenoid sinus to reach the tumor.

Transsphenoidal surgery can partly or completely remove your tumor. Surgeons must first remove a portion of your lower pituitary chamber to spot them.

IGEA Brain & Spine Is Here To Help You

If you suffer from cranial tumors or other complex brain disorders, superior surgical care is within your reach. The board certified surgeons at New Jersey’s IGEA Brain & Spine are pioneers in the practice of innovative technology and minimally invasive cranial surgery. We know that dealing with a brain condition can be a difficult process. At IGEA, we are dedicated to being by your side every step of the way, helping you get your life back. Contact a specialist at (908) 688.8800 today or request an appointment for answers to your cranial surgery needs.