If you’ve been diagnosed with a skull base tumor, you’re likely facing many different emotions and questions. At Miami Neuroscience Institute, an experienced and compassionate team will work hard to effectively treat your condition.
Skull base tumors form at the base of the skull, or the part of the skull where the brain rests. Some, though, can form in the nasal sinuses, the pituitary gland or in nerves around the skull.
Because of their location, skull base tumors can sometimes be difficult to treat. However, our specialists understand the complexities of skull base tumor treatment and take a precise and personalized approach for each patient.
What type of skull base tumors are treated at Miami Neuroscience Institute?
Although many skull base tumors are non-cancerous, or benign, our team has experience treating both cancerous, or malignant, and non-cancerous skull base tumors, including:
- Vestibular schwannomas, or acoustic neuromas
- Pituitary adenomas
How are skull base tumors diagnosed?
If your doctor believes you may have a skull base tumor, he or she will have you undergo an imaging test. These tests can include MRIs or a PET-MRI.
Your doctor may also biopsy your tumor to diagnose the exact type of skull base tumor. This will allow your team to develop a personalized and more effective treatment plan.
How are skull base tumors treated at Miami Neuroscience Institute?
At Miami Neuroscience Institute, we take a conservative approach to skull base tumor treatment whenever possible. If your tumor is non-cancerous and you are not experiencing any symptoms from the tumor, we may decide to delay treatment and monitor the tumor.
If a benign tumor begins to cause symptoms or starts to grow, you may need treatment. Cancerous skull base tumors, including those that are secondary, or metastatic, will also need treatment.
Some of the treatments we use include:
- Neurosurgery, including open (transcranial) surgery, endoscopic surgery and endonasal surgery
- Proton therapy
- Radiation therapy
If you undergo surgery for a skull base tumor, your surgical team will have access to an intraoperative MRI, which allows the surgeon to track brain function during surgery. This intraoperative imaging also gives neurosurgeons the ability to re-scan your head, neck and brain to assess whether an entire tumor has been removed, or if more surgery is needed to remove any remaining tumor. Miami Neuroscience Institute’s intraoperative monitoring program is certified by the American Board of Neurophysiology Monitoring (ABNM).
- Condra Sarcoma
- Endoscopic Surgery
- Radio Therapy
When you come to Miami Neuroscience Institute for skull base tumor treatment, you can expect:
- A conservative approach to treatment that aims to avoid surgery unless it is absolutely necessary.
- Seamless collaboration between neurosurgeons, neurologists, neuro-oncologists and radiation oncologists, all with the goal of providing more personalized and effective treatment.
- Access to clinical trials for the latest radiation therapy and chemotherapy treatments for cancerous skull base tumors.
Meet the Team
Skull Base Tumor Clinical Trials
The amount of time you spend in the hospital after surgery will depend on the size and location of your tumor. In some cases, patients are only in the hospital for a couple of days. However, for some more complex surgeries, patients may need to recover in the hospital for seven to 10 days.
Most patients who undergo skull base tumor surgery will not need rehabilitation after the procedure. However, if rehabilitation is needed, Miami Neuroscience Institute provides an extensive outpatient and inpatient neurorehabilitation [Link to neuro-rehab page] program that includes physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy.
The approach we take to your surgery, including where we make incisions, will depend on the location of your tumor. However, our team will do everything possible to avoid incisions on the face. If open surgery is necessary, we will strive to keep all incisions behind your hairline.
A Miami Neuroscience Institute, we take a team approach to every case. We have a weekly meeting among brain tumor specialists to discuss skull base tumor cases and determine the best treatment option for the patients with these tumors. The collaborative discussions among the physicians at these meetings ensures patients are getting the best possible treatment option available.