Skull base is the term used to describe the area of the skull that provides the base on which the brain rests. Contained within the skull base are the eye orbits, ear canals, two carotid arteries, two vertebral arteries, 12 cranial nerves and the blood drainage system of the brain. These many intricate structures make the skull base one of the most complex areas on which to operate.
Diseases of the skull base are rare but potentially life threatening disorders. Treatment is challenging due to the complex anatomy of the cranial base. Diseases in this area include benign and malignant tumors (cancers), infections, birth defects and complicated head trauma.
Diseases can effect the function of the brain
or complex senses such as hearing, vision, hearing and balance.
Certainly one of the key aspects of skull-base surgery is reconstructing the skull base after a tumor has been successfully removed or aneurysm has been clipped. Again, it is imperative that the breadth of expertise is vast among surgeons performing these delicate procedures; there must be no chance that the brain will herniate into the nose or surgical cavities or the cerebrospinal fluid does not leak. Often, reconstruction may require taking tissue from another part of the body to create planes and form a successful sealant. Bone from other parts of the skull also may be used in reconstruction procedures.