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Skull Base Tumor Treatment

Ultrasonic bone removal

Ultrasonic bone removal is a novel device that is used for removal of bone in critical areas around the brain or cranial nerves.

Instead of using a high-speed drill around the structures of the brain, this device can gently remove bone without the risk to the surrounding structures. 

Our surgeons use the ultrasonic bone removal system in appropriate cases to reduce injury to the brain, cranial nerves and the vital structures of the skull base.

Stimulating dissection instruments

Another novel set of instruments used in the removal of skull base tumors is stimulating dissection instruments.

Traditionally, tumors were removed with various instruments. A stimulator would then be brought into the field to check for the location of the important nerves in the area. The problem with that system was that the nerves (such as the facial nerve) could be injured while removing the tumor.

The stimulating dissection instruments give the surgeon the ability to continually stimulate and look for the nerve during the tumor removal.

This allows for maximal preservation of the nerve. The stimulating dissection instruments are used in the removal of all tumors of the posterior and middle skull base at UC Irvine.

Our center has been successful in having superb facial nerve function after removing large tumors (over 3 cm) by using these novel techniques.

Computer-assisted navigation

By using computer-assisted navigation, our surgeons are able to view a tumor and its surrounding structures in 3D. This reduces the chance of complications.

Endoscopic skull base surgery

An endoscope is a long tube with a light at the end. The skull base surgery team uses an endoscope to see areas that are hidden, as well as to remove tumors from the skull base. An endoscopic approach allows surgery to be performed through a small incision.


Radiosurgery, also known as the CyberKnife or GammaKnife, is a method of treating skull base tumors using radiation.

The radiation is applied from several different directions so that it can be concentrated on the tumor, protecting the surrounding healthy brain tissue.

To learn more, call 714-456-7017 or request an appointment online ›

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