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skull base surgery services

Skull Base Surgery Services

Sometimes headaches, visual disturbances, hearing loss, dizziness and frequent sinus infections can indicate problems that need to be evaluated by an expert in skull base surgery.

Our UCI Health skull base surgery team specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders in this delicate area beneath the brain. Vital organs, blood vessels and nerves that affect balance, hearing, vision and other functions are located in this area.

Minimally invasive surgery

Our skull base surgeons specialize in minimally invasive procedures for this compact, difficult-to-reach-area. This approach decreases risk and permits faster recovery. We also offer traditional open surgery when that approach is best. Our priority is always to achieve the goals of the surgery while preserving our patients' normal function.

Our multidisciplinary approach ensures patient-centered, personalized care. Our team includes board-certified and fellowship-trained experts in neurosurgery, neuro-otology, head and neck surgery, otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat), ophthalmology, pathology, oncology, neuroradiology, plastic surgery and physical therapy.

Coordinated care

We also collaborate with our colleagues at the UCI Health Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center to coordinate care for patients who need additional cancer therapies.

To make an appointment, call 714-456-7017 for head and neck surgery services or 714-456-6966 for neurosurgery services.

Dozens of medical conditions can result in the need for skull base surgery, including:

  • Aneurysms
  • Arteriovenous malformations
  • Benign tumors (e.g., acoustic neuromas)
  • Congenital conditions
  • Cysts
  • Growths caused by infections
  • Malignant tumors
  • Structural abnormalities

Symptoms for many of these conditions can include dizziness, severe headaches, visual problems and a loss of sensory abilities, such as hearing and smell.

Because of the complexity of the structures in this compact and vital area, many skull base disorders are best treated at academic medical centers such as UCI Medical Center, where physicians have extensive expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of these conditions.

First, we evaluate our patients, conducting a detailed physical exam and imaging tests to make a diagnosis. Vision and balance tests, as well as a biopsy, may also be needed. Surgery, if indicated, is recommended only after this thorough assessment.

Our UCI Health skull base surgeons are especially skilled in the latest endoscopic and microsurgical techniques. They also tailor treatments to each patient to ensure appropriate, evidence-based care.

Learn more about benign skull base tumors and treatments ›

Learn more about malignant skull base tumors and treatments ›

Learn more about other skull base conditions and treatments ›

Learn more about our diagnostic and treatment services ›

Advancements in imaging technologies, minimally invasive surgical techniques and increasingly precise radiotherapy have made it possible to treat skull base conditions that previously were inoperable.

Working at UCI Medical Center, continuously ranked among the top 50 U.S. hospitals by U.S. News & World Report for the last 20 years, our board-certified, fellowship-trained surgeons are experts in the latest skull base surgical techniques and treatments, as well as leading-edge clinical research.

This means our patients have access to the most innovative therapies offered in the Southern California region, including Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

Why come to UCI Medical Center for your care?

  • Our state-of-the-art operating suites at the medical center's UCI Health Douglas Hospital are equipped with computer-assisted navigation and intra-operative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) systems. These allow our skull base surgeons to identify and preserve sensitive structures as well as provide real-time imaging of the surgical site.
  • Our skull base team uses the first-of-its-kind portable full-body CT scanner, the BodyTom®, to capture high-resolution, three-dimensional images in real time as surgery unfolds, eliminating the need to move patients between the operating room and the radiology suite.
  • For patients requiring stereotactic radiosurgery or radiation therapy, we are the only medical center in the region to offer the TrueBeam™ advanced radiotherapy system. It enables our physicians to deliver targeted radiation treatments faster and with pinpoint precision.
  • Our multidisciplinary team develops an optimal treatment plan for each patient. Our team includes a head and neck skull base surgeon and a skull base neurosurgeon. The combination of the two specialties allows for the most comprehensive care for patients with these complex disorders.
  • Some patients may require therapy and follow-up care after skull base surgery. Our team works to ensure a seamless transition from surgical recovery to rehabilitation. We also recognize that skull base surgery can be stressful. We provide care in a comfortable, compassionate environment and strive to answer every question raised by patients and family members.
  • When there is a diagnosis of cancer, our skull base team works seamlessly with specialists at the UCI Health Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, Orange County's only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center. The cancer center integrates research, prevention, diagnostics, treatment and rehabilitation to provide the best possible care for patients and their families.

Our experienced team of UCI Health skull base surgeons includes board-certified and fellowship-trained experts in neurosurgery, neuro-otology and head and neck surgery.

We also work closely with UCI Health experts in eye surgery, pathology, oncology, neuroradiology and plastic surgery.

Our team includes highly skilled nurses, physical therapists and other healthcare professionals who specialize in caring for patients undergoing skull base treatments.

Our skull base surgical team includes:

Head and neck surgeons


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