Director: B. Gregory Thompson, M.D.
At The University of Michigan, our Cranial Base Program diagnoses and treats benign and malignant tumors involving the cranial base region, cerebrospinal fluid leaks and encephaloceles, and traumatic injuries to the face and skull.
Some of the conditions treated include:
- Nasal/sinus tumors and cancers, including carcinoma, melanoma, esthesioneuroblastoma and sinonasal undifferentiated carcinoma (SNUC)
- Pituitary tumors
- Cerebrospinal fluid leaks
- Acoustic Neuromas
Our techniques and approaches include:
- Endoscopic skull base surgery: This minimally invasive approach involves removing tumors through the nose without facial incisions. Computer image guidance (like a GPS) is often used.
- Open: Open approaches involve incisions, opening the skull, removing the tumor and reconstructive techniques to preserve cosmetic and functional outcomes.
- Endoscopic-assisted open
For patients with an acoustic neuroma – a tumor of the nerve that connects the ear and brain – hearing loss can occur as a result of surgical tumor removal. Our cranial base team emphasizes hearing preservation whenever indicated.
All of our approaches minimize damage to important nerves and blood vessels, maximizing cosmetic outcomes and promoting rapid recovery.
We also use radiation therapy and chemotherapy with or without surgery, to effectively treat cranial base tumors. All approaches are designed to restore the patient to his or her preoperative function, lifestyle and appearance. More than 1,400 adult and pediatric skull base patients have been treated since our program began in 1994.