Comprehensive Skull Base Surgery Care at Penn

Experts in ENT, neurosurgery, neuro radiology, radiation oncology and other disciplines work together to discuss patient cases and make the most up-to-date recommendations for treatment.

Skull base tumors, also known as cranial base tumors, are some of the most challenging, complex and technically demanding tumors to treat. Because of the location of these disorders — on the underside of the brain, the base of the skull and the upper vertebrae of the spinal column — they require advanced diagnostic technology and the expertise of highly skilled neurosurgeons.

Penn Medicine's Center for Cranial Base Surgery is the Philadelphia region's premier center for the evaluation and treatment of tumors of the head, neck and face, as well as other complex skull base disorders. Led by a team of specialists from various disciplines, the Center for Cranial Base Surgery is one of the few centers in the nation dedicated to the evaluation and treatment of benign and malignant tumors of the skull base.

The Center for Cranial Base Surgery has a rich history as a leader in the treatment of these disorders through the use of modern techniques such as transoral robotic surgery (TORS), trans nasal surgery, 3-D navigation planning, microscopic and laser techniques, and ongoing research studies and clinical trials. With the advent of these procedures, many of these tumors that were previously inaccessible can now be successfully treated.

Highlights of Our Skull Base Surgery Program

  • Penn Neurosurgery performs more than 500 skull base cases per year and is nationally ranked #14 in Neurosurgery by the US News & World Report.
  • Penn Medicine's neurosurgeons, otolaryngologists (ear, nose and throat surgeons), radiologists, pathologists, radiation oncologists and medical oncologists provide the best medical, surgical and therapeutic approaches to skull base surgery. This team approach allows us to produce high-quality results and better patient outcomes with the least-invasive methods possible.
  • Penn Medicine's physicians meet regularly at a skull base tumor conference where each patient's case is discussed and treatment plans are formulated.
  • Penn physicians bring new hope to patients through their treatments for both benign and malignant tumors in the skull base, sinuses and brain. Our surgeons are committed to achieving cures while preserving quality of life.

Skull Base Tumors and Disorders

The cranial base is a small, yet highly complex area at the bottom portion of the skull where every nerve that connects the brain with the rest of the body must move through. If you have a skull base tumor or disorder, you may experience neurological problems such as headaches, facial pain, blurred vision, dizziness or seizures. These symptoms tend to occur when the tumor has grown large enough to press against nerves or the brain.

Penn Medicine's Skull Base Surgery team specializes in evaluating and treating:

In This Section

Diagnosis and Evaluation

The Center for Cranial Base Surgery provides the most accurate diagnosis by utilizing state-of-the-art neurodiagnostic imaging and other advanced procedures.

Treatments and Procedures

Penn's Center for Cranial Base Surgery offers the latest surgical approaches for benign and malignant tumors in the skull base, sinuses and brain.

Post Surgery

Penn offers a special recovery team to help you after skull base surgery and to provide a seamless transition to any other Penn program for continued care.

Skull Base Surgery Team

Given the complexity of many skull base disorders, the Penn Center for Cranial Base Surgery utilizes a multidisciplinary approach combining the expertise of Penn specialists who collaborate and determine an individualized treatment plan designed expressly for each patient.

Patient Stories

Hear the stories of patients who Penn Medicine has treated through cranial base surgeries.

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