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Navigation as a tool to visualize bone-covered hidden structures in transfrontal approaches

  • Joerg Schipper (a1), Wolfgang Maier (a1), Iakovos Arapakis (a1), Uwe Spetzger (a1) and R. Laszig (a1)...


A retrospective analysis of 10 patients was performed to evaluate navigation systems in extranasal frontal skull base surgery. When performing a craniotomy following a bicoronal skin incision, the surgeon has to calculate the extent of the frontal sinus to avoid unnecessary damage to the dura or mucoceles later. Due to surgical morbidity including compression of the frontal lobe, many skull base surgeons have refused to use such an approach. Malformation or bone-destruction complicates the identification of the borders and increases the risk ofside-effects. Navigation systems can be an alternative for calculating the frontal sinus outlines during surgery. In the authors’ surgical procedure two different navigation systems were used. Conventional surgery using the transfrontal, transbasal or subcranial approach consisting of trepanation and craniotomy were performed, while the navigated surgical procedure was evaluated.

The analysis showed that computer-assisted surgery (CAS) is applicable to extranasal frontalskull base surgery. In comparison to X-ray beam-controlled craniotomy, CAS is beneficial as it constitutes a noninvasive instrument of quality management. Furthermore, the analysis indicatedthat under the guidance of a navigation system a precise pre-surgical simulation is available in order to perform an optimal craniotomy and reconstruction of the frontal skull base.




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