The management of lesions of the lateral skull base is a highly sophisticated branch of surgery generally performed by otolaryngology–head and neck surgeons as part of a multi-disciplinary team. Assessment of patients with diseases affecting the lateral skull base can be complex, as can the application of the various treatment modalities and the management of the expected and unexpected side effects of that treatment.
A wide range of pathological conditions occur in the lateral skull base. Many operations and procedures have been described for dealing with them. There is not necessarily one correct solution to the management of any particular problem in the skull base, with multiple factors to be considered in planning and intervention.
As surgeons, we need to know how our own results and outcomes compare with pooled, published data concerning the implications and complications occurring as a result of intervention, in order to better advise our patients on their management.