linked in pixel

Skull Base Surgery

Why choose Ochsner Health for skull base surgery?

At Ochsner, our patients in the Gulf South are at the heart of everything we do. Our experienced, multidisciplinary team uses a highly specialized approach to evaluate and treat cancerous and noncancerous tumors and other conditions involving the base of the skull. Our team of specialists also addresses tumors that extend from the brain to the ears and sinuses that can often affect senses like smell and hearing, as well as balance. Our fellowship-trained surgeons are experienced in performing minimally invasive skull base surgery and open, complex procedures using the latest technologies and techniques. Ochsner Medical Center has been designated as a Multidisciplinary Team of Distinction by the North American Skull Base Society, demonstrating our commitment to being a leader in the field of skull base surgery.

Multidisciplinary Team of Distinction by the North American Skull Base Society

We are dedicated to developing individualized treatment plans for every patient and providing customized care from diagnosis to recovery.

With our multidisciplinary team approach to care, you will see multiple specialists in one visit. The skull base surgery team includes specialists from:

All specialties meet at a multidisciplinary tumor board to discuss every patient’s case and develop the best course of treatment, which may include surgery, radiation therapy or chemotherapy.

Skull base surgery can be performed to treat a wide range of conditions that affect the underside of the brain and skull. Surgeons may also perform this operation to treat birth defects and conditions affecting the upper vertebrae of the spinal column, including:

  • Pituitary tumors

  • Benign and malignant sinonasal tumors — tumors in the nose, area behind the nose or sinuses

  • Meningiomas — a tumor of the central nervous system

  • Acoustic neuromas — a tumor in the balance and hearing nerves

  • Chordomas — spine or skull base tumors

  • Chondrosarcomas — bone tumors that starts in the cartilage cells

  • Craniopharyngiomas — a benign brain tumor

  • Rathke’s cleft cysts — fluid-filled, noncancerous sacs at the base of the brain

Highly experienced, fellowship-trained surgeons perform skull base surgery through the nose, mouth, ear or above the eyebrow, often using minimally invasive techniques with endoscopes and microscopes. Types of skull base surgery include:

  • Endonasal — entering through the nostrils

  • Transoral — entering through the mouth

  • Supraorbital — entering the portion of the skull just above the eyebrow

  • Transtemporal — entering through the ear and its adjacent passageways

Lateral skull base surgery is performed through the temporal bone and ear canal, allowing surgeons to access tumors near the base of the brain that can be difficult to reach without the use of large retractors.


Doctors diagnose these conditions based on your symptoms, personal health history and a thorough physical exam. In addition, doctors frequently use imaging studies of the brain to make diagnoses and identify tumors or abnormalities. These studies include MRI, CT, magnetic resonance angiogram and positron emission tomography scans.

In some cases, doctors may perform biopsies to diagnose tumors in the nose and sinuses.

Minimally invasive techniques allow surgeons to remove tumors without creating large openings in the skull. Benefits include:

  • Minimized damage to surrounding structures and nerves

  • Less risk of infection

  • Shorter recovery time

  • Less risk of facial deformities

  • Preservation of hormone function, smell and eyesight

Read more healthy living and lifestyle tips.

Get tips in your inbox.

Sign up for our free newsletters to get the best of our healthy living tips delivered straight to your inbox.

Map of Ochsner-affiliated facilities that provide services related to Skull Base Surgery

Skull Base Surgery Locations

Ochsner Medical Center – New Orleans
1514 Jefferson Highway
New Orleans, LA 70121
  • Open 24/7