Endoscopic-Assisted Craniofacial Resection of Esthesioneuroblastoma: Minimizing Facial Incisions-Technical Note and Report of 3 Cases

J. K. Liu, B. O'Neill, R. R. Orlandi, A. L. Moscatello, R. L. Jensen, William T. Couldwell

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32 Scopus citations


The surgical management of esthesioneuroblastoma with anterior skull base involvement has traditionally been craniofacial resection, which combines a bifrontal craniotomy with a transfacial approach. The latter usually involves a disfiguring facial incision, mid-facial degloving, lateral rhinotomy, and/or extensive facial osteotomies, which may be cosmetically displeasing to the patient. The advent of angled endoscopes has provided excellent magnification and illumination for surgeons to remove tumors using minimally invasive techniques. The authors describe their experience with three cases of esthesioneuroblastoma, which were surgically removed using a transnasal endoscopic approach, avoiding transfacial incisions. Preoperative radiographs were reviewed and tumors were staged according to the Kadish staging system. One patient had a recurrent esthesioneuroblastoma (Kadish stage B), which was removed entirely through a transnasal endoscopic approach. Two patients had intracranial extension (Kadish stage C), which were resected with a combined approach, endoscopically from below and a bifrontal craniotomy from above, to remove intracranial disease. All patients underwent reconstruction of the anterior skull base. Esthesioneuroblastomas confined to the nasal and paranasal cavities (Kadish stage A and B) were readily accessible through the transnasal endoscopic approach. If there was significant intracranial disease (Kadish stage C), adding a bifrontal craniotomy provided excellent exposure for complete resection of involved tumor. All patients underwent complete tumor resection with negative margins. None developed a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak. The endoscopic-assisted craniofacial approach for the surgical management of esthesioneuroblastomas provides excellent exposure, adequate visualization, and the cosmetic benefit of avoiding an external facial incision.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)310-315
Number of pages6
JournalMinimally Invasive Neurosurgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2003
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


  • Craniofacial surgery
  • Endoscope
  • Esthesioneuroblastoma
  • Minimally invasive

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