Skull Base Tumors


Recognized as a world leader in skull base surgery and training, the UC Neuroscience Institute offers patients with skull base tumors optimal care that minimizes the risk of neurological deficits. Our physicians were the first to propose selective use of cytoreductive surgery: the minimization of tumor removal, when possible, and maximization of quality of life.

What are skull base tumors?

Skull base lesions include pituitary tumors, tumors of the sino-nasal tract, tumors of the clivus (including chondromas and chordomas), lesions of the petrous apex, neuromas, meningiomas, cholesteatomas, keratomas and paragangliomas (glomus tumors).

Who treats skull base tumors?

The UC Neuroscience Institute’s comprehensive skull base surgery team includes neurosurgeons, otolaryngologists (ENT/head and neck surgeons), neuro-otologists, oculoplastic surgeons, neurophysiologists (for intraoperative monitoring), neuroradiologists and radiation oncologists. The team offers multi-therapy approaches, from medical and surgical management (using computer-assisted, image-guided neurosurgery) to endovascular therapies, radiosurgery and reconstructive techniques.

During a seamless intake process, patients undergo a day of diagnostic tests, meet with an otolarynogolist and receive education and information about their treatment plan. The UC Neuroscience Institute’s skull base team uses contemporary neuroradiological methods such as MRI, MRA, interventional neuroradiology and high-resolution CT scanning to optimize the preoperative assessment of skull base lesions.

The UC Brain Tumor Center is pleased to connect new patients who are seeking information and reassurance to past patients who had similar diagnoses.

What new treatments are available?

Once inoperable, tumors of the skull base — the borderline region separating the base of the brain and the extracranial structure — are accessible today. However, tumor removal still proves challenging because of the complexity of skull base anatomy and the risk to vital neurological and vascular structures.

Skull base surgery has been enhanced by important advances in minimally invasive surgery. These procedures are performed through small openings in the nose, eyebrow or skull and cause minimal disruption to the brain. Surgeons reach through small corridors in the brain with a special set of miniature tools attached to the end of long holders. Patients who would have been hospitalized for a week just a decade ago are often able to go home the next day.

Minimally invasive surgical techniques allow neurosurgeons to remove even large tumors through openings of 1.5 to 3 centimeters.

  • Print This Page
  • Make an Appointment: Schedule Now
  • UCNI Weekly Blog
  • Hope Stories

    • Brian’s Story: Meningioma

      Brian's Story: Meningioma “Carefree” is the word Brian uses to describe his life back then. He was 39 years old, happily married and the father of three children under the age of 5. “Life was busy, but that felt normal,” he says, reflecting. “The only...
    • Doc’s Story: Metastatic Brain Tumors

      Doc’s Story: Metastatic Brain Tumors First there were headaches. Bad ones. Migraines, probably. Then, one day in mid-May, 2010, his knee, foot and arm went numb on his left side. Darrell “Doc” Rodgers, the 700WLW radio personality, feared he was having a stroke. In the emergency...
    • Jim’s Story: Pituitary Tumor

      Jim's Story: Pituitary Tumor One turn of events led to another, and so it was that Jim, and not his wife, took Jim’s 87-year-old father to his appointment with the dermatologist for the first time. And so it was that the dermatologist was not...
    • Kevin’s Story: Acoustic Neuroma

      Kevin's Story: Acoustic Neuroma Kevin was in his mid-40s when he began to notice that he wasn’t hearing quite as well as in the past. But the change was gradual, so he didn’t worry about it. A few years went by, and the hearing...
    • Bob’s Story: Glioblastoma

      Bob's Story: Glioblastoma Bob’s story blends coincidence with collaboration and hope. The coincidence involves the 62-year-old West Chester man’s best buddy, “Jake,” a 165-pound...
    • Dr. Mike’s Story: Glioblastoma

      Dr. Mike's Story: Glioblastoma Nearly two years after receiving a diagnosis of brain cancer, Dr. Michael Wood continues to attack his disease with wellness. In addition to surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and strong family support, the Cincinnati otolaryngologist has worked hard to provide his own...
    • Joe’s Story: Oligodendroglioma

      Joe's Story: Oligodendroglioma Joe calls it a miracle and a gift from “a higher power.” Others might call it a fortuitous turn of fate. Either way, Joe’s experience embodies a reversal of fortune that is both wonderful and startling. Once a man with...
    • Jerry’s Story: Spinal Tumor

      Jerry's Story: Spinal Tumor On an ordinary day in February 2009, John M. Tew, MD, got one of the true surprises of his career. He was seeing patients in his Mayfield Clinic office on the University of Cincinnati medical campus when an unexpected guest...
    • Sandra’s Story Glioma

      Sandra's Story Glioma Sandra (Sandy) is a smiling, breathing reminder that hope exists for patients with even the most challenging type of brain tumors. Nine years ago, when Sandy was first told that she had six months to live, she stared back blankly...
    • Blake’s Story: Medulloblastoma

      Blake's Story: Medulloblastoma Blake knew he was in the right hands the moment he saw the surgeon’s wrists. Dr. John M. Tew, Blake’s neurosurgeon, was wearing one of Lance Armstrong’s yellow LiveStrong cancer bracelets. So was Blake. Dr. Tew, who was also sporting...
    • Lynne’s Story: Brain Metastasis

      Lynne's Story: Brain Metastasis Semiretired and working part-time at a restaurant, Lynne knew something was amiss when she looked at the cash register and then struggled to make her hands produce the correct amount of change. Could she have suffered a stroke? Lynne pushed the...
    • John’s Story: Glioblastoma

      John's Story: Glioblastoma John, a retired painter and carpenter, is a tall, solidly built man with a strong inclination toward getting things done. A former Vista volunteer who was equally comfortable running a food co-op in an underserved neighborhood or standing near the...