Minimally-invasive Craniotomy

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We treat pituitary tumors using the latest innovations in minimally invasive procedures. To connect with an expert in the pituitary tumor program, call 310-825-5111.

Minimally Invasive "Key-Hole" Surgery for Pituitary Tumors

In rare cases, pituitary tumors cannot be removed using the endoscopic expanded endonasal approach. This situation typically occurs when the tumor has spread laterally (to the side), and therefore not reachable using the nasal corridor. 

Surgery image

In these cases, a craniotomy may be necessary.

  • A craniotomy refers to opening a window on the side of the skull, and then approaching the pituitary tumor by working underneath the brain.
  • The neurosurgeon can either use an endoscope, or a surgical microscope, to provide light and magnification.
  • Sometimes craniotomies require long incisions on the scalp, which can usually be hidden behind the hairline.

UCLA neurosurgeons are experienced with so-called "key-hole" microcraniotomies, in which a minimally invasive, smaller incision is hidden within an eyebrow.

Surgical microscope being used for a minimally-invasive, key-hole craniotomy approach.