Skull Base and Cranial Base Surgery

With the Skull Base Surgery Center at Mount Sinai, our doctors are specially trained and experienced to perform delicate and complicated procedures in the most hidden parts of the brain. Our goals are to improve survival, preserve functioning, and help you enjoy your best possible life.

The skull base is a small but highly complex and delicate area located behind the nose and between the eyes, toward the back of the head. It is considered the “floor” of the skull and is connected to the spinal cord and receives information from all five senses. Infections and tumors in this area can affect how well these nerves function.

Tumors in the skull base can be malignant (cancerous) or benign (non-cancerous) and we classify them further based on their exactly location and type of cell. All of this information affects the prognosis and treatment.  Examples of benign conditions are meningioma, craniopharyngiomas, pituitary adenomas, encephaloceles, osteomas. Malignant tumors include squamous cell carcinoma, esthesioneuroblastoma, adenocarcinoma, and melanoma.

Early diagnosis and multimodality treatment is the key to curing many of these tumors. The location of these tumors, however, means that they often appear as symptoms of the common cold and other ear, nose, and throat concerns. These symptoms include: nasal obstruction, ear fullness, nose bleeds, changes in vision or hearing, headaches, or facial pain. Most people with these symptoms have easily treatable conditions, such as chronic sinusitis. It is important to check out the symptoms, though, to make sure they do not indicate a more serious concern.

To diagnose these tumors, we use special telescopes to see into the nose with high-definition cameras. In addition, we also identify these tumors with imaging tests, such as computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, positron emission tomography, and biopsies.

Conditions We Treat

At Mount Sinai, we treat the full range of conditions affecting the skull and cranial base, including the most complex cases. We use the latest procedures, including minimally invasive and endoscopic transnasal approaches. We develop personalized treatment plans for each patient and have vast expertise in treating these conditions and disorders:

We have a rich history as a leader in the treatment of these tumors. We craft a personalized treatment plan for each patient and use the latest techniques, including transoral robotic surgery, transnasal endoscopic brain and pituitary surgery, three-dimensional navigation planning, intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring, and surgical simulation.

Meet the Team

Joshua B. Bederson, MD
Professor and System Chair, Department of Neurosurgery

Kalmon D. Post, MD
Professor, Department of Neurosurgery

Raj K. Shrivastava, MD
Professor, Department of Neurosurgery

Constantinos G. Hadjipanayis, MD, PhD
Professor and Site Chair, Department of Neurosurgery, Mount Sinai-Union Square

J Mocco, MD, MS
Professor and System Vice Chair, Department of Neurosurgery