For more than 25 years, UPMC surgeons have been pioneering treatments and technology to access and remove tumors at the base of the skull, including the Endoscopic Endonasal Approach (EEA).
Because the base of the skull has proven to be one of the most challenging regions of the body to access, treatment options were once limited for patients with tumors or lesions in this area. However, with recent advancements and breakthroughs in treatment and surgery, patients with skull base tumors now have an array of surgical options that can help them return to leading a normal and active life.
The Endoscopic Endonasal Approach is an innovative surgical technique used to remove brain tumors and lesions—some as large as softballs—all through the nose. Our multidisciplinary team of neurosurgeons, otolaryngologists, ophthalmic surgeons, and spine surgeons have developed and refined this technique, and are among the most experienced in the world.
At UPMC, these surgeries are performed in dedicated, state-of-the-art suites that incorporate sophisticated imaging technology.
This minimally invasive approach uses the nose and sinuses as natural corridors to access tumors and lesions in critical areas at the base of the skull or top of the spine. The Endoscopic Endonasal Approach allows surgeons to treat many hard-to-reach tumors, even those once considered "inoperable," without disturbing the face or skull.
EEA offers patients a number of benefits that may improve their quality of life, including: no facial incisions or disfigurement, less trauma to the brain and critical nerves, fewer side effects, and shorter recovery times.
UPMC surgeons have treated more than 3,500 patients using the Endoscopic Endonasal Approach, and were the first in the world to perform a number of procedures using this technique. Their vast experience with EEA allows UPMC's surgical team to constantly refine their skills and to expand the possible uses for this innovative approach.
In addition to its successful use in adults, EEA has proven safe and effective in children. More than 100 children have been treated by UPMC surgeons using the Endoscopic Endonasal Approach—more than at any other neurosurgery center in the world.
As part of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, the Department of Neurosurgery is committed to academic and research excellence, in addition to clinical excellence.