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JOURNAL OF NEUROSURGICAL SCIENCES
A Journal on Neurosurgery
Indexed/Abstracted in: e-psyche, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Neuroscience Citation Index, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 1,651
Journal of Neurosurgical Sciences 1998 December;42(4):185-8
Removal of tumours of the orbital apex via a postero-lateral orbitotomy
Carta F., Siccardi D., Cossu M., Viola C., Maiello M.
Department of Neurosurgery, University of Genoa Medical School, Genoa, Italy
Background. The surgical management of pure apical tumours of the orbit may be problematic with traditional approaches. A postero-lateral approach, specifically designed for apical growths, provides a more favourable angle of vision through a relatively small bone opening.
Methods. A series of 103 consecutive cases of intraorbital tumours, operated on in a community-based institution, was retrospectively reviewed. Out of this series, 8 patients, harbouring lesions located in the posterior intraconal space, underwent a postero-lateral orbitotomy. This approach, through a small opening on the orbital and temporal portions of the greater wing of the sphenoid, with the lesser sphenoidal wing, the orbital plate of the frontal bone, the lateral rim of the orbit being maintained intact, allowed adequate exposure of the orbital apex and successful extirpation of the tumours. In four patients the histological examination disclosed a cavernoma; the other patients had, respectively, a dermoid cyst, a lymphoma, a hemangiopericytoma and a metastatic melanoma.
Results. No recurrences were observed in a follow-up period ranging from 1 to 7 years postoperatively (the patient with melanoma died 16 months after operation for systemic complications of her illness). One patient showed transient weakness of lateral rectus muscle due to surgical manipulation, which subsided in few months.
Conclusions. The postero-lateral orbitotomy represents a reliable alternative to other traditional surgical approaches when dealing with tumours of the orbital apex, providing excellent exposure of this region with a low rate of operative morbidity.