Selecting an appropriate surgical approach for resection of huge skull base tumors involving pterygopalatine and infratemporal fossa is challenging because of their rarity and high possibility of vital anatomical structure injuries. To suggest the guidance of selecting the appropriate approach by analyzing outcomes and satisfactions of known surgical approaches with our previous experience, the authors retrospectively analyzed skull base tumor cases experienced for 24 years, and condensed to 4 well-known surgical approaches: maxillary swing, infratemporal fossa type C, transzygomatic, and a combined transzygomatic-midfacial degloving approach: to review indications, advantages, and limitations of these approaches. Maxillary swing approach was useful in largesized tumors as it provided wide surgical field; however, inevitable facial scar was the main drawbacks, especially in adolescents. Infratemporal fossa approach type C was helpful in the involvement of vital vascular structures; however, long incision scar with temporal area depression and permanent conductive hearing loss were the factors of patients' dissatisfaction. Transzygomatic approach could be the good alternative to the infratemporal fossa approach type C; however, en bloc tumor resection was impossible due to its limited operative space. To overcome limitations of these approaches, transzygomatic approach was combined with midfacial degloving approach, and it enabled lateral and anterior access without prominent facial scar and/or deformity while providing wide surgical space. Based on our 24 years of surgical experience in managing huge skull base tumors, the authors recommend the combined transzygomatic-midfacial degloving approach, which enables complete resection with short postoperative healing periods and no disfiguring facial incisions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes