Retrosigmoid Approach to Acoustic Tumor Removal

Transcript of video:

The retrosigmoid approach is a workhorse approach for reaching tumors of the base of the skull and an area called the cerebellopontine angle. We often use it in acoustic tumors where we have an opportunity to try to save the hearing.

In this operation, we actually make a cut way behind the ear so we don’t have to actually go through the inner ear, but we stay behind the main vein of the head on that side. That’s called the sigmoid sinus, and that’s why we call it the retrosigmoid approach. By staying behind that vein, we protect the inner ear, but have access to the area of the brain called the cerebellopontine angle. With the retrosigmoid approach for acoustic tumors, we have about a 50% chance of saving the hearing at the preoperative level. If the preoperative testing tells us that the hearing nerve is still robust.

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