The anterior skull base can be thought of as the roof of the nose. This area is composed of the junction of the brain, pituitary gland, olfactory nerves (sense of smell) and the nose. Tumors can grow in this area that can be either benign or malignant (cancer). Patients who have had traumatic head injuries or complications from sinus surgery may present with clear fluid drainage from the nose – usually one side; this may be a spinal fluid leak (CSF). CSF is the fluid that surrounds your brain to protect it from injury. If a CSF occurs, patients will often have headaches. it is important to repair this in order to resolve the headaches and more importantly to prevent meningitis.
In order to address problems in this area our team approach provides patients with many options. Members of the team include otolaryngology (Dr. Hoff and Dr. Akervall) as well as neurosurgery for benign tumors and spinal fluid leaks. For malignant tumors our multidisciplinary head and neck cancer team also includes radiation oncology, medical oncology, pathology, radiology, all coordinated through our nurse navigator.