Skull Base 2010; 20(1): 011-018
DOI: 10.1055/s-0029-1242979

© Thieme Medical Publishers

Quality of Life in Patients with Skull Base Tumors: Current Status and Future Challenges

Ziv Gil1 , 2 , Dan M. Fliss2
  • 1The Skull Base Surgery Service, Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
  • 2Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
22 January 2010 (online)


In selection of the right treatment for a specific patient, the surgeon should consider not only the best approach to remove a tumor but also the impact of treatment on the quality of life (QOL) of the patient. Procedures involving extirpation of skull base tumors may be associated with high morbidity. It is therefore important to study patients with skull base neoplasms, because survival differences between various treatment modalities may be small, yet larger differences are expected regarding morbidity. The overall QOL in the majority of patients after skull base tumor resection can be classified as “good,” with significant improvement taking place within 12 months following surgery. Patients with carcinomas, acoustic schwannoma, or Cushing's disease suffer from more significant deterioration in their QOL after any intervention. Data retrieved from disease-specific questionnaires revealed that the financial and emotional domains have the worse impact on patients QOL. Old age, malignancy, comorbidity, radiotherapy, and extensive surgery were found to be also negative prognostic factors for QOL. Pain control regimens, antidepressants, and other psychological modalities, including group support, can improve QOL measures in these patients. It is critical that surgeons understand that they cannot assess their patients' perspectives on QOL correctly without asking them. For adequate assessment, validated disease-specific instruments addressing multiple domains of QOL should be utilized.


Ziv Gil, M.D. , Ph.D. 

Skull Base Surgery Service, Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center

6 Weizman Street, Tel Aviv 64239, Israel