Minim Invasive Neurosurg 1999; 42(3): 133-136
DOI: 10.1055/s-2008-1053385
© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

The Trans-Supraorbital Approach

R. Ramos-Zúñiga
  • Experimental Microsurgical Laboratory. Department of Neurosciences, CUCS. Universidad de Guadalajara, Department of Neurosurgery, Hospital V. Gómez Farías ISSSTE. Guadalajara, Jalisco México.
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Publication History

Publication Date:
18 March 2008 (online)


The trans-supraorbital approach represents the advantage of combining the keyhole principle and skull base surgery. In cadaveric work the author shows the anatomic fields visualized with this procedure, advantages and potential surgical applications. The experimental surgical procedure was performed on 8 adult skulls and on 3 cadavers with intact cerebral structures. First, a 2 cm supraorbital approach for endoscopic exploration was used. The basic anatomic landmarks and corresponding dimensions of the microsurgical field were recorded and then compared with those from the trans-supraorbital approach, after removing the orbital arch and other parts of the orbital ceiling. This technique offers a 0.5 cm average increase in surgical field from the craniotomy. The surgical distance that results is shorter (about 2 cm), as well as the length of the surgical instruments required. A better microscope illumination in the deep fields, and the possibility of access to the intraorbital region, the superior orbital fissure, the optic foramen, and the cavernous sinus through the clinoid space are also obtained, with minimal cerebral retraction and similar advantages as through the pterional trans-sylvian approach. The author concludes that by extending the craniotomy and decreasing the surgical distance, the microsurgical field is more convenient for microscope-assisted surgery without totally relying on the endoscope, and with minimal brain retraction. It also provides multiple options to approach vascular and tumor lesions found in these microsurgical corridors, combining principles of minimal invasion and skullbase surgery.