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Neurology and Neurosurgery

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Translabyrinthine Craniotomy

What is a translabyrinthine craniotomy?

A translabyrinthine craniotomy is a procedure that involves making an incision in the scalp behind the ear, then removing the mastoid bone and some of the inner ear bone (specifically, the semicircular canals which contain receptors for balance). The surgeon then finds and removes the tumor, or as much of the tumor as possible without risk of severe damage to the brain.

Types of brain tumors treated with translabyrinthine craniotomy:

Translabyrinthine craniotomy for acoustic neuromas:

There are three surgical approaches commonly performed to treat acoustic neuromas: suboccipital, translabyrinthine approach and middle fossa approaches.

When there is no useful hearing or hearing is to be sacrificed, the translabyrinthine approach is often considered. During the translabyrinthine craniotomy, the semicircular canals of the ear are removed in order to access the tumor. Complete hearing loss occurs as a result of the removal of the semicircular canals.

Although hearing is lost with the translabyrinthine craniotomy, the risk of facial nerve injury may be reduced.

Learn more about surgical treatment for brain tumors.

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