Skull Base Lesions

Treating skull base lesions and tumors requires a multidisciplinary approach featuring a range of skills, including neurosurgery, reconstructive surgery and radiation oncology. These lesions and tumors often grow deep inside the skull, close to critical nerves and blood vessels in the brain and spinal cord. At the Orlando Health Neuroscience Institute, we have a team of specialists trained in next-level microscopic, endoscopic, laser and ultrasound surgical techniques, as well as the most advanced radiosurgery procedures. In conjunction with the Orlando Health Cancer Institute, we can also provide proton beam radiotherapy, where we are the only center in Central Florida with this form of treatment. Our compassionate team will work with you to develop a treatment plan for your unique needs to give you the best outcome possible.


Skull base lesions are tumors found near the bones underneath the brain and the ridge behind the eyes and nose. A vast majority tend to grow slowly, which means your symptoms will emerge slowly, if at all. Symptoms vary based on where the lesion is located. For example, if you have a lesion near your sinuses, it could impact your sense of smell and breathing. If it is near your pituitary gland, it may affect your vision and hormones. In general, symptoms include:


Diagnosing skull base lesions is a challenge. They often do not produce any noticeable symptoms and are commonly discovered during imaging tests for unrelated issues. But if you do have symptoms, diagnosis starts with a physical exam by your doctor, who will also ask about your and your family’s medical history. You will also receive a neurological examination to assess your vision, hearing, coordination, reflexes, thinking and memory. Next, your doctor may suggest a range of diagnostic tools, including:


Treatment decisions for skull base lesions and tumors are based on several factors, including your general health, whether the tumor is malignant and its location. For smaller benign lesions that are not causing significant symptoms, your team may suggest observation. If there is no growth or problems created by the lesion, you may not need additional treatment.


But if the lesion is progressively growing, shows signs of malignancy or is causing serious health problems, surgery or radiation therapy may be recommended. Our team of neurosurgeons and radiation oncologists are trained in the latest noninvasive procedures, including:

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