Combined transnasal transcervical robotic dissection of posterior skull base: feasibility in a cadaveric model

Rhinology. 2012 Jun;50(2):165-70. doi: 10.4193/Rhino11.079.


The current surgical trend is to expand the variety of minimally invasive approaches and, in particular, the possible application of robotic surgery in head and neck surgery. For this purpose, we explored the feasibility of a combined transcervical-transnasal approach to the posterior skull base, using the da Vinci Surgical System in 3 cadaver heads. Superb visualization of the sellar, suprasellar and clival regions was possible in all three specimens. The trocars` placement through a transcervical port made a more cephalad visualization possible, eliminating the need to split the palate. The advantages of robotic surgery applied to the posterior cranial fossa are similar to the ones already clinically experienced in other districts (oropharynx, tongue base), in terms of tremor-free, bimanual, precise dissection. The implementation of instruments for bony work will definitely increase the applicability of such a system in the forthcoming years.

MeSH terms

  • Cadaver
  • Dissection / methods*
  • Endoscopy / methods*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Humans
  • Robotics / methods*
  • Skull Base / surgery*