Quantifying surgical access in eyebrow craniotomy with and without orbital bar removal: Cadaver and surgical phantom studies

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Background: Eyebrow craniotomy is a recently described minimally invasive approach for tackling primarily pathology of the anterior skull base. The removal of the orbital bar may further expand the surgical corridor of this exposure, but the extent of benefit is poorly quantified. We assessed the effect of orbital bar removal with regards to surgical access in the eyebrow craniotomy using classic morphometric measurements in cadaver heads. Using surgical phantoms and neuronavigation, we also measured the 'working volume', a new parameter for characterising the volume of surgical access in these approaches. Methods: Silicon injected cadaver heads (n=5) were used for morphometric analysis of the eyebrow craniotomy with and without orbital bar removal. Working depths and 'working areas' of surgical access were measured as defined by key anatomical landmarks. The eyebrow craniotomy with or without orbital bar removal was also simulated using surgical phantoms (n=3, 90-120 points per trial), calibrated against a frameless neuronavigation system. Working volume was derived from reference coordinates recorded along the anatomical borders of the eyebrow craniotomy using the "α-shape algorithm" in R statistics. Results: In cadaver heads, eyebrow craniotomy with removal of the orbital bar reduced the working depth to the ipsilateral anterior clinoid process (42±2 versus 33±3 mm; p<0.05), but the working areas as defined by deep neurovascular and bony landmarks was statistically unchanged (total working areas of 418±80 cm2 versus 334±48 cm2; p=0.4). In surgical phantom studies, however, working-volume for the simulated eyebrow craniotomies was increased with orbital bar removal (16±1 cm3 versus 21±1 cm 3; p<0.01). Conclusions: In laboratory studies, orbital bar removal in eyebrow craniotomy provides a modest reduction in working depth and increase in the working volume. But this must be weighed up against the added morbidity of the procedure. Working volume, a newly developed parameter may provide a more meaningful endpoint for characterising the surgical access for different surgical approaches and it could be applied to other operative cases undertaken with frameless neuronavigation. © 2013 Springer-Verlag.

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Acta Neurochirurgica









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