A combined frontotemporal and lateral infratemporal fossa approach to the skull base

B. Mickey, L. Close, S. Schaefer, D. Samson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


A variety of neoplasms involve both the infratemporal fossa and the base of the middle cranial fossa, in medial proximity to the cavernous sinus and orbital apex. To provide simultaneous access to both the intracranial and extracranial aspects of these tumors, a temporal or frontotemporal craniotomy may be combined with a lateral exposure of the infratemporal fossa. The approach, which is readily achieved by a neurosurgeon and an otolaryngologist acting as a team, involves a unilateral frontotemporal incision extended inferiorly onto the neck, a lateral facial flap reflected anteriorly, and transection of the zygoma followed by its reflection inferolaterally with the temporalis muscle. This exposure provides excellent visualization of both the intradural and extradural aspects of the anterior portion of the cavernous sinus, allowing for an aggressive resection of neoplasms involving this region. Experience with this procedure is reported here in the management of nine patients: three with nasopharyngeal angiofibromas, three with low-grade malignancies of the upper aerodigestive tract, and three with sphenoid ridge meningiomas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)678-683
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of neurosurgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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