Orbital tumors treated using transcranial approaches: surgical technique and neuroophthalmogical results in 41 patients.

Nevo Margalit*, Haim Ezer, Dan M. Fliss, Elvira Naftaliev, Erez Nosek, Anat Kesler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECT: Orbital tumors can be divided schematically into primary lesions, originating from the orbit itself, and secondary lesions, extending to the orbit from neighboring structures. These tumors are variable in their biological nature and in their location. The authors evaluate 41 cases of benign and malignant tumors involving the orbit and discuss the surgical challenge, which involves tumor removal, preserving visual function and cosmetic reconstruction. METHODS: The authors performed a retrospective analysis of a series of all cases involving patients who underwent surgery for treatment of orbital tumors in their hospital between December 2003 and December 2006. Data were collected from the patients' files in the hospital's outpatient clinic, operative notes, and pre- and postoperative imaging studies. RESULTS: The authors identified 41 patients who met the inclusion criteria (age range 14-82 years, mean 42.2 years, standard deviation 22.4 years). The most common presenting symptoms were proptosis and/or partial ptosis (11 cases [27%]) and headache (7 cases [17%]). In 5 (12%) cases, the tumors were primary intraorbital lesions, and in 34 cases (83%) they were secondary. Two patients had metastases to the orbit. The most common lesion types were meningioma (10 cases [24%]) and osteoma (7 cases [17%]). In 24 cases a midline approach through a frontal craniotomy or a subcranial approach was used; in 13 a lateral approach was used; and in 4 a biopsy procedure was performed. Maxillectomy through a Weber-Ferguson approach or a facial degloving approach was added in 5 cases to complete tumor removal. Duration of follow-up was 1-38 months (mean 20 months). None of the patients died as a result of the procedure, and there were relatively few complications. Excluding the patients who underwent orbital exenteration, none of the patients had visual deterioration following surgery, and most had no change in their visual condition. Two patients had temporary diplopia, 1 had a cerebrospinal fluid leak, and 1 had enophthalmos following removal of an orbital osteosarcoma. CONCLUSIONS: Orbital tumors can be treated safely using transcranial approaches in many cases. Preoperative imaging can accurately define the compartments involved and the surgical approach needed for tumor removal. A multidisciplinary team of surgeons facilitates optimal tumor removal and skull base sealing as well as good cosmetic results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E11
JournalNeurosurgical Focus
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2007


Dive into the research topics of 'Orbital tumors treated using transcranial approaches: surgical technique and neuroophthalmogical results in 41 patients.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this