Doctors at Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital will soon have endoscopic access to the no man’s land in the human body – the base of the skull.

The hospital is setting up a unit for endoscopic skull base surgery under its ear, nose and throat (ENT) department.

“Ten per cent of brain tumours occur in the skull base. This area is generally considered no man’s land as access to it is difficult. Up until now, in case of a tumour here, we open the skull to remove it. This causes a lot of trauma to the brain as well as to the patient, and increases rates of morbidity and mortality,” said a doctor of the ENT department.

Once the unit has been set up, doctors will be able to remove tumours — both benign and malignant — by introducing an endoscope through the nasal cavity, he said. “The endoscope will provide magnified vision. Most tumours that occur here are pituitary tumours. Other tumours include craniopharyngiomas. Diseases like cerebrospinal fluid rhinorrhea, in which the brain fluid drains into the nose, can be also be treated through endoscopic procedures,” he said.

“This will be a path-breaking unit in the government sector and help train medical professionals in this technique. Endoscopic procedures will be of immense benefit to patients as it will minimise hospitalisation and patients will be able to walk out of the hospital in a day or two with no scars,” he added.

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