A keyhole brain surgery primer.What is keyhole surgery?The traditional approach to brain tumor removal.Impacting vision through endoscopic skull base and keyhole surgery.Minimally invasive brain surgery via endoscopic surgery.Small, precise openings in the skull lead to less brain, scalp and muscle disturbance.Improved patient satisfaction and recovery time with minimally invasive brain surgery.Endoscopic surgery for brain tumor removal.Endonasal, supraorbital, retromastoid and gravity-assisted routes for endoscopic surgery.Accessing pituitary tumors and other skull base tumors with endoscopic surgery.Non-surgical therapies such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy may aid in pituitary tumor removal.Contact PNI at 310-582-7640 or online at

What is Keyhole Surgery?

In the past, traditional approaches to brain tumor removal always involved major surgery. In a recent paper published in Journal of Neuro-Ophthamology, Dr. Daniel Kelly and his colleagues detail how significant advances in surgical techniques over the past 20 years have changed the way brain surgery is performed.

Now, removing tumors through smaller, more precise openings to minimize brain, scalp and muscle manipulation is possible for many types of brain tumors.

Called minimally invasive endoscopy, this keyhole surgical technique is an important advance often resulting in more successful patient outcomes and faster recovery.

Neurosurgeons are able to make a small opening in the skull, see the brain using thin tubes fitted with a miniature camera (endoscope) and reach the tumor using finer instruments. Often this is done via the nose, called endonasal endoscopy, but in some cases other minimally invasive brain surgery approaches may be more appropriate, such as the eyebrow approach (supraorbital craniotomy), from behind the ear (retromastoid crainiotomy) or other keyhole craniotomy approaches such as gravity-assisted surgeries.

In particular, patients with pituitary tumors or tumors in the surrounding area which sometimes cause problems with vision and eye movement, benefit from these newer ways of tumor removal. Depending on the prognosis, surgery may be used along with nonsurgical therapies including various forms of chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and other personalized treatment options.

Minimally invasive approaches continue to evolve over time. To find out more in-depth information about keyhole surgery, visit our video library and view the videos in the Endonasal & Keyhole Surgery section . Other videos are also available on our youtube channel.

You may download the slideshow here.


Zara Jethani, Marketing Director for the Pacific Neuroscience Institute

Zara Jethani, MS, MBA is the marketing director for the Pacific Neuroscience Institute. Her background is in molecular genetics research and healthcare marketing.