Meet Minimally Invasive Brain Surgery’s Pathfinder | Dr. Chester Griffiths
by Anthony Effinger
The Think Neuro podcast from Pacific Neuroscience Institute takes you into the clinic, operating room and laboratory with doctors and surgeons who are tackling the most challenging brain diseases and disorders. Host: Anthony Effinger
Episode 6: Show Notes
When patients ask him what he does in brain and pituitary surgeries, Dr. Chester Griffiths tells them that he “opens the curtains for the main event.” Dr. Griffiths is a head and neck surgeon, and it’s his job to get brain surgeons where they need to go.
For the minimally invasive brain and pituitary surgery done at PNI, that means creating the pathway through the nose and sinuses and into the base of the brain, so his colleagues can remove tumors without making large holes in the skull.
Thanks to Dr. Griffiths’ surgical expertise, many patients are out of the hospital in just two to three days, instead of six or seven, and they feel better, sooner, thereafter. Better yet, creating that corridor is a twofer. It can correct many preexisting breathing problems, including chronic sinus infections. It’s intense work.
Dr. Griffiths uses micro-instruments to delve deep inside the head. He peers through tiny cameras to avoid crucial nerves and listens with highly sensitive ultrasound microphones for the sound of life-giving arteries that must not be touched. Once the tumor comes into view, he assists his neurosurgical colleagues in removing the disease. Then, Dr. Griffiths guides them out again. He is a pathfinder in a tiny, hidden, and critical land, and he loves leading his colleagues to where their work is required.
About Dr. Chester Griffiths
Dr. Griffiths, MD, FACS, is board certified in Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery and Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. He has an extensive 25 year experience in endoscopic endonasal sinus surgery for skull base tumors and pituitary tumors, sinonasal cancers including mucosal melanomas, and in the treatment of facial and nasal trauma, cosmetic deformities, sinus infections, and disorders of smell and taste. His practice also includes treatment of sleep apnea, snoring, difficulty breathing, disorders of the larynx, thyroid tumors and other head and neck cancers with an emphasis on viral HPV related cancers.
About the Author
Think Neuro host Anthony Effinger is an award-winning health journalist who is fascinated with neuroscience and the workings of the brain. He won 1st Place in the 2006 Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism, from the Association of Health Care Journalists, for Playing the Odds, a piece on the various strategies used to treat prostate cancer.
Last updated: February 23rd, 2021