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's host is Anthony Effinger, an award-winning journalist who is fascinated with neuroscience and the workings of the brain. Anthony spent 24 years at Bloomberg News, where he covered all aspects of finance, with forays into science and health. In 2006, the Association of Health Care Journalists awarded him first prize for Playing the Odds, an in-depth piece on the changing strategies used to treat prostate cancer. These days, he is a staff writer at Willamette Week, a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper in Portland, Oregon, where he lives with his wife and two children.
Last updated: May 19th, 2023