BACKGROUND: A standard pterional approach with a free bone flap to treat brain aneurysms was first introduced and popularized by Yaşargil.
OBJECTIVE: To describe a modified pterional craniotomy technique and that mobilizes part of the sphenoid wing and the pterion in a block with the temporalis muscle to enhance cosmetic results.
METHODS: A subperiosteal corridor is provided inferiorly by separating the temporalis muscle from the underlying bone in a retrograde dissection. Inferior chisel cuts from the front and back enter the sphenoid wing, enabling removal of part of the sphenoid wing and the pterion in 1 piece, along with the bone flap. Forty patients with aneurysms were treated in this fashion, and the cosmetic outcome was examined at 6 months postoperatively.
RESULTS: Thirty-seven patients (92.5%) demonstrated an unremarkable degree of temporalis muscle atrophy. Excellent configuration and fusion of the pterional bone flap were observed on 3-dimensional computed tomography scans.
CONCLUSION: With the use of this muscle-preserving and bone-sparing pterional approach and with little additional labor, temporalis muscle function is preserved and improved cosmesis is obtained.