Purpose of review
The aim of this study is to discuss surgical management of meningiomas and schwannomas of skull base.
Meningiomas and schwannomas are typically benign neoplasm with a good prognosis after surgery. Patients should be treated individually related to several features: size and localization of tumor and its proximity with deep critical neurovascular structures, neurological status, age and comorbidity. Also, the widespread use of neuroimaging and the progressive and constant aging of the populations inevitably result in the increase of detection rate of incidental (asymptomatic) neoplasm.
Nowadays, there are still controversies about the correct management strategy.
Surgery represents the gold standard treatment, with the objective of gross total resection; however, it is not always feasible due to localization, encasement of neuro-vascular structure, invasion of cranial nerve and brain parenchyma. Stereotactic radiosurgery and radiation therapy are important to achieve a satisfactory functional outcome and tumor control in case of residue or recurrence. A multidisciplinary approach is pivotal.