The transoral surgical approach is useful for operating on structures at the base of the brain and the upper cervical spinal cord. For example, this route has been used for resecting spinal tumors and clipping vertebrobasilar aneurysms. In the past, this surgical approach was not advocated due to concerns about exposure and infection. However, the availability of the microscope, computed tomography, computed myelotomography, magnetic resonance imaging and intraoperative radiography as well as more effective techniques have improved the diagnosis of pathology of the craniovertebral junction and surgical performance, An understanding of the operative procedures involved with this approach assists the neuroscience nurse in preoperative teaching and anticipating potential postoperative complications.
Questions or comments about this article may be directed to Sandra Morgan, RN, MS, CNRN, at: Southwest Florida Regional Medical Center, 2727 Winkler Avenue. Fort Myers, Florida 33901. She is a neuroscience clinical nurse specialist. Gertrude Murphy, RN is a neuroscience resource nurse at Cape Coral Hospital, 636 Del Prado Blvd., Cape Coral. Florida 33990.
© 1992 American Association of Neuroscience Nurses