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Open-door extended endoscopic transorbital technique to the paramedian anterior and middle cranial fossae: technical notes, anatomomorphometric quantitative analysis, and illustrative case.

OBJECTIVE: The superior eyelid endoscopic transorbital approach (SETOA) provides a direct and short minimally invasive route to the anterior and middle skull base. Nevertheless, it uses a narrow corridor that limits its angles of attack. The aim of this study was to evaluate the feasibility and potential benefits of an "extended" conservative variant of the "standard" endoscopic transorbital approach-termed "open-door"-to enhance the exposure of lesions affecting the paramedian aspect of the anterior and middle cranial fossae.

METHODS: First, the authors described the technical nuances of the open-door extended transorbital approach (ODETA). Next, they documented its morphometric advantages over standard SETOA. Finally, they provided a clinical-anatomical application to demonstrate enhanced exposure and better angles of attack to treat lesions occupying the paramedian anterior and middle cranial fossae. Five adult cadaveric specimens (10 sides) initially underwent standard SETOA and then extended open-door SETOA (ODETA to the paramedian anterior and middle fossae). The adjunct of hinge-orbitotomy, through three surgical steps and straddling the frontozygomatic suture, converted conventional SETOA to its extended open-door variant. CT scans were performed before dissection and uploaded to the neuronavigation system for quantitative analysis. The angles of attack on the axial plane that addressed four key landmarks, namely the tip of the anterior clinoid process (ACP), foramen rotundum (FR), foramen ovale (FO), and trigeminal impression (TI), were calculated for both operative techniques and compared.

RESULTS: Hinge-orbitotomy of the extended open-door SETOA resulted in several surgical, functional, and esthetic advantages: it provided wider axial angles of attack for each of the target points, with a gain angle of 26.68° ± 1.31° for addressing the ACP (p < 0.001), 29.50° ± 2.46° for addressing the FR (p < 0.001), 19.86° ± 1.98° for addressing the FO (p < 0.001), and 17.44° ± 2.21° for addressing the lateral aspect of the TI (p < 0.001), while hiding the skin scar, avoiding temporalis muscle dissection, preserving flap vascularization, and decreasing the rate of bone infection and degree of orbital content retraction.

CONCLUSIONS: The extended open-door technique may be specifically suited for selected patients affected by paramedian anterior and middle fossae lesions, with prevalent anteromedial extension toward the anterior clinoid, the foremost compartment of the cavernous sinus and FR and not completely controlled with the pure endoscopic transorbital approach.

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