One in the eye for brain disease

Surgeons in California announced this week that they have developed a safe and effective way to remove brain tumors and repair skull fractures and other brain injuries through a small incision in the eye. This technique, known as TONES (transorbital neuroendoscopic surgery) has multiple advantages for the patient, including:

  • reduced pain
  • decreased recovery time after surgery
  • better preservation of the nerves responsible for smell and vision
  • no shaving of the head
  • no ear-to-ear scar

This groundbreaking, minimally invasive surgery is performed through a small incision behind or through the eyelid. A tiny hole is then made through the paper-thin bone of the eye socket to reach the brain. This pathway permits repairs to be made without removing the top of the skull in order to access the brain. With TONES, the area of bone removed is only two to three centimeters.

Surgeons from UC San Diego Medical Center and the University of Washington Medical Center, have used the TONES procedure to repair cerebral spinal fluid leaks, optic nerve decompression, repair of cranial base fractures and removal of tumors. Given further research, the surgeons believe that TONES may serve as a means to treat pituitary tumors, meningiomas, and vascular malformations.

They also believe that TONES offers advantages over transnasal surgery. Although surgery through the nose offers similar access to some areas of the brain TONES offers increased maneuverability and visibility for the surgical team.

SRxA’s Word on Health is excited to share this cutting-edge technology with our readers and as always, looks forward to receiving your feedback.

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