Transnasal Endoscopic Skull Base and Brain Surgery - Tips and PearlsEditor: Aldo Cassol Stamm, MD
Publisher: Thieme – 428 pages, with 500+ illustrations
Book Review by: Nano Khilnani

The knowledge base of neurosurgery and otolaryngology (head and neck surgery) has expanded greatly in recent years, and consequently, diagnosis and treatment (including surgery) of diseases in the brain and skull base, have dramatically improved as well.

But the vastly increased (and constantly expanding) information in these areas pose new challenges to neurosurgeons and ear, nose, and throat (ENT) physicians and surgeons as well, as they try to absorb and understand all the newfound material that they are not yet familiar with.

This book plays an important part in enabling you – the practitioner, resident or fellow – to overcome these challenges. The editor of this book Dr. Stamm is described by a colleague as “one of the world’s truly great endoscopic surgeons.” The admirer is Dr. Albert L. Rhoton Jr., Chairman Emeritus of the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Florida, who wrote the Foreword for this text.

Dr. Rhoton states that this book highlights Dr. Stamm’s “passion for perfection” and “pioneering and novel insights.” These are demonstrated with the “tips and pearls” in the chapters of this well-illustrated book which describe the full spectrum of operative approaches and surgical procedures. He says that this book “stands as a tribute to the accuracy, precision and safety that surgeons like Professor Stamm can achieve in their endoscopic approaches to the skull base and brain.”

He adds: “His book’s focus on safe and accurate endoscopic surgical approaches is integrated with information on all of the modern technological advances, like three-dimensional reconstruction and navigation, which have improved the safety of endoscopic surgery.”

Dr. Stamm, who is currently a professor of head and neck surgery at the University of Sao Paolo, and a number contributors to this book, spent time at the microsurgery laboratory in the Department of Neurosurgery at University of Florida, where Dr. Rhoton was Chairman. Dr. Rhoton writes that some of those contributors are among the “world’s leading neurosurgical anatomists,” with their dissections done in that lab, shown in this valuable book.

One hundred physicians (including Drs. Aldo Cassol Stamm and Albert Rhoton) who are specialists in otolaryngology – head and neck surgery, and otorhinolaryngology, as well as these fields – anatomy, anesthesiology, biologic sciences, dentistry, endocrinology, neurology and neurosurgery, obstetrics and gynecology, oral and maxillofacial surgery, pediatrics, radiology, rhinology, skull osteology, sinus surgery, and skull base surgery – wrote the 48 chapters of this book.

The authors hail from 16 countries, namely: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Japan, Israel Italy, Mexico, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

This book presents tips and pearls on various surgical procedures and techniques. Tips and pearls are derived from years of experience that that develop insight in surgeons. Such insight – knowing what to avoid, and a better way to do a particular procedure, is rare and precious. It can save a life and prevent regrets later. Eleven of the of the 12 titles of the sections of this book begin with the phrase “tips and pearls.” Each section contains chapters that are too numerous to name here.

To give you a broad overview of what you will find covered in this unique book of surgical tips and pearls, these are the sections of the book:

  1. Tips and Pearls: Understanding the Paranasal Sinus and Skull Base
  2. Evolving Concepts in Endoscopic Skull Base and Brain Surgery
  3. Tips and Pearls: Paranasal Sinus Approaches
  4. Tips and Pearls: Orbital and Optic Nerve Surgery
  5. Tips and Pearls in the Transcribriform Approach
  6. Tips and Pearls in the Transplanum Approach
  7. Tips and Pearls in the Sellar and Parasellar Approach
  8. Tips and Pearls in Endoscopic Transclival Surgery
  9. Tips and Pearls in Endoscopic Transmaxillary / Transpterygoid / Infratemporal Approaches
  10. Tips and Pearls in Endoscopy Surgery for Malignancies
  11. Tips and Pearls in Endoscopic Craniocervical Junction Surgery
  12. Tips and Pearls in Complications of Endoscopic Skull Base and Brain Surgery

This book takes a multidisciplinary approach to the lesions of the skull base. Dr. Stamm writes: “The chapters, written by the most experienced medical groups around the world, include both basic information and the latest developments in microsurgical and surgical anatomy, anesthesia, endocrinology, radiology, and all modalities and transnasal endoscopic-assisted surgical approaches to the anterior, middle, posterior, zygomatic, and infratemporal fossae.”



Aldo Cassol Stamm, MD, PhD is Affiliated Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at Federal University of Sao Paolo, and Director of the Department of Otolaryngology at Hospital Professor Edmundo Vasconcelos in Sao Paolo, Brazil.



Albert L. Rhoton, Jr., MD is affiliated with the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida.