Teaming Up for Skull Base Surgeries
An interdisciplinary OHSU team is laying down a track record of success with the most challenging anterior skull base lesions, which affect the region at the base of the brain just behind and above the nose and eye sockets. Neurosurgeon Olabisi Sanusi, M.D., an assistant professor of neurological surgery, works with otolaryngologist Mathew Geltzeiler, M.D., to treat patients from across the Pacific Northwest with benign or malignant tumors in the brain pituitary gland or sinuses.
With MRI and CT angiography images, Sanusi can see the bone, soft tissue, and blood vessels in the head and neck to identify a tumor’s precise location and size. That information helps her plan each surgery. Then Geltzeiler — an expert in tumors of the nose, sinuses and skull base — works with her to get her where they need to go.
Along with Stanford University, the University of Pittsburgh, and New York University, OHSU is one of a handful of academic medical centers in the U.S. that bring together experts in neurosurgery and otolaryngology to conduct anterior skull base surgeries of this complexity and scope. OHSU is also a Pituitary Center of Excellence, a designation the Pituitary Network Association gives to medical centers with comprehensive, state-of-the-art clinical care, education, and research for pituitary disorders. Together, Sanusi and Geltzeiler are a North American Skull Base Society (NASBS) Multidisciplinary Team of Distinction.
“The ability to make a big impact for people is very rewarding,” she says.
Sanusi and Geltzeiler are getting noticed, delivering lectures on their teamwork and providing surgical trainings across the country. Sanusi credits the entire team, including ICU nurses, anesthesiologists, endocrinologists, and other staff who work with patients before and after surgery.
“The secret sauce is that we all work well together,” she says. “We’re all here to help our patients and do right by them.”
“We want patients 10 years from now to also get outstanding care,” said Aclan Dogan, M.D., chief of the division of skull base and vascular neurosurgery. “The next generation needs to see the best surgery being done and that is right here at OHSU with teams like Drs. Sanusi and Geltzeiler.”