Synopses & Reviews
The region of the skull base was long considered a surgical barrier because of its complex anatomy. With few exceptions, the region immediately beyond the dura or bony skull base constituted a "no man's land" for the surgeon working from the other direction. A major reason for this was the high morbidity associated with operative procedures in that area using traditional dissection techniques. This situation changed with the advent of the operating microscope. Used initially by ear, nose and throat specialists for resective and reconstructive surgery of the petrous bone and parana sal sinuses, the operating microscope was later introduced in other areas, and neurosurgeons began using it in the mid-1960s. With technical equality thus established, the groundwork was laid for taking a new, systematic, and interdisciplinary approach to surgical problems of the skull base. Intensive and systematic cooperation between ear, nose and throat surgeons and neurologic surgeons had its origins in the departments of the University of Mainz bindly supported by our chairmen Prof. Dr. Dr. hc Kurt Schiirmann (Department of Neurosurgery) and Prof. Dr. W. Kley (Depart- ment of Ear, Nose and Throat Diseases, Head and Neck Surgery). The experience gained from this cooperation was taught in workshops held in Hannover from 1979 to 1986, acquiring a broader interdisciplinary base through the participation of specialists from the fields of anatomy, patholo- gy, neuroradiology, ophthalmology, and maxillofacial surgery.