Background: One challenge performing endoscopic endonasal approaches is the surgical conflict that occurs between the surgical instruments and endoscope in the crowded nasal corridor. This conflict decreases surgical freedom, increases surgeon frustration, and lengthens the learning curve for trainees.
Objective: To evaluate the impact a malleable endoscope has on surgical freedom for endoscopic approaches to the parasellar region.
Methods: Uninostril and binostril endoscopic transsphenoidal approaches to the pituitary gland and cavernous carotid arteries were performed on eight silicon-injected, formalin-fixed cadaveric heads using both rigid and flexible 3-D endoscopes. Surgical freedom to targets in the parasellar region was assessed using an established technique based on image guidance. Results are presented as three measurements: area of surgical freedom for a point target, area for the surgical field (cavernous carotids and sella), and angular surgical freedom (angle of attack).
Results: Point target surgical freedom, exposed area surgical freedom, and angle of attack were all significantly greater in approaches using the malleable endoscope compared to the rigid endoscope (p values 0.06 to <0.001) between 17% and 28%. The improved surgical freedom noted with the malleable endoscope was due to the minimization of instrument-endoscope conflict at the back-end (camera) and front-end (tip) of the endoscope.
Conclusion: This study demonstrates that application of a malleable endoscope to transsphenoidal approaches to the parasellar region decreases instrument-endoscope conflict and improves surgical freedom.
From: Malleable Endoscope Increases Surgical Freedom When Compared to a Rigid Endoscope in Endoscopic Endonasal Approaches to the Parasellar Region by Elhadi et al.