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Suboccipital Craniotomy

Last Updated: February 27, 2020

Midline Suboccipital Approach

General Considerations

Historically, one of the most important contributions of Harvey Cushing was defining surgery of posterior fossa tumors. Resection techniques for tumors in this region were further advanced by mandatory preoperative evaluation for selection of appropriate patients, meticulous surgical techniques, and incorporation of methods such as ventricular puncture and electrocautery. Introduction of microsurgical techniques in the 1950s ultimately revolutionized the results of posterior fossa surgery.

Nowadays, the most common workhorse approaches to the posterior fossa include the midline suboccipital and the lateral suboccipital (retromastoid) approaches. The supracerebellar craniotomy is a modification of these approaches. The retromastoid craniotomy and supracerebellar craniotomy are discussed in their own corresponding chapters.

Indications for the Approach