A surgical technique to expand the operative corridor for supracerebellar infratentorial approaches

Supracerebellar corridor

Acta Neurochir (2013) 155:1895–1900

The supracerebellar infratentorial approach is a commonly used route in neurosurgery. It provides a narrow and deep corridor to the dorsal midbrain and pineal region. The authors describe a surgical technique to expand the operative corridor and the surgeon’s working angles during this approach.

Methods Thirteen cases of patients who underwent resection of their lesions using this extended approach were reviewed. During their suboccipital craniotomy, additional bone over the transverse sinus (paramedian approach) and the confluence of the sinuses (midline approach) were removed. Two sutures (tentorial stay sutures) were anchored to the tentorium anterior to the transverse sinus and tension was applied. A video narrated by the senior author describes the details of technique.

Results This additional bone removal and tentorial stay sutures led to gentle elevation of the tentorium and partial mobilization of the dural venous sinuses superiorly. This technique enhanced operative viewing through improved illumination and expanded working angles for microsurgical instruments while minimizing the need for fixed retractors and extensive cerebellar retraction. All patients underwent satisfactory removal of their lesions. No patient suffered from any related complication.

Conclusion The use of stay sutures anchored on the tentorium is a simple and effective technique that expands the surgical corridor during supracerebellar infratentorial approaches.

Keywords Supracerebellar infratentorial approach . Stay sutures . Retraction . Operative corridor . Surgical procedures . Operative