Minimally invasive keyhole approach for supramaximal frontal glioma resections

J Neurosurg 140:949–957, 2024

The authors aimed to review the frontal lobe’s surgical anatomy, describe their keyhole frontal lobectomy technique, and analyze the surgical results.

METHODS Patients with newly diagnosed frontal gliomas treated using a keyhole approach with supramaximal resection (SMR) from 2016 to 2022 were retrospectively reviewed. Surgeries were performed on patients asleep and awake. A human donor head was dissected to demonstrate the surgical anatomy. Kaplan-Meier curves were used for survival analysis.

RESULTS Of the 790 craniotomies performed during the study period, those in 47 patients met our inclusion criteria. The minimally invasive approach involved four steps: 1) debulking the frontal pole; 2) subpial dissection identifying the sphenoid ridge, olfactory nerve, and optic nerve; 3) medial dissection to expose the falx cerebri and interhemispheric structures; and 4) posterior dissection guided by motor mapping, avoiding crossing the inferior plane defined by the corpus callosum. A fifth step could be added for nondominant lesions by resecting the inferior frontal gyrus. Perioperative complications were recorded in 5 cases (10.6%). The average hospital length of stay was 3.3 days. High-grade gliomas had a median progression-free survival of 14.8 months and overall survival of 23.9 months.

CONCLUSIONS Keyhole approaches enabled successful SMR of frontal gliomas without added risks. Robust anatomical knowledge and meticulous surgical technique are paramount for obtaining successful resections.