Mastication after craniotomy: pilot assessment of postoperative oral health‐related quality of life

Acta Neurochirurgica (2022) 164:1347–1355

Neurosurgical approaches to the brain often require the mobilization of the temporal muscle. Many patients complain of postoperative pain, atrophy, reduced mouth opening, and masticatory problems. Although the pterional, frontolateral- extended-pterional, and temporal craniotomies are the most frequently used approaches in neurosurgery, a systematic assessment of the postoperative oral health-related quality of life has never been performed so far. This study evaluates the oral health-related quality of life of patients after pterional, frontolateral-extended-pterional, or temporal craniotomy using a validated and standardized dental questionnaire, compares the results with the normal values of the general population, and investigates whether this questionnaire is sensitive to changes caused by surgical manipulation of the temporal muscle.

Methods The “Oral Health Impact Profile” (OHIP14) is a validated questionnaire to assess the oral health-related quality of life. It asks the patients to assess their oral health situation within the past 7 days in 14 questions. Possible answers range from 0 (never) to 4 (very often). Sixty patients with benign intracranial processes operated through a lateral cranial approach were included. The questionnaire was answered before surgery (baseline) and 3 months and 15 months after surgery.

Results Overall, postoperative OHIP scores increase significantly after 3 months and decrease after 15 months, but not to preoperative values. No factors can be identified which show a considerable relationship with the postoperative OHIP score.

Conclusions Postoperative impairment of mouth opening and pain during mastication can be observed 3 to 15 months after surgery and sometimes cause feedback from patients and their dentists. However, in line with existing literature, these complaints decrease with time. The study shows that the OHIP questionnaire is sensitive to changes caused by surgical manipulation of the temporal muscle and can therefore be used to investigate the influence of surgical techniques on postoperative complaints. Postoperatively, patients show worse OHIP scores than the general population, demonstrating that neurosurgical cranial approaches negatively influence the patient’s oral health-related wellbeing. Larger studies using the OHIP questionnaire should evaluate if postoperative physical therapy, speech therapy, or specialized rehabilitation devices can improve the masticatory impairment after craniotomy.

Quality of Life After Endoscopic Surgical Management of Pituitary Adenomas

Neurosurgery 90:81–91, 2022

Patient-reported quality of life (QOL) is a vital metric for surgical success.
OBJECTIVE: To assess the effect of surgery on QOL in the largest prospectively collected, longitudinal cohort of surgically managed pituitary adenomas.
METHODS: A consecutive surgical adenoma cohort (n=304) between late 2016 and mid- 2020 underwent a scheduled overall (Anterior Skull Base Questionnaire-35) and sinonasal- specific (Sinonasal Outcome Test-22) QOL assessment. Scores were stratified by adenoma subtype and analyzed for clinical predictors of QOL changes.
RESULTS: The average age was 53.8 ± 16 yr, and 53% of participants were female. 60.9% of adenomas were nonfunctioning while adrenocorticotropic hormone adenomas (16.4%), growth hormone adenomas (14.1%), and prolactinomas (5.9%) were the most prevalent secreting adenomas. Baseline overall QOL differed between tumor types (P = .006), with adrenocorticotropic hormone adenomas worse than growth hormone adenomas (P = .03) and nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas (NFPA) (P < .001). Sinonasal QOL worsened in the 3 wk after surgery but returned to baseline by 6 wk and beyond. Overall QOL worsened at 3 wk after surgery (P < .001) but significantly improved from baseline by 3 mo (P = .009) and beyond (P < .001). Emotional functioning improved soon after surgery, followed by performance and pain, and then, by 6 mo, physical function and vitality. Predictors of improved QOL were sellar/suprasellar lesions (P = .01), prolactinomas (P = .003), and NFPA (P = .04). Conversely, new postoperative hypopituitarism (P = .04) and larger adenoma volume (P = .04) predicted QOL worsening.
CONCLUSION: QOL is worsened after surgery at early time points. Prolactinomas and NFPA enjoy significant QOL improvements from surgery as early as 3 mo postoperatively. Other functional tumors may experience early benefits in younger patients without hypopituitarism and when isolated to the sellar/suprasellar region. These findings provide valuable information for counseling patients and setting expectations for surgery.