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Skull Base Surgery Program

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The Skull Base Surgery Program at University of Utah Health has an expert clinical team committed to providing the highest quality care for our patients. We have a multidisciplinary team which involves a neurotologist and a neurosurgeon to remove lateral skull base tumors, such as acoustic tumors (vestibular schwannoma).

We also have a team to remove anterior skull base tumors, such as pituitary tumors, consisting of a neurosurgeon and a rhinologist. Working together, we offer the best possible care.

Contact Us

Neurosurgery: 801-585-6065
Otolaryngology: 801-587-8368

Why Choose University of Utah Health

Learning you have a tumor in or around your brain and head can be devastating. We are here to provide specialized treatment.

Our internationally known experts bring many years’ experience to each specialty area to give you the best care possible. We also provide high-quality, coordinated care and constantly conduct research allowing us to look for better treatments.

We know that many patients need personalized treatment options that meet their unique needs. We are here to partner with you for life offering exceptional care. With you we will determine customized treatment plans that target your unique situation.

We aim to give you the best care from the beginning to the end of your treatment.

Research by Our Skull Base Tumors Team

At our academic medical center, we specialize in skull base tumor research. We focus our research on patient outcomes and optimizing quality of life. Because we have patients from across the nation, we are fortunate to have a high-volume clinical practice (many patients) to provide data for meaningful research. 
We regularly publish the results of our clinical care in premiere medical journals. Medical journals with research like ours shape our field/expertise. Each member of our team is a sought after speaker at national and international meetings, teaching and training other medical professionals. 
The more experience our providers have is experience that leads to higher quality outcomes. This means that we can provide higher quality care for you—our patients.


Over 100 patients included in our research with small vestibular schwannoma (acoustic neuroma) tumors.


99% of patients had complete tumor removal and cure.


Over 90% have normal or near normal facial nerve function.


There was a less than 2.5% chance of surgical complications.

Skull Base Surgery

Our multidisciplinary teams offer evaluation and surgery for two approaches to skull base tumors: Anterior and lateral. 

Anterior Skull Base Tumors

Anterior skull base tumors are found in the front of the skull base near where the eye sockets and sinuses are located. Some examples include these:

  • Meningiomas
  • Pituitary Tumors
  • Esthesioneuroblastomas
  • Sinonasal Squamous Cell Carcinoma
  • Sinonasal Adenocarcinoma
  • Sinonasal Mucosal Melanoma
  • Sinonasal Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma
  • Sinonasal Undifferentiated Carcinoma
  • Sinonasal Neuroendocrine Tumor
  • Juvenile Nasopharyngeal Angiofibroma
  • Inverted Papilloma

Lateral Skull Base Tumors

Lateral skull base tumors are at the back of the skull base and are typically benign. Some examples include these:


Schedule a Consultation

Lateral Skull Base Tumors

  • Acoustic Neuromas (Vestibular Schwannoma)
  • Meningiomas
  • Paragangliomas
Schedule With the Lateral Team

Anterior Skull Base Tumors

  • Angiomas
  • Meningiomas
  • Pituitary Tumors
  • Esthesioneuroblastomas
Schedule With the Anterior Team

Hear from Our Patients

Acoustic Neuroma Patient Finds New Strength after Skull Base Surgery

When Brenda Anderson woke up one morning in July 2018, she couldn’t hear well in one ear. It felt like she needed to pop her ear after getting off an airplane. After two days with no improvements to her hearing, she called a local otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat doctor). Brenda was diagnosed with a vestibular schwannoma, a type of tumor that grows on the hearing and balance nerve between the ear and the brain.

Read Brenda's Story

Teen Undergoes Skull Base Surgery for Acoustic Neuroma

Meghan Shaw was no stranger to the otolaryngologist's (ear, nose, and throat doctor) office. For as long as she could remember, she suffered from frequent sinus infections. She got surgery at age 14 but, by 16, she was back in the otolaryngologist's (ENT) office. This time, it was for something new — a vestibular schwannoma, a rare, slow-growing skull base tumor that affects your hearing and balance.

Read Meghan's Story

Complicated Procedure Pays Off for Young Mom

On the 16th of December, her husband’s birthday, Loralee Ah Mu woke up feeling like she was having a stroke. Her head felt full of dizziness she couldn’t shake off. Immediately, she knew something was wrong and was rushed to the ER. The doctors found a benign tumor in the right side of her brain. Loralee was diagnosed with acoustic neuroma—a rare condition where a tumor develops in the inner ear to the brain, causing hearing loss and imbalance.

Read Loralee's Story

Hear from Our Specialists

When Should a Meningioma Be Removed?

Meningioma can cause symptoms depending on their location and how they grow. Neurosurgeon William Couldwell, MD, explains whether or not a patient should undergo surgery to remove a meningioma and what to expect with the procedure.

Read the Interview

Contact the Destination Care Program

The Destination Care Program is an initiative by U of U Health focusing on care for our out-of-state patients. We are here to help you find the services and information you need. Feel free to contact us: Phone: 801-587-6365