Temporal bone dissection for neurosurgery residents: identifying the essential concepts and fundamental techniques for success

Edward A M Duckworth, Fernando E. Silva, James P. Chandler, H. Hunt Batjer, Jin cheng Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations


Background: Many contemporary neurosurgery residents, cordoned by work hour restrictions and drawn to newer technologies such as endovascular therapy, lack the proper direction necessary to learn the essentials of temporal bone dissection. A thorough knowledge of temporal bone anatomy combined with guidance regarding proper surgical technique makes temporal bone dissection an efficacious and fundamental learning activity. There is currently no concise guide for neurosurgical training programs to use in teaching the essentials of this dissection. Methods: Over several years, the authors worked with neurosurgery residents to determine the key concepts necessary to gain a fundamental working knowledge of temporal bone dissection. Results: We have identified 5 essential surgical principles and developed a step-by-step dissection technique useful for neurosurgery residents. Conclusions: Using this template, neurosurgery residents can make the most of their time in the skull base laboratory, becoming familiar with relevant temporal bone anatomy in situ and becoming facile with the surgical techniques necessary for its safe dissection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-98
Number of pages6
JournalSurgical Neurology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008



  • Anatomy
  • Mastoidectomy
  • Neurosurgical training
  • Surgical technique
  • Temporal bone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

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