Tumour & Skull Base Surgery


Tumours considered too difficult

We specialise in tumours considered very challanging

There is always a great deal of uncertainty when a tumour (neoplasm) of the skull base or nose/sinus is diagnosed. Tumours can either be benign or malignant. The difference is that malignant tumours have a propensity to spread to other areas of the body. Both benign and malignant can still be locally invasive (at the site of tumour origin).  Thus special imaging (usually combination of CT and MRI) is used to define the ‘local’ extent of the tumour. In malignant tumours, we will also look for any evidence of ‘distant’ or metastatic disease.

We provide some of the most advanced care and treatment for tumours (both benign and malignant) of the nose, sinus and skull base (including intracranial lesions). You will be offered the very latest keyhole surgical techniques that would have traditionally required large craniotomy (open skull) surgery. Many tumours (but not all) can be managed endoscopically. We work within a multidisciplanary team including Dr Mark Winder, Dr Ben JonkerProf Charlie Teo and A/Prof Andrew Davidson


Some examples of the very challenging surgical resections that we are asked to achieve:


You will need some investigations prior to treatment.

For benign and malignant tumours:

1. A biopsy to confirm the diagnosis. Prof Harvey will normally perform this in the clinic. However, for some lesions that are obviously benign, this can be performed at the time of surgery.

2. A combination of CT and MRI of the head/skull base to determine the ‘local’ spread of the tumour.

3. Blood tests to look at kidney, liver and red cell function prior to an anaesthetic.

For malignant tumours:

3. A PET/CT scan to look for ‘distant’ disease. This is performed at St Vincent Hospital Nuclear Medicine Dept. Tel: 8382 2216. We will give you some information regarding PET/CT

4. Attend a specialised Head & Clinic Cancer clinic. This is a special clinic every Tuesday at 10:00hrs that brings together different cancer specialists to form a cohesive opinion of the ‘best’ treatment for you. Radiation (x-ray) and Medical (chemotherapy) oncologists (cancer specialists) are present. It is an efficient way in which to get several specialist evaluations in one visit and save a great deal of time .

Please let us know if you are aware that you require treatment for a tumour. We will always expedite your care and ensure an appointment as early as possible.

We work hard to ensure that all possible treatment options will be available to you. This includes the services of the The Kinghorn Cancer Centre and we can organise specialised genetic assessments with groups such as Foundation ONE to see if tailored or individualised cancer interventions are an option.

The most important process is to ensure that all the information about your condition is known, so that we can make the best decision with you regarding care.

Please listen to Prof Richard Harvey present at the International Head&Neck Cancer Society Meeting in Melbourne in 2018

Please find the material below from www.cancer.org: