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Skull Base. 2001 November; 11(4): 277–285.
PMCID: PMC1656888

Navigation with the StealthStation™ in Skull Base Surgery

An Otolaryngological Perspective


The introduction of computer-assisted navigation systems has played a significant role in assuring the integration and consistent intraoperative use of radiological information. We used a frameless stereotactic navigation system to treat 62 patients with a variety of skull base pathologies. The optoelectric appliance uses digital imaging information to locate surgical instruments in the operative area. The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical accuracy, practicality, and impact of this navigation system on otolaryngological procedures. In conjunction with rigid head fixation and bone-anchored registration markers, the precision of registration was 0.8 mm and the accuracy of clinical measurements was less than 2 mm. With conventional fiducials and flexible head positioning, deviations were as large as 4.5 mm. The additional use of surface registration increased the precision of registration. Preoperative preparations took 15 to 35 minutes, depending on the complexity of the planning. Intraoperative computer support is an important aid to a surgeon's orientation, especially when a patient's anatomy is atypical. Navigation systems will likely improve the quality of surgery and facilitate training.

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