Skull Base Program

Conditions We Treat

Specialized care for complex head and neck conditions

Skull base conditions develop at the bottom of the skull, where five bones come together in an intricate area near critical brain structures. These complex diseases are especially challenging to treat in children, whose skulls are smaller and still growing. At the Skull Base Program at Texas Children’s Hospital, our experienced team has the skills to diagnose and treat skull base conditions in children of all ages and sizes. We provide complete care for children with all types of tumors, growths and other skull base diseases, no matter how complex.

Skull base symptoms and conditions we treat

Our multidisciplinary team of doctors, surgeons and other providers work together to identify and treat skull base conditions, from the common to the complex. Our expertise comes from our years of experience in providing care for hundreds of children with all types of skull base diseases.

Most skull base conditions are either cancerous or noncancerous tumors (cells that grow out of control), but they also include other conditions. We treat all types of skull base conditions, including:


A tear or hole in the membranes covering the brain or spinal cord can cause leaks of CSF, fluid that surrounds and protects the brain and spinal cord.

This slow-growing, cancerous tumor forms most often in the skull base in children and teens.

This benign (noncancerous) tumor usually grows near the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus, structures that control hormone production, growth and other important functions.

This growth occurs before birth, causing a section of brain tissue, CSF and membranes to bulge through an opening in the skull.

This slow-growing tumor, usually noncancerous, develops in the meninges, which are membranes that cover and protect the brain and spinal cord.

Also called schwannoma, this type of noncancerous tumor can develop on or around any nerve. They often grow on nerves in the head and neck, particularly the vestibular nerve leading from the inner ear to the brain.

These growths develop in tissues in or around the eyes.

Cysts, tumors or other growths may form in or around the ear and temporal bones, which form the sides of the skull base.

Tumors, usually noncancerous, can develop in areas extending from deep compartments in the upper neck to the skull base

Cancerous and noncancerous growths can form in the pituitary gland, and some types can affect hormone production, causing a wide range of symptoms.

This type of cancer grows in bones or soft tissues such as muscles, cartilage, fat, blood vessels and connective tissues such as tendons and ligaments.

Noncancerous or cancerous growths can develop in the nose or sinuses.