Endonasal endoscopic transpterygoid approach to the upper parapharyngeal space

Lifeng Li, Nyall R. London, Daniel M. Prevedello, Ricardo L. Carrau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Lesions of the upper parapharyngeal space (UPPS) present a surgical challenge. The objective of this study was to ascertain the feasibility of a novel technique of modified transpterygoid approach to the UPPS. Methods: Six fresh cadaveric specimens (12 sides) were dissected, developing a technique that includes en bloc mobilization of the lateral pterygoid plate and muscle to access the UPPS. Results: Following an endoscopic Denker's approach and the removal of posterolateral wall of the antrum, the lateral pterygoid plate was detached from the pterygoid process. Subsequently, the lateral pterygoid plate and muscle were displaced laterally as a unit, allowing the identification of the posterior trunk of V3 and the fat in prestyloid compartment. Dissecting off the styloid aponeurosis affords entering the poststyloid UPPS exposing the internal carotid artery, internal jugular vein, and cranial nerves IX to XII. Conclusion: This novel modification of the endonasal transpterygoid approach offers a viable alternative for access to the UPPS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2734-2740
Number of pages7
JournalHead and Neck
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020


  • cadaveric
  • internal carotid artery
  • lateral pterygoid plate
  • pterygoid muscle
  • upper parapharyngeal space

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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