Mr Mark Hughes (BSc MBChB MSc PhD FRCS)

Consultant Neurosurgeon and Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer


Mark Hughes is consultant neurosurgeon and honorary senior lecturer. He underwent neurosurgical training in London, Edinburgh, New York, and Leeds - and completed a Wellcome Trust-funded PhD en route. His subspecialist work focuses on pituitary tumours and anterior skull base neurosurgery.


BSc (Hons) Neuroscience


MSc Surgical sciences


PhD Neuroscience and electrical engineering

FRCS (Neurosurgery)


Responsibilities & affiliations

Member of the Society of British Neurological Surgeons

Member of the Faculty of Surgical Trainers of Edinburgh

Undergraduate teaching

I supervise University of Edinburgh BSc, MBChB and external MSc students, often via the ESSQ program

Postgraduate teaching

I supervise University of Edinburgh BSc, MBChB and external MSc students, often via the ESSQ program

Research summary

Mark Hughes’ doctoral research explored the interface between neurons and biomaterials, especially silicon. Engineering and interacting with simple networks of neurons in the lab offers a chance to explore how larger networks operate in complex, living organisms. As well as being relevant to understanding how nervous systems represent and process information, related insights can also inform novel (or hybrid) computational strategies. Moreover, tools to interface with engineered networks are relevant in the fledgling field of neuroprosthetics.

Current research interests

Current research projects include: - Development of an app-based tool to measure and monitor visual field loss due to pituitary and other tumours. - Exploring the use of artificial intelligence to analyse facial images for early detection of acromegaly. - Using 3D printing to improve patient counselling and surgical planning for skull base operations. - Ongoing prospective audit of surgical outcomes for our local endoscopic neurosurgical service. - Developing local trans-orbital neurological surgery via collaboration with oculoplastics and ENT, cadaveric workshops, and international exchange

Knowledge exchange

In the context of surgical simulation, I have been involved in the research and development of micro-neurosurgical and other minimally invasive surgery platforms. This work has been driven forward via the formation of a spinout company from the University of Edinburgh and has had global impact, with simulators now in use on over 90 different countries and also incorporated into several regional training programs.


View all 40 publications on Research Explorer

Pituitary surgery in Edinburgh dates back to Norman Dott, who was one of the pioneers of transphenoidal surgery and who himself learned from Harvey Cushing. Pituitary surgery and other endoscopic anterior skull base surgery is now performed in collaboration with our ENT rhinology colleagues and also, on occasion, with oculoplastic surgeons. We work closely with local and regional endocrinology colleagues, dedicated neuro-oncologists, and meet once per month for a dedicated pituitary MDT and once per month for a regional skull base MDT.

We perform 40-50 endoscopic cases per year (predominantly for non-secretory and secretory pituitary adenomas and also operate on craniopharyngiomas, Rathke cleft cysts, chordoma, chondrosarcoma, meningioma and several other rarer pathologies). We aim to safely minimise length of stay in hospital, informed by an ERAS (enhanced recovery after surgery) policy.

We prospectively audit all facets of the service to monitor outcome measures, participate in national audit programs, and perform clinical research in this field. Our overall post-operative CSF leak rate in 2021-22 is 4.5%. 


The following is some of our published work in this area:

Mian SY, Jayasangaram S, Qureshi A, Hughes MA. Exploring the impact of using patient-specific 3D prints during consent for skull base neurosurgery. J Neurol Surg B Skull Base. 2022. IN PRESS.

Hughes MA, Ho J, Keenlyside A, Sieradzki J, Statham PFX. The digital Cullen chart: a red colour perimetry aid for visual field examination. British Journal of Neurosurgery. 2022. 17:1-5. 

Bandyopadhyay S, Khan DZ, Marcus HJ, et al. and CRANIAL Steering Committee. CSF Rhinorrhea After Endonasal Intervention to the Skull Base (CRANIAL) — Part 2: Impact of COVID-19. World Neurosurgery, Volume 149, 2021, e1090-e1097.

Khan DZ, Marcus HJ, et al. and CRANIAL Steering Committee. CSF Rhinorrhoea After Endonasal Intervention to the Skull Base (CRANIAL) - Part 1: Multicenter Pilot Study, World Neurosurgery, Volume 149, 2021, e1077-e1089.

Khan DJ, Marcus HJ, Neurology and Neurosurgery Interest Group (NANSIG), British Neurosurgical Trainee Research Collaborative (BNTRC), and CRANIAL Steering Committee. CSF rhinorrhoea after endonasal intervention to the anterior skull base (CRANIAL): proposal for a prospective multicentre observational cohort study, British Journal of Neurosurgery, DOI: 10.1080/02688697.2020.1795622

Hughes MA, Phillips N, Sheikh A, Tyagi A, Sethi K, Nix P. Is a single dose, single agent peri-operative antibiotic protocol adequate for endoscopic endonasal skull base surgery? A 10-year review of 422 cases. J Neurol Surg B Skull Base. 2020

Hughes MA, Culpin D, Darley R, McKinlay J, Nix P, Smedley A, Tyagi A, Sheikh A, Phillips N. Enhanced recovery and accelerated discharge after endoscopic transsphenoidal pituitary surgery: safety, patient feedback, and cost implications. Acta Neurochir (Wien). 2020. 162(6):1281-1286.

Raghu ALB, Flower HD, Statham PFX, Brennan PM, Hughes MA. Sellar remodelling after surgery for non-functioning pituitary adenoma: intercarotid distance as a predictor of recurrence. J Neurol Surg B Skull Base. 2019. ePub