Rationale. When removing the meningiomas of the sellar region, there is always a risk of visual impairment for various reasons, in particular, as a result of traction damage to the optic nerve. Decompression of the optic canal increases nerve mobility during tumor manipulation. In cases of meningioma growing into the canal, its decompression often seems necessary. Aim. Evaluation of the effectiveness and risks of performing decompression of the optic canal. Materials and methods. The study included patients with meningiomas of the parasellar location, who underwent surgical treatment at the Burdenko Neurosurgical Center for the period from 2001 to 2017. They were divided into two groups — main and control. The main group consisted of 129 patients who underwent decompression of the optic nerve canals when the tumor was removed. The tumor matrix in this group was most often located in the region of the tuberum sellae, supradiaphragmally, in the region of the anterior clinoid process and the optic canal. In 31 cases, decompression was bilateral — during one operation and using one access in 27 patients; in 4 cases, the decompression of the second canal was delayed for 1.5—3 months after the first operation. 160 decompressions were performed by the intradural and 7 — by extradural methods. During intradural decompression, the roof of the optic canal was resected, and during extradural decompression, the lateral wall of the canal was trephined. The control group consisted of 308 patients who did not undergo canal decompression when the tumor was removed. It included meningiomas with a predominant location of the matrix in the area of the tuberclum and diaphragm of the sella. Tumors in both groups were removed according to the same principles (matrix coagulation, mainly the gradual removal of the tumor, the use of ultrasonic aspirator, a situational decision on the radicality of the operation, etc.). The main difference between operations in these two groups was only canal related algorithms (with or without its trepanation), as well as the probable prevalence of significant lateral tumor growth in cases with canal trepanation. Visual functions in the «primary» group were evaluated before and after operations with trepanation of the canal depending on various factors — the initial state of vision and the radicality of the tumor excision, including removal from the canal. The differences in the postoperative dynamics of vision in the main and control groups were studied. The primary data processing was carried out using the program MSExcel. Secondary statistical processing was carried out using the program Statistica. To assess the statistical significance of differences in the results obtained in the compared patient groups, the Chi-square test was used, and in the case of small groups — the exact Fisher test was applied. Results. In the main group postoperative vision improvement of varying degrees on the side of trepanation was registered in 36.9% (59 out of 160) cases, no vision changes were found in 36.9% (59 out of 160), and in 26,2% (42 out of 160) the eyesight deteriorated. If preserving vision is attributed to a satisfactory result, then in general the results of these operations should be considered good. A comparative study of the results of removal of meningiomas with trepanation of the canals (main group) or without it (control group) was carried out among patients with the most critical vision situation (visual acuity 0.1 and below, up to only light perception). These groups are comparable in the number of observations — 62 and 73 respectively. The predominance of cases with improved vision in the main group compared with the control group (50.0% versus 38.36%) and a lower incidence of vision impairment (22.58% versus 34.25%) were found. However, the revealed differences are statistically unreliable and make it possible for us to talk only about the trend. The complications associated with trepanation of the canal include mechanical damage to the nerve by the drill. In our series of observations, there was only 1 case of abrasion of the nerve surface with the burr, which did not lead to a significant visual impairment. With the intradural method of trepanation in the area of the medial wall of the canal, the sphenoid sinus may open (in our series, in 34 cases out of 160 trepanations). Immediately closure of these defects was performed by various auto-and allomaterials in various combinations (pericranium, fascia, muscle fragment, hemostatic materials, and fibrinthrombin glue). A true complication — CSF rhinorrhea liquorrhea developed in only one case, which required transnasal plastic surgery of the CSF fistula using a mucoperiostal flap. Conclusions. 1. Trepanation of the optic canal in cases of meningiomas of parasellar localization is a relatively safe procedure in the hands of a trained neurosurgeon and does not worsen the results of operations compared with the excision of the same tumors without trepanation of the canal. 2. The literature data and the results of our study make it possible to consider the decompression of the optic canal as an optional, but in many cases, useful option that facilitates the transcranial removal of some meningiomas of the sellar region. © 2020, Media Sphera Publishing Group. All rights reserved.