The transoral surgical approach is the most direct operative approach to pathology ventral to the brain stem and superior spinal cord. This approach is useful in the treatment of extradural compressive cervicomedullary lesions in selected patients. Twenty-nine patients with ventral extradural brain stem or cervical cord compressive lesions who were treated via the transoral surgical approach are presented. Their evaluation, treatment, and long-term outcome will be reviewed (median follow-up, 24 months). Specific features of the transoral procedure, including intraoperative monitoring, methods of retraction, and microsurgical techniques that contributed to minimal operative morbidity (3%) and zero operative mortality, will be discussed.