The classic approach to anterior skull base lesions uses bifrontal craniotomies together with lateral rhinotomies. This approach requires frontal lobe retraction and is associated with postoperative anosmia and the development of frontal lobe encephalomalacia. The transglabellar/subcranial approach permits removal of anterior skull base lesions without frontal lobe retraction and avoids facial scars. No studies to date, however, have directly compared the two approaches in terms of patient morbidity. The present retrospective study compares the two approaches when used for the removal of anterior skull base lesions in terms of estimated blood loss, number of transfusions, number of days in the hospital and intensive care unit, and postoperative complications. Twenty patients with anterior skull base lesions were examined. The classic approach was used on 10, and the transglabellar/subcranial route was used on 10. When compared with the classic approach, the transglabellar/subcranial approach resulted in a lower estimated blood loss and subsequent transfusion rate, fewer days in the hospital and intensive care unit, and lower numbers and less severe types of complications. Furthermore, visualization of the tumors before resection with the transglabellar/subcranial approach allowed preservation of olfaction in virtually all of these patients. Although this study represents a small sample population, the results are sufficiently impressive to favor the transglabellar/subcranial approach for the removal of a variety of anterior skull base lesions.