, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 235-241
Date: 02 Mar 2010

Endoscopic endonasal skull base reconstruction using a nasal septal flap: surgical results and comparison with previous reconstructions

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Abstract

The objective of this study is to evaluate the usefulness and reliability of endoscopic endonasal skull base reconstructions using a nasal septal flap. This study is designed as a retrospective review. Between April 2005 and November 2009, we performed 32 endoscopic endonasal skull base reconstructions for closure of large dural defects. Eleven patients underwent reconstructions using fat grafts or the fascia lata (non-flap group). Twenty one patients underwent reconstructions using a nasal septal flap with a balloon catheter (flap group). Incidence of postoperative cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks and perioperative insertion rate of external lumbar drain (ELD) were compared between the two groups. Postoperative CSF leaks occurred in two patients (9.5%) in the flap group. Three patients (27.3%) presented CSF leaks in the non-flap group. The rate of insertion of ELD was 81.8% in the non-flap group. In the flap group, one patient (4.8%) should be placed with ELD postoperatively. The incidence of postoperative CSF leaks in the flap group was lower than in the non-flap group, whereas the rate of insertion of ELD in the non-flap group was higher than in the flap group. Endoscopic endonasal skull base reconstruction using a nasal septal flap without ELD seems to be useful and reliable for ventral skull base defects after endoscopic endonasal approaches as compared with our previous single-layer reconstructions using free fat grafts or fascia lata. The long-term effectiveness of nasal septal flaps to prevent intracranial complications should be confirmed.