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Skull-base surgery is associated with a high risk of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak, infection, and functional and aesthetic deformity. Appropriate reconstruction of cranial-base defects following surgery helps to prevent these complications. Between March 1998 and May 2000, 28 patients (age: 1-68 years) underwent reconstruction of the anterior and middle cranial fossae. The indications for surgery were tumours, trauma involving the anterior cranial fossa, midline dermoid cysts with intracranial extension, late post-traumatic CSF leak, craniofacial deformity and recurrent frontal mucocoele. We used local anteriorly based pericranial flaps (23 flaps, alone or in combination with other flaps), bipedicled galeal flaps (seven patients) and free flaps (nine patients; radial forearm fascial/fasciocutaneous flaps, rectus abdominis muscle flap and latissimus dorsi muscle flap). Follow-up has been 4-24 months. We had no deaths, no flap failure and no incidence of infection. Complications included two CSF leaks, three intracranial haematomas and one pulsatile enophthalmos. All patients had a very good aesthetic result. We present an algorithm for skull-base reconstruction and comment on the design and vascularity of the bipedicled galeal flap. The monitoring of intracranial flaps and the difficulties of perioperative management of free flaps in neurosurgical patients are also discussed. (C) 2003 The British Association of Plastics Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Author(s): Georgantopoulou A, Hodgkinson PD, Gerber CJ
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: British Journal of Plastic Surgery
ISSN (print): 0007-1226
Publisher: Churchill Livingstone
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