Reconstruction techniques in skull base surgery

J Craniofac Surg. 2011 May;22(3):1015-20. doi: 10.1097/SCS.0b013e31821015b5.


One of the major challenges of cranial base surgery is reconstruction of basal dural defects. Ineffective reconstruction may result in potentially life-threatening complications such as cerebrospinal fluid leak, meningitis, and tension pneumocephalus. Goals of reconstructive procedures are to repair the dural defect and to separate intracranial contents from bacteria-laden secretion of the mouth, nose, and sinus. Different reconstructive techniques have been reported. Multiple factors may influence the surgical choice of reconstructive technique and its outcome. Regional pedicled flap and vascular free flaps represent the best reconstructive options because vascularized tissues promote fast and complete healing. A variety of endoscopic pedicled mucosal flaps within the nasal cavity have also been described. The different reconstruction techniques are described and discussed in terms of indications, advantages, and drawbacks.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dura Mater / surgery*
  • Endoscopy / methods
  • Humans
  • Plastic Surgery Procedures / methods*
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control
  • Skull Base / surgery*
  • Surgical Flaps*