Object: Several prophylactic surgical methods have been tried to prevent CSF leakage after translabyrinthine resection of acoustic neuroma (TLAN). The authors report an improvised technique for multilayer watertight closure using titanium mesh-hydroxyapatite cement (HAC) cranioplasty in addition to dural substitute and abdominal fat graft after TLAN.
Methods: The study was limited to 42 patients who underwent TLAN at University Hospitals Case Medical Center using this new technique from 2006 to 2012. Systematic closure of the surgical wound in layers using temporalis fascia, dural substitute, dural sealant, adipose graft, titanium mesh, and then HAC was performed in each case. Temporalis muscle and eustachian tube obliteration were not used. The main variables studied were patient age, tumor size, tumor location, cosmetic outcome, length of hospitalization, and the incidence of CSF leak, pseudomeningocele, and infection.
Results: Excellent cosmetic outcome was achieved in all patients. There were no cases of postoperative CSF rhinorrhea, incisional CSF leak, or meningitis. Cosmetic results were comparable to those achieved using HAC alone. This cost-effective technique used only a third of the HAC required for traditional closure in which the entire mastoid defect is filled with cement, predisposing to infection. Postoperative CT and MRI showed excellent bony contouring and dural reconstitution, respectively.
Conclusions: The authors report on successful use of titanium mesh-HAC cranioplasty in preventing postoperative CSF leak after TLAN in all cases in their series. The titanium mesh provides a well-defined anatomical dissection plane that would make reoperation easier than working through scarred soft tissue. The mesh bolsters the fat graft and keeps HAC out of direct contact with mastoid air cells, thereby reducing the risk of infection. The cement cranioplasty does not preclude subsequent implantation of a bone-anchored hearing aid.