The 3F (Fat, Flap, and Flash) Technique For Skull Base Reconstruction After Endoscopic Endonasal Suprasellar Approach

World Neurosurg. (2019) 126:439-446

Endoscopic endonasal surgery is a rapidly evolving field that offers the possibility of treating a wide variety of skull base lesions. Reconstruction of the osteodural defect is of utmost importance, as an effective and watertight closure is mandatory. Over the years, various techniques and materials have been adopted in an effort of providing a resilient and reliable method of closure.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed data from a series of 25 patients who underwent skull base reconstruction according to a novel paradigm following endoscopic endonasal transtuberculumtransplanum approaches for tumor removal between June 2017 and June 2018. The 3F strategy involves autologous fat grafting, nasoseptal flap coverage, and flash mobilization out of the bed following the operation.

RESULTS: The 3F technique achieved successful watertight closure in 24 of 25 cases (96%). One case of postoperative cerebrospinal fluid rhinorrhea developed on postoperative day 10, which did not require reoperation. No perioperative complications related to the 3F strategy (e.g., overpacking, infections, or hematomas) occurred. No donor graft site infections or hematomas developed.

CONCLUSIONS: The 3F skull base reconstruction is a safe and effective method in achieving watertight closure after extended endoscopic endonasal approaches. Despite this study reporting a preliminary experience in a small series of patients, it seems that the 3F technique can be considered as a viable solution among the wide kaleidoscope of available skull base reconstruction methods