Avoidance of postoperative epistaxis and anosmia in endonasal endoscopic skull base surgery

Avoid anosmia and epistaxis in EEA

Acta Neurochir (2014) 156:1393–1401

Most endoscopic transsphenoidal approaches jeopardize the sphenopalatine artery and septal olfactory strip (SOS), increasing the risk of postoperative anosmia and epistaxis while precluding the ability to raise pedicled nasoseptal flaps (NSF). We describe a bilateral “rescue flap” technique that preserves the mucosa containing the nasal-septal vascular pedicles and the SOS. This approach can reduce the risk of postoperative complications, including epistaxis and anosmia.

Methods A retrospective analysis was conducted of all patients who underwent endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery with preservation of both sphenopalatine vascular pedicles and SOS. In a recent subset of patients, olfactory assessment was performed.

Results Of 174 consecutive operations performed in 161 patients, bilateral preservation of the sphenopalatine vascular pedicle and SOS was achieved in 139 (80 %) operations, including 31 (22 %) with prior transsphenoidal surgery. Of the remaining 35 operations, 18 had a planned formal NSF and 17 had prior surgery or extensive lesions precluding use of this technique. Of pituitary adenomas, RCCs or sellar arachnoid cysts, 118 (94 %) underwent this approach, including 91% of patients who had prior surgery. Preoperative olfaction function was maintained in 97 % of patients that were tested. None of the patients had postoperative arterial epistaxis.

Conclusion Preservation of bilateral sphenopalatine vascular pedicles and the SOS is feasible in over 90 % of patients undergoing endonasal endoscopic surgery for pituitary adenomas and RCCs. This approach, while not hindering exposure or limiting instrument maneuverability, preserves the nasoseptal vasculature for future NSF use if needed and appears to minimize the risks of postoperative arterial epistaxis and anosmia.

Surgical nuances for nasoseptal flap reconstruction of cranial base defects with high-flow cerebrospinal fluid leaks after endoscopic skull base surgery

Neurosurg Focus 32 (6):E7, 2012. DOI: 10.3171/2012.5.FOCUS1255

Extended endoscopic endonasal approaches have allowed for a minimally invasive solution for removal of a variety of ventral skull base lesions, including intradural tumors. Depending on the location of the pathological entity, various types of surgical corridors are used, such as transcribriform, transplanum transtuberculum, transsellar, transclival, and transodontoid approaches. Often, a large skull base dural defect with a high-flow CSF leak is created after endoscopic skull base surgery. Successful reconstruction of the cranial base defect is paramount to separate the intracranial contents from the paranasal sinus contents and to prevent postoperative CSF leakage. The vascularized pedicled nasoseptal flap (PNSF) has become the workhorse for cranial base reconstruction after endoscopic skull base surgery, dramatically reducing the rate of postoperative CSF leakage since its implementation.

In this report, the authors review the surgical technique and describe the operative nuances and lessons learned for successful multilayered PNSF reconstruction of cranial base defects with high-flow CSF leaks created after endoscopic skull base surgery. The authors specifically highlight important surgical pearls that are critical for successful PNSF reconstruction, including target-specific flap design and harvesting, pedicle preservation, preparation of bony defect and graft site to optimize flap adherence, multilayered closure technique, maximization of the reach of the flap, final flap positioning, and proper bolstering and buttressing of the PNSF to prevent flap dehiscence. Using this technique in 93 patients, the authors’ overall postoperative CSF leak rate was 3.2%.

An illustrative intraoperative video demonstrating the reconstruction technique is also presented.

Surgical nuances for the endoscopic endonasal transpterygoid approach to lateral sphenoid sinus encephaloceles

Neurosurg Focus 32 (6):E5, 2012

Lateral sphenoid encephaloceles of the Sternberg canal are rare entities and usually present with spontaneous CSF rhinorrhea. Traditionally, these were treated via transcranial approaches, which can be challenging given the deep location of these lesions.

However, with advancements in endoscopic skull base surgery, including improved surgical exposures, angled endoscopes and instruments, and novel repair techniques, these encephaloceles can be resected and successfully repaired with purely endoscopic endonasal approaches. In this report, the authors review the endoscopic endonasal transpterygoid approach to the lateral recess of the sphenoid sinus for repair of temporal lobe encephaloceles, including an overview of the surgical anatomy from an endoscopic perspective, and describe the technical operative nuances and surgical pearls for these cases.

The authors also present 4 new cases of lateral sphenoid recess encephaloceles that were successfully treated using this approach.

Surgical nuances for the endoscopic endonasal transpterygoid approach to lateral sphenoid sinus encephaloceles

Neurosurg Focus 32 (6):E5, 2012. (http://thejns.org/doi/abs/10.3171/2012.3.FOCUS1267)

Lateral sphenoid encephaloceles of the Sternberg canal are rare entities and usually present with spontaneous CSF rhinorrhea. Traditionally, these were treated via transcranial approaches, which can be challenging given the deep location of these lesions. However, with advancements in endoscopic skull base surgery, including improved surgical exposures, angled endoscopes and instruments, and novel repair techniques, these encephaloceles can be resected and successfully repaired with purely endoscopic endonasal approaches.

In this report, the authors review the endoscopic endonasal transpterygoid approach to the lateral recess of the sphenoid sinus for repair of temporal lobe encephaloceles, including an overview of the surgical anatomy from an endoscopic perspective, and describe the technical operative nuances and surgical pearls for these cases.

The authors also present 4 new cases of lateral sphenoid recess encephaloceles that were successfully treated using this approach.