Anterior median skull base reconstruction using a vascularized free flap: Rationale, patient selection and outcome

Omer J. Ungar, Avraham Abergel, Ahmad Safadi, Arik Zaretzki, Ravit Yanko-Arzi, Dan M. Fliss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives âo present our method of median anterior skull base (ASB) reconstruction using a subcranial approach with a free flap in cases of naso-fronto-orbital (NFO) bony segment failure and in patients at high risk for future failure of the bony frontal segment. Design âhis study presents as a retrospective case series. Setting âertiary university-affiliated medical center. Participants âdult and pediatric patients who underwent median ASB resection via the subcranial approach with a free flap reconstruction were participated in this study. Main Outcome Measures âathologic outcome and postoperative quality of life (QoL) as assessed by a validated Hebrew version of the Anterior Skull Base Quality-of-Life Questionnaire. Results âhe departmental database yielded 13 suitable patients aged between 15 and 70 years. The main indication (n = 7) for ASB surgery was osteoradionecrosis (ORN) of the NFO bony segment which was first detected at an average of 3.6 years (range: 2-32 years) postradiation therapy. High-risk patients for future ORN of the NFO segment (n = 3) were primarily reconstructed using a vascularized free flap. Nine patients had malignant disease, and four of them were alive without evidence of disease during the follow-up period (average, 48 months). Their QoL was comparable to that of patients who had undergone subcranial ASB resection without free flap reconstruction. Conclusions âhe ASB median free flap method of reconstruction is a safe and reliable in cases of large complex median ASB defects without orbital resection or maxillectomy. This approach is suitable for patients who had undergone previous surgery, radiotherapy and/or those who present with osteoradionecrosis, as well as for patients with high risk of NFO segment ORN.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-36
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neurological Surgery, Part B: Skull Base
Volume81
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

Keywords

  • anterior skull base
  • free flap reconstruction of skull base defect
  • osteoradionecrosis
  • skull base reconstruction
  • subcranial approach

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