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Mucocele rate after endoscopic skull base reconstruction using vascularized pedicled flaps

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Postoperative cerebrospinal fluid leak is a significant risk after endoscopic skull base surgery. Recently, novel reconstructive techniques using vascularized pedicled mucosal flaps have been applied to decrease this potential risk. Complete mucosal extirpation in the wound bed is not always feasible and the impact of insetting the flap over intact underlying mucosa is not clear. The purpose of this study was to determine the rate of mucocele formation after nasoseptal flap reconstruction without mucosal stripping.


This is an Institutional Review Board‐approved, retrospective study consisting of 28 patients undergoing skull base reconstruction using a pedicled nasoseptal flap between 2008 and 2010 at a tertiary care hospital. In all cases the sinus or skull base mucosa surrounding the defect was left intact. Patients were followed postoperatively by endoscopy and/or imaging for evidence of mucocele formation in the reconstructive bed.


The total rate of mucocele formation was 3.6% (1 of 28, noted on postoperative day 46). The mean follow-up time was 243 ± 174 days (range, 46‐585 days). Eleven patients were followed for over 1 year. All flaps remained viable and well vascularized.


The pedicled nasoseptal flap is an effective means of reconstruction after endoscopic skull base surgery. Avoidance of extensive stripping of the surrounding mucosa does not result in a significant rate of postoperative mucocele formation in the short term. Long-term follow-up is still indicated.
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Keywords: Endoscopic skull base surgery; mucocele; nasoseptal flap; skull base reconstruction; vascularized pedicled flap

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Otology and Laryngology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Publication date: 2011-05-01

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