The inferior turbinate flap in skull base reconstruction

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Background: As the indications for expanded endonasal approaches continue to evolve, alternative reconstructive techniques are needed to address increasingly complex surgical skull base defects. In the absence of the nasoseptal flap, we describe our experience with the posterior pedicle inferior turbinate flap (PPITF) in skull base reconstruction. Design: Case series. Setting: Academic tertiary care centre. Methods: Patients who underwent reconstruction of the skull base with the PPITF were identified. Medical records were reviewed for demographic, presentation, treatment, follow-up, surgical and outcomes data. Main outcome measures: Flap survival, adequacy of seal, and complications. Results: Two patients with residual/recurrent pituitary adenomas met the inclusion criteria. The nasoseptal flap was unavailable in each case due to a prior septectomy. Salvage of the original nasoseptal flap was not possible, as it did not provide adequate coverage of the resultant defect due to contraction from healing. All PPITFs healed uneventfully and covered the entire defect. No complications were observed in the early post-operative period. Endoscopic techniques and limitations of the PPITF are also discussed. Conclusions: Our clinical experience supports the PPITF to be a viable alternative for reconstruction of the skull base in the absence of the nasoseptal flap. © 2013 Yip et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.




Yip, J., MacDonald, K. I., Lee, J., Witterick, I. J., Zadeh, G., Gentili, F., & Vescan, A. D. (2013). The inferior turbinate flap in skull base reconstruction. Journal of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, 42(JAN).

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