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J Reconstr Microsurg. 2011 Jun;27(5):313-20. doi: 10.1055/s-0031-1278715. Epub 2011 May 24.

Microvascular free flap reconstruction of skull base penetrating tumors.

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Department of Plastic Surgery, Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki. jyrki.vuola@helsinki


This is a follow-up study of 31 consecutive patients who underwent skull base tumor resection and microvascular tissue reconstruction in anterior and middle cranial fossa. Parameters recorded included factors related to operation, hospital stay, and outcome. All patients had a minimum follow-up of 5 years. There were no flap losses and no reoperations due to anastomoses-related complications. Five of 30 patients had cerebrospinal fluid leak that resolved with spinal drain except in one case, where the flap was placed incorrectly and the patient died of meningitis. Two other patients died due to early complications of the surgery. Although the complication rate was quite high, we consider this type of surgery worth performing, and even palliative surgery is to be considered in selective cases. Rectus abdominis flap due to its pliability and long pedicle proved to be most suitable flap together with superficial temporal artery and vein as recipient vessels.

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