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Avoiding complications in endoscopic skull base surgery

Constantinidis, Jannis; Konstantinidis, Iordanis

Current Opinion in Otolaryngology & Head and Neck Surgery: February 2017 - Volume 25 - Issue 1 - p 79–85
doi: 10.1097/MOO.0000000000000327
NOSE AND PARANASAL SINUSES: Edited by Samuel S. Becker and Nithin D. Adappa

Purpose of review Endoscopic skull base surgery has become an established approach for the removal of tumors and cerebrospinal fluid fistulae repair. Compared with external approaches, it provides better aesthetic results and quality of life postoperatively. However, as it becomes popular and expands its indications possible complications should be reassessed in terms of incidence and variability in order to confirm its efficacy and safety. This article reviews the recent literature describing the main categories of possible complications suggesting strategies to minimize their incidence.

Recent findings Detailed preoperative planning based on imaging and histology can prevent major complications. Intraoperative use of image guidance and meticulous hemostasis provide the surgical field needed to avoid complications. Postoperative patient counseling, along with close and detailed nasal postoperative care are significant factors for an optimal outcome.

Summary Monitoring of complications after endoscopic skull base surgery is necessary in order to standardize protocols of management and improve our surgical techniques. The presence of late onset complications underlines the need of a special focus in postoperative care and follow-up.

2nd Academic ORL Department, Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, Greece

Correspondence to Prof Jannis Constantinidis, 24 Adrianoupoleos str, Kalamaria, Thessaloniki, Greece. Tel: +30 2313323525; fax: +30 6944346056; e-mail:

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