The inferior turbinate flap in skull base reconstruction
BACKGROUND Indications for expanded endoscopic approaches continue to grow, resulting in larger and more complex skull base defects. Reconstructive developments, however, have lagged our extirpative capabilities. As the complexity of clinical scenarios continues to escalate, challenging our current reconstructive strategies, we are compelled to develop alternative techniques to prevent cerebrospinal fluid leaks and protect neurovascular structures. In this article we show the anatomic basis for a new posterior pedicled flap from the lateral wall of the nose (Carrau-Hadad [C-H] flap) for the reconstruction of median skull base defects and present our early clinical experience. METHODS Using a cadaveric model, we designed a posterior pedicle flap comprising the nasal inferolateral wall mucoperiosteum. We applied this information clinically, to reconstruct transmural skull base defects. RESULTS In our cadaveric model, we harvested and transposed C-H flaps into various defects of the planum sphenoidale, sella turcica, clivus, and nasopharynx. Then, we used the C-H flap in four patients, successfully reconstructing their clival (n = 3) and sellar (n = 1) surgical defects. All patients healed uneventfully. CONCLUSION Our anatomic study and early clinical experience support the use of the posterior pedicle lateral nasal wall flap to reconstruct large cranial base defects resulting from endoscopic skull base surgery in properly selected patients.