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Averting Delayed Complications of Open Anterior Skull Base Surgery
Objective Despite its technical feasibility, anterior skull base surgery still carries the risk of severe postoperative complications, morbidity, and mortality. The reported rate of complications has diminished over the past two decades, but they continue to pose various challenges. This study aims to report late complications in a relatively large series of patients who underwent open anterior skull base surgery, and to propose methods for averting such complications.
Methods Retrospective chart review of all patients who underwent anterior open skull base surgery between 2000 and 2016 in a university-affiliated tertiary referral cancer center.
Results There were 301 operations, of which 198 (65.8%) were for benign disease and 103 (34.2%) were for malignant tumors. The male-to-female ratio was 1.4:1, and the mean age was 44.8 years. Delayed complications occurred in 85 patients (28.2%): 31 (10.3%) involved wounds, 18 (13.9%) involved the central nervous system, and 14 (4.6%) involved the orbit. Multivariate analysis found malignant pathology, intracranial extension, and previous radiochemotherapy as predictors for the development of a delayed complication. The patients who were operated in the later study period (after 2007) had lower rates of all three types of complications compared with the earlier study period.
Conclusion Delayed complications following skull base surgery are in decline. This is mainly due to the advancement in imaging studies, surgical techniques, development of sophisticated reconstructive procedures, and the cooperation of multidisciplinary teams. We attribute the reduction in our department to our revised treatment protocol which is presented herein, with emphasis on averting the occurrence of these complications.
Level of Evidence The level of evidence is 4.
Received: 01 March 2020
Accepted: 03 May 2020
05 August 2020 (online)
© 2020. Thieme. All rights reserved.
Georg Thieme Verlag KG
Rüdigerstraße 14, 70469 Stuttgart, Germany
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