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Skull base surgery. 1995 October; 5(4): 207–212.
PMCID: PMC1656524

Free Latissimus Dorsi Flap for Reconstruction of the Anterior Base of the Skull


Defects resulting after resection of malignant tumors of the paranasal sinuses involving the anterior base of the skull need an adequate closure. In addition to such avital tissue as fascia lata, fat, or ceramics, in recent years we used free muscle flaps from the latissimus dorsi for reconstruction. We performed this reconstructive method in seven patients after radical tumor ##. The operation was performed in cooperation with the neurosurgeon. In three cases a transfrontal in combination with a transfacial approach was used and in four cases only a transfacial approach was chosen. The flap was tailored as a pure muscle transplant if only the base of the skull had to be repaired and the surgical cavity had to be obhiterated. In three cases a skin paddle was left on the muscle to perform a closure of the orbit and the hard palate. In four patients we performed primary reconstruction, in three cases secondary reconstruction, which was necessary because cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leakage occurred after primary reconstruction with avital tissue in addition to insufficient pericranial flap. None of the patients with primary reconstruction developed CSF leakage. There was no free flap failure. The aim of this reconstruction is a safe closure of skull base defects to prevent infection, meningitis, brain abscess, and brain herniation.

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Selected References

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