OBJECTIVE - To describe functional and reconstructive results after revision lateral skull base surgery with comparison of benign and malignant lesions.
STUDY DESIGN - Retrospective case review.
SETTING - Tertiary referral center.
PATIENTS - All patients undergoing revision surgery for benign and malignant lateral skull base tumors.
INTERVENTIONS - Surgical resection of recurrent lateral skull base tumors and reconstruction of resulting defects.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES - Cranial nerve function postoperative complications.
RESULTS - Forty operations for recurrent lateral skull base tumors occurred between January 1, 1987, and December 31, 2003, with follow-up of at least 1 year. Thirty-three operations were for benign lesions, 27 of which were glomus tumors. Seven operations were for malignant tumors. Fifty-eight percent of patients had preoperative cranial nerve deficits (66% of benign tumors and 14% of malignancies). The most common preoperative deficit occurred in the Xth cranial nerve. Postoperative cranial nerve deficits were seen in 95% of patients and multiple nerve deficits were seen in 75%. The most common postoperative deficits were observed in the IXth and Xth cranial nerves. Thirty-one patients had one previous procedure, six had two previous procedures, and three had three previous procedures. Abdominal fat and temporoparietal fascia were the most common reconstruction materials. There was one case of meningitis, two cerebrospinal fluid leaks, and one pseudomeningocele. There was one recurrent adenoid cystic tumor resulting in death and two partially resected glomus tumors. Subsequent procedures are discussed.
CONCLUSION - Postoperative cranial deficits are more common after revision skull base surgery than after primary surgery. Complete resection without recurrence can be expected for revision skull base surgery. Modern reconstruction techniques reduce major postoperative complications and morbidity from cranial nerve deficits.