PURPOSE OF REVIEW - This article summarizes the indications and surgical techniques for the reconstructions of anterior skull base defects.
RECENT FINDINGS - There is increasing popularity of the vascularized pedicled flaps in endoscopic skull base surgery for the successful reconstruction of anterior skull base defects, compared with the use of free-tissue grafts. The location and size of the defect as well as the rate of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow are important considerations for selection of the most appropriate reconstructive approach. Recent literature provides evidence suggesting that pedicled flaps may be more effective for clival defects and high-flow CSF leaks, potentially reducing the incidence of postoperative CSF leaks. Although the nasoseptal flap (NSF) continues to be the mainstay of endoscopic skull base reconstruction, alternative vascularized flaps exist when the NSF is impractical or unavailable, and new surgical approaches continue to evolve.
SUMMARY - Vascularized pedicled flaps, and especially the NSF, have greatly reduced complications associated with endoscopic skull base surgery. Multiple considerations should be taken into account during closure of skull base defects, and several options are available to accommodate different needs.