The transpalatal approach to repair of congenital Basal skull base cephaloceles

Hoff, S. R.; Edwards, M. S.; Bailey, C. M.; Koltai, P. J.

J Neurol Surg B Skull Base. 2014 Jul 30; 75(2):96-103


Basal skull base herniations, including meningoceles and encephaloceles, are rare and may present with characteristic facial and neurologic features. The traditional craniotomy approach has known morbidity, and nasal endoscopy may not allow for control of large posterior basal defects, especially in newborns. We present two cases of successful repair of basal transsphenoidal meningoceles using an oral-transpalatal approach. The first patient with an intact palate presented with respiratory distress, and a palatectomy was performed for access to the skull base. The second patient had a large basal herniation that was reduced through a congenital midline cleft palate, and a calvarial bone graft was used to repair the defect. A literature search revealed 10 previous successful cases using the transpalatal repair, which allows for excellent access, low morbidity, and a team-oriented method to skull base surgery.

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