2019 Volume 59 Issue 3 Pages 79-88
Endoscopic skull base reconstruction (ESBR) following expanded-endoscopic endonasal approaches (EEA) in high-risk non-ideal endoscopic reconstructive candidates remains extremely challenging, and further innovations are still necessary. Here, the aim is to study the reconstructive knowledge gap following expanded-EEA and to introduce the watertight robust osteoconductive (WRO)-barrier as an alternative durable option. Distinctively, we focused on 10 clinical circumstances. A 3D-skull base-water system model was innovated to investigate the ESBR under realistic conditions. A large-irregular defect (31 × 89 mm) extending from the crista galli to the mid-clivus was achieved. Then, WRO-barrier was fashioned and its tolerance was evaluated under stressful settings, including an exceedingly high (55 cmH2O) pressure, with radiological assessment. Next, the whole WRO-barrier was drilled to examine its practical-safe removal (simulating redo-EEA) and the whole experiment was repeated. Finally, WRO-barrier was kept into place to value its 18-month long-term high-tolerance. Results in all experiments of WRO-barriers were satisfactorily fashioned to conform the geometry of the created defect under realistic circumstances via EEA, tolerated an exceedingly high pressure without evidence of leak even under stressful settings, resisted sudden-elevated pressure, and remained in its position to maintain long-term watertight seal (18 months), efficiently evaluated with neuroimaging and simply removed-and-reconstructed when redo-EEA is needed. In conclusion, WRO-barrier as an osteoconductive watertight robust design for cranial base reconstruction possesses several distinct qualities that might be beneficial for patients with complex skull base tumours.