Frontal craniotomies for a medial subfrontal approach necessitate crossing the frontal sinus. Large superior extensions of the frontal sinus into frontal bone can result in mucosal retention in a free craniotomy bone flap, leading to a delayed mucocele with significant associated morbidity. The authors describe an “open-window” craniectomy technique that permits mucosal removal under direct vision and maintains the inner table on the bone flap’s inferior side, helping to seal off the sinus opening with a pericranial flap.
An illustrative case involving a medial right frontal craniotomy for a third ventricle mass in a patient with a large superior extension of the frontal sinus into frontal bone is presented. After creating a free frontal bone flap, the inner table was drilled out to the margins of the frontal sinus cavity and any remaining mucosa was cleared. A portion of the inner table above the bone flap’s inferior margin was left in place, resembling an open window when viewed from the inner table side. The remaining anterior and posterior wall of the flap inferiorly provided a matched surface for the opening into the remaining frontal sinus, which was covered by pericranium. Long-term follow-up indicated no major complications or delayed mucocele.
The open-window craniectomy technique can be considered for frontal sinus violations in patients with large superior frontal bone extension.