Temporal lobe encephaloceles and cerebrospinal fluid otorrhea from temporal bone defects that involve the tegmen tympani and mastoideum are generally repaired using middle fossa craniotomy, mastoidectomy, or combined approaches. Standard middle fossa craniotomy exposes patients to dural retraction, which can lead to postoperative neurological complications. Endoscopic and minimally invasive techniques have been used in other surgeries to minimize brain retraction, and so these methods were applied to repair the lateral skull base. The goal of this study was to determine if the use of endoscopic visualization through a middle fossa keyhole craniotomy could effectively repair tegmen defects.
The authors conducted a retrospective review of 6 cases of endoscope-assisted middle fossa repairs of tegmen dehiscences at a tertiary care medical center within an 18-month period.
All cases were successfully treated using a keyhole craniotomy with endoscopic visualization and minimal retraction. Surgical times did not increase. There were no major postoperative complications, recurrences of encephaloceles, or cerebrospinal fluid otorrhea in these patients.
Endoscopic visualization allows for smaller incisions and craniotomies and less risk of brain retraction injury without compromising repair integrity during temporal encephalocele and tegmen repairs.