Avoiding complications in endoscopic skull base surgery

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Purpose of review

Endoscopic skull base surgery has become an established approach for the removal of tumors and cerebrospinal fluid fistulae repair. Compared with external approaches, it provides better aesthetic results and quality of life postoperatively. However, as it becomes popular and expands its indications possible complications should be reassessed in terms of incidence and variability in order to confirm its efficacy and safety. This article reviews the recent literature describing the main categories of possible complications suggesting strategies to minimize their incidence.

Recent findings

Detailed preoperative planning based on imaging and histology can prevent major complications. Intraoperative use of image guidance and meticulous hemostasis provide the surgical field needed to avoid complications. Postoperative patient counseling, along with close and detailed nasal postoperative care are significant factors for an optimal outcome.


Monitoring of complications after endoscopic skull base surgery is necessary in order to standardize protocols of management and improve our surgical techniques. The presence of late onset complications underlines the need of a special focus in postoperative care and follow-up.

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