Treatment for Infection of Artificial Dura Mater Using Free Fascia Lata

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Synthetic artificial dura mater materials, such as expanded polytetrafluoroethylene sheets, are widely used in dura mater reconstruction in cases involving brain tumors or trauma surgery. In patients with postoperative infection related to the use of artificial dura mater, surgical debridement of the infected wound and removal of the artificial dura mater materials are necessary to control infection. In cases involving cerebrospinal fluid leakage, dura mater reconstruction must be performed immediately. Many useful techniques for performing dura mater reconstruction to treat postoperative infection have been reported; however, some have drawbacks with respect to the need for microvascular anastomosis or difficulties in obtaining watertight closure.

We successfully treated 6 patients with postoperative artificial dura mater infection using free thigh fascia lata. Some surgeons believe that the use of free fascia in infected wounds is dangerous because free fascia is a non–vascularized tissue. However, performing complete debridement and covering such free fascia with well-vascularized tissue allow the fascia to become vascularized and tolerant of infection. Therefore, if the blood flow in the scalp is acceptable after a sufficient debridement, free fascia lata can be used for reconstruction in patients with postoperative infection of artificial dura mater. Furthermore, skull reconstruction can be performed safely and easily with solid-type artificial bone, sometimes combined with tissue expansion, thus resulting in good aesthetic outcomes.

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