Original Investigation

Outcomes of Middle Turbinate Flap in the Reconstruction of Non-tumorous Ventral Skull Base Defects - an Institutional Review


  • Vinoth Manimaran
  • Somu Lakshmanan
  • Aishwarya Prateep
  • Ramya Baburajan

Received Date: 15.07.2020 Accepted Date: 12.11.2020 Turk Arch Otorhinolaryngol 2020;58(4):214-219


Middle turbinate (MT) flap, based on the branches of sphenopalatine artery is one of the commonest mucosal flaps used in endoscopic skull base surgery. The objective of this study is to analyze the outcomes of the MT flap in the reconstruction of non-tumorous ventral skull base defects.


A retrospective review of patients was done from 2010-19. Patients who underwent reconstruction for non-tumorous ventral skull base defects using middle turbinate (MT) flap were included in the study. The parameters assessed include patient demography, primary etiology, site of the defect, size of the defect, graft materials used, outcomes and postoperative complications.


A total of 13 patients who met the study criteria were included. Three (23.07%) of the patients had meningo-encephalocele, while the remaining 10 (76.93%) had CSF fistula. Isolated foveal defect (53.8%) was the most common site involved, followed by isolated cribriform, combined cribriform-foveal and combined foveal-planar defects. Graft materials used were fascia lata, fat and septal cartilage. MT flap was successfully harvested in 11 (84.6%) patients, with successful outcome in 10/11 patients. Hypoplastic MT was present in two patients, who subsequently required Hadad flap for defect closure. No major complications were reported in the postoperative period.


The MT flap is effective in the reconstruction of selective skull base defects. Appropriate surgical technique and expertise are required for successful harvest. Further studies are required to analyze its outcomes in various skull base defects.

Keywords: Middle turbinate, skull base, surgical flap, reconstruction, endoscopic surgical procedure