Duraplasty Using Autologous Fascia Lata and Latissimus Dorsi Free Flap for Chronic Cerebrospinal Fluid Leak

Stephan Barrientos, Marilyn Leif, Heidi H. Hon, Michele Aizenberg, Shannon Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak is a common complication after cranial surgery. Therefore, after neurosurgical procedures it is crucial to obtain a dural repair that is complete and watertight. There are many techniques that have been described attempting to achieve this goal. However, there are complicating factors (eg, poor tissue viability, need for future radiation, comorbidities, infection, size of the dural defect, multiple operations) that may require a more comprehensive approach to achieve an optimal healing environment. The authors present a technique that uses a muscle free flap to vascularize an autologous fascia lata graft, preserving the viability of the graft and reinforcing its healing ability.The authors applied this technique to a single patient with chronic CSF leak from poor tissue healing after treatments for recurrent medulloblastoma. After harvesting a fascia lata graft with appropriate size, the graft was sutured into the dural defect in a watertight fashion. A latissimus dorsi muscle free flap was harvested and anastomosed to a saphenous vein Corlett loop/AV fistula to the facial artery. The flap was than sutured to the graft. A drain was left in place and a skin graft was applied to the muscle flap.At 8 months follow-up the patient was able to continue with her treatment and has had a stable repair without leak or breakdown. The authors present an algorithm to facilitate dural repair selection.Duraplasty using autologous fascia lata reinforced with a free muscle flap is an effective technique to control chronic CSF leaks, especially when the dura is poorly vascularized and less viable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E671-E674
JournalJournal of Craniofacial Surgery
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019


  • CSF leak
  • duraplasty
  • fascia lata
  • free flap
  • medulloblastoma
  • muscle flap

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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