Free tissue reconstruction of the anterior skull base: A review

Elizabeth Bradford Bell, Erin R. Cohen, Zoukaa Sargi, Jason Leibowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Objective: There has been a significant shift from open craniofacial resection of the anterior skull base to endoscopic approaches that accomplish the same outcomes in tumor ablation. However, when open resection is required, free flap reconstruction is often necessary to provide sufficient well-vascularized tissue for optimal wound healing as well as providing adequate tissue bulk for cosmesis. This articleaims to providea focused review of free flaps most commonly used in anterior skull base reconstruction. Methods: This is a state-of-the-art review based on expert opinion and previously published reviews and journal articles, queried using PubMed and Google Scholar. Results & conclusion: Anterior skull base reconstruction via free tissue transfer is imperative in limiting complications and promoting healing, particularly with large defects, post-radiation, and in at-risk patients. The type of free flap utilized for a particular anterior skull base reconstruction should be tailored to the patient and nature of the disease. This review offers insight into the numerous reconstructive options for the free flap surgeon.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)132-136
Number of pages5
JournalWorld Journal of Otorhinolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Anterior skull base
  • Free tissue transfer
  • Head and neck microvascular
  • Reconstruction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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