Implementation of Free Mucosal Graft Technique for Sellar Reconstruction After Pituitary Surgery: Outcomes of 158 Consecutive Patients

Robert J. Scagnelli, Varun Patel, Maria Peris-Celda, Tyler J. Kenning, Carlos D. Pinheiro-Neto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Background: Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak is a common complication after surgeries involving sellar reconstruction. Various techniques, including the nasoseptal flap, have been developed to limit postoperative CSF leak. However, the nasoseptal flap causes complications owing to donor site morbidity. A free mucosal graft may be just as effective in reducing CSF leaks as well as reducing postoperative nasal discomfort. This study aimed to assess operative outcomes of free mucosal graft after pituitary resection. Methods: A retrospective chart review was performed for patients who underwent endoscopic endonasal resection of pituitary adenomas. The following data were collected: demographic data, intraoperative CSF leak, postoperative CSF leak, other complications, and mucosal graft healing at 1 month. Also, the Sinonasal Outcome Test-22 was administered preoperatively and 1 month and 3 months postoperatively. Results: Charts of 158 patients were reviewed, including patients who underwent no mucosal reconstruction, free mucosal graft reconstruction, and nasoseptal flap reconstruction. There was a 7.4% postoperative CSF leak rate in patients who underwent no reconstruction (n = 27), whereas postoperative CSF leak rate was 0.82% in patients undergoing free mucosal graft reconstruction (n = 122) (P < 0.05). Sinonasal Outcome Test-22 scores for patients with free mucosal graft reconstruction showed no significant worsening postoperatively. Conclusions: The free mucosal graft is a simple and effective means of sellar reconstruction in patients undergoing endonasal endoscopic pituitary resection, and its efficacy is similar to nasoseptal flaps. The free mucosal graft technique does not worsen sinonasal morbidity postoperatively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e506-e511
JournalWorld neurosurgery
StatePublished - Feb 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

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