A Cadaveric Feasibility Study of the Biportal Endoscopic Transfrontal Sinus Approach: A Minimally Invasive Approach to the Anterior Cranial Fossa.

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BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: The trans-sinus transglabellar and bifrontal approaches offer direct access to the anterior cranial fossa. However, these approaches present potential drawbacks. We propose the biportal endoscopic transfrontal sinus (BETS) approach, adapting endoscopic endonasal approach (EEA) techniques for minimally invasive access to the anterior fossa, reducing tissue manipulation, venous sacrifice, and brain retraction.

METHODS: Six formalin specimens were used. BETS approach involves 2 incisions over the medial aspect of both eyebrows from the supraorbital notch to the medial end of the eyebrow. A unilateral pedicled pericranial flap is harvested. A craniotomy through the anterior table of the frontal sinus (FS) and a separate craniotomy through the posterior table are performed. Two variants of the approach (preservative vs cranialization) are described for opening and reconstruction of the FS based on the desired pathology to access. Bone flap replacement can be performed with titanium plates and filling of the external table defect with bone cement.

RESULTS: Like in EEA, this approach provides access for endoscope and multiple working instruments to be used simultaneously. The approach allows wide access to the anterior cranial fossa, subfrontal, and interhemispheric corridors, all the way up to the suprachiasmatic corridor and through the lamina terminalis to the third ventricle. BETS provides direct access to the anterior fossa, minimizing the level of frontal lobe retraction and providing potentially less tissue disruption and improved cosmesis. Cerebrospinal fluid fistula risk remains one of the major concerns as the narrow corridor limits achieving a watertight closure which can be mitigated with a pedicled flap. Mucocele risk is minimized with full cranialization or reconstruction of the FS.

CONCLUSION: The BETS approach is a minimally invasive approach that translates the concepts of EEA to the FS. It allows excellent access to the anterior cranial fossa structures with minimal frontal lobe retraction.




Medicine and Health Sciences




Department of Surgery, Fellows and Residents

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