Cerebrospinal Fluid Leak Repair

Cerebrospinal Fluid Leak Repair

If you have clear watery nasal drip or drainage you may have a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak and will need it repaired.  A CSF leak is more likely if the watery drip is of sudden onset after a traumatic injury to the head or after a nose or sinus surgery procedure. In some cases a CSF leak can develop slowly over time from increased intracranial pressure and this is more typical in patients that are significantly overweight.  If you have signs or symptoms of a Cerebrospinal fluid leak it can be repaired; it is critical to consult a Rhinologist immediately for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. The fluid that drains from the nose can be collected and tested to see if it contains beta-2 transferrin, a protein very unique to CSF. A CT scan (x-ray) of your sinuses and nasal endoscopy (looking inside the nose with a small camera) is essential to better assess the problem. The nasal endoscopy can show where specifically the leak is coming from and the CT scan can visualize any fractures of the bone between the brain and the sinuses also accurately localizing the leak. Once the exact source of the CSF leak is identified, the defect can be closed by performing a highly specialized procedure called a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak repair. Using a nasal endoscope through the nose, the area of CSF leak is plugged using a variety of graft materials and then covered with native nasal mucosa. The key is choosing an approach tailored to the severity, cause(s), and location of your CSF leak.

Cerebrospinal Fluid Leak

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