CSF leak repair

“CSF” stands for cerebrospinal fluid. This fluid surrounds the brain and spinal cord, providing nutrients and electrolytes to the tissues. CSF is separated from the sinuses by tissue and bone. For various reasons, a CSF leak can develop, resulting in unusual clear drainage from the nose. Other symptoms of a CSF leak can include:

  • Headache
  • Blurry vision
  • Drainage - often only from one side of the nose
  • Drainage which may occur when bending over
  • Recurrent infections around the brain (meningitis)
  • CSF leaks can be spontaneous, or they may be caused by several different factors including:

    • Trauma
    • Certain tumors
    • Prior sinus or skull base surgery

    After an appropriate workup, treatment involves identifying and repairing the site of the leak. In the past, these surgeries were performed by neurosurgeons who utilized an external approach through the skull. Currently, these procedures are performed by a qualified otolaryngologist (ENT) with or without a neurosurgeon. We utilize an endoscopic approach, accessing the area through the nose with an endoscope. Once the leak has been exposed, the area is repaired using various methods.

    After surgery, the patient is observed in the hospital for a few days before being discharged. Typically external incisions are not needed, which means a higher success rate and faster recovery.

    All of the physicians with the Raleigh Capitol Sinus and Allergy Center are affiliated with Raleigh Capitol Ear, Nose & Throat. Our experienced surgeons will promptly evaluate your condition with care and compassion. After ordering the appropriate testing to confirm the diagnosis of CSF leak, we will discuss surgical options with you and use the latest techniques to repair the leak safely and effectively.

    For an appointment, please contact us.

    For more information about this topic, we encourage you to visit care.american-rhinologic.org