Background. A consecutive series of 85 patients undergoing craniofacial resection for malignant tumors involving the anterior cranial base between 1974 and 1992 was reviewed.
Results. There were two (2%) postoperative deaths. Postoperative complications occurred in 33 (39%) patients. Local major complications occurred in 26 (31%) patients, local minor in 7 (8%), and systemic in 5 (6%). More than one complication occurred in a number of patients. Bacterial contamination led to a significant proportion of local, septic complications. Repair of the skull base defect with a pedicled pericranial flap was unsatisfactory and was associated with an increased incidence of local major complications. A local major complication was associated with a dramatic lengthening of hospitalization.
Conclusion. Future endeavors for prevention of complications should focus on antibiotic prophylaxis and reconstruction of the cranial base defect with better vascularized flaps. © 1994 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.