Reconstruction of the third through sixth cranial nerves during cavernous sinus surgery

L. N. Sekhar, G. Lanzino, C. N. Sen, S. Pomonis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Sixteen reconstruction procedures of the third through sixth cranial nerves were carried out in 14 patients during operations on 149 tumors involving the cavernous sinus. A direct end-to-end anastomosis was performed in five nerves, whereas in 11 cases the nerve stumps were bridged by means of an interposing nerve graft. The sixth cranial nerve was most frequently reconstructed (nine cases). In four cases, the fifth nerve or root was repaired. The third nerve was reconstructed in two patients, and the fourth nerve was repaired in only one case. Recovery of function, either partial or complete, was observed in 13 nerves: the third in two instances, the fourth in one, the fifth in three, and the sixth in seven. No return of function occurred in three nerves. In patients with a successful recovery of cranial nerve function, either binocular function or the cosmetic result was improved. These results suggest that repair of the third through sixth cranial nerves injured during surgery should be pursued in suitable patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)935-943
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of neurosurgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1992


  • abducens nerve
  • cavernous sinus
  • nerve repair
  • oculomotor nerve
  • trigeminal nerve

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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