Subgaleal retention sutures: Internal pressure dressing technique for Dolenc approach

Anthony M. Burrows, Tarek Rayan, Jamie J. Van Gompel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Extradural approach to the cavernous sinus, the "Dolenc"approach recognizing its developing Dr. Vinko Dolenc, is a critically important skull base approach. However, resection of the lateralwall of the cavernous sinus,most commonly for cavernous sinus meningiomas, results commonly in a defect that often cannot be reconstructed in a water-tight fashion. This may result in troublesome pseudomeningocele postoperatively. OBJECTIVE: To describe a technique designed to mitigate the development of pseudomeningocele. METHODS: We found the Dolenc approach critical for resection of cavernous lesions. However, a number of pseudomeningoceles were managed with prolonged external pressure wrapping in the early cohort. Therefore, we incorporated subgaleal to muscular sutures, which were designed to close this potential space and retrospectively analyzed our results. RESULTS: Twenty-one patients treated with a Dolenc approach and resection of the lateral wall of the cavernous sinus over a 2-year period were included. Prior to incorporation of this technique, 12 patients were treated and 3 (25%) experienced postoperative pseudomeningoceles requiring multiple clinic visits and frequent dressing. After incorporation of subgaleal retention sutures, no patient (0%) experienced this complication. CONCLUSION: Although basic, subgaleal to temporalis muscle retention sutures likely aid in eliminating this potential dead space, thereby preventing patient distress postoperatively. This technique is simple and further emphasizes the importance of dead space elimination in complex closures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)448-452
Number of pages5
JournalOperative Neurosurgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2017


  • Cavernous sinus surgery
  • Pseudomeningoceole
  • Skull base surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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