Development of Chronic Sphenoid Sinusitis After Sellar Reconstruction with Medpor Porous Polyethylene Implant

Nyssa Fox Farrell, Todd T. Kingdom, Anne E. Getz, Kevin O. Lillehei, A. Samy Youssef, Vijay R. Ramakrishnan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective: The Medpor porous polyethylene implant is reported to be safe and effective for sellar reconstruction after transsphenoidal surgery (TSS). However, we have observed several cases of delayed chronic sphenoid sinusitis related to the implant. The purpose of this study is to describe the presentation and management of implant-related sphenoid sinusitis after sellar reconstruction. Methods: This is a retrospective study of patients who underwent endonasal TSS with Medpor sellar reconstruction between December 2008 and January 2013 at a tertiary care institution. Patient demographics, initial surgical management, sinonasal symptoms, postoperative imaging, sinusitis management, and resulting outcomes were analyzed. Results: From 2008–2013, 139 patients underwent sellar reconstruction using Medpor. Five patients (3.6%) presented between 8 and 60 months after surgery with chronic sphenoid sinusitis that required surgical management. All 5 patients presented as outpatients for management of headaches and nasal drainage, 4 patients experienced chronic nasal congestion, and 3 patients noted recurrent sinusitis. At the time of revision surgery, all 5 patients were found to have mucosal inflammation and edema surrounding the implant, and 4 of the 5 had an exposed or partially extruded implant that was removed. Conclusions: Reconstruction of the sellar floor may be performed after TSS to prevent postoperative complications. Although porous polyethylene implants have previously been described as safe and effective for this purpose, surgeons should be aware of the risk of subsequent implant extrusion and chronic sphenoid sinusitis that can occur in a delayed manner.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e781-e786
JournalWorld neurosurgery
StatePublished - Mar 2019


  • CSF leak
  • Medpor
  • Pituitary adenoma
  • Porous polyethylene
  • Sellar reconstruction
  • Sphenoid sinusitis
  • Transsphenoidal surgery


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