In most cases, the cerebrospinal fluid leak will heal on its own; bed rest for a few days is the most common recommendation, as well as pain relievers to treat associated headaches. The greatest concern of a CSF leak is developing meningitis, which is a life-threatening bacterial infection, so antibiotics may be prescribed.
Pneumocephalus, which is a buildup of air within the cranial cavity, is another life-threatening complication associated with CSF leaks. If the leak does not heal on its own, other treatments may include placing a lumbar drain to assist the tear in self-repair or surgical repair of the tear. Surgical repair may be performed via a minimally invasive, endoscopic approach. The term “endoscopic” refers to the use of small nasal telescopes that allow all of the surgery to be performed through the nostrils, without the need for any incisions on the face. Special instruments are then used to repair the damaged tissue.
If your cerebrospinal fluid leak needs surgical attention, you can rest assured that our surgeons
at the Yale Sinus and Allergy Program are specialists in the most-advanced, minimally invasive techniques. We know surgery can seem intimidating, so we take the time to answer all your questions and concerns. We want you to feel comfortable every step of the way.