Neurotologic and skull base surgery involves working around important neurovascular and neurotologic structures and can incur unwarranted complications. Knowledge of surgical anatomy, good preoperative planning, intraoperative monitoring, and excellent microsurgical technique contribute to minimizing and avoiding complications. In the event of a complication, however, the neurotologic surgeon should be prepared to manage it. In this article, the authors focus on the management of complications encountered in neurotologic skull base surgery, including hemorrhage, stroke, cerebrospinal fluid leak, extraocular motility deficits, facial paralysis, hearing loss, dizziness, lower cranial nerve palsies, and postoperative headache.
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