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Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) Leaks

Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is a mixture of water and electrolytes that circulates the brain and spinal cord. A CSF leak through the nose may be caused by a disruption in the lining of the brain, or in the bone that separates the brain from the sinuses. Most often, the CSF drainage will appear as a noticeable clear nasal drip when leaning or bending over, or arising from a laying position. 

CSF leaks are extremely dangerous and potentially life-threatening as they can lead to meningitis—an infection of the cerebrospinal fluid and lining that covers the brain. This is why it is important to consult a rhinologist like the ones at My Houston Surgeons immediately, if you suspect you are suffering from a CSF leak. 

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Understanding Cerebrospinal Fluid Leaks

Cerebrospinal fluid is produced in an area within the brain called the choroid plexus. This structure continuously replenishes this fluid to ensure the safety of the brain. A CSF leak can be arise from several different causes, including:

– Intracranial pressure that causes the thinning of the bone between the brain and the sinuses
– A blow, or trauma, to the head or face that causes the bone between the brain and the sinuses to fracture
– Surgical accidents in which an inexperienced surgeon accidentally penetrates the sinus bones while operating (though this is very rare)

Symptoms of a cerebrospinal fluid leak include:

– Severe headaches when standing or sitting upright, that alleviate when lying down
– Watery nasal drip that has a salty taste
– Clear, watery nasal drainage from only one side of the nose, that is worsened when getting up from a seated or lying position
– Newly onset neck stiffness

Why Choose Us?

At My Houston Surgeons, we are able to treat a variety of sinus problems. We can prescribe the right course of action and follow through with state of the art treatment plans for each person. Our office has the most current CT Scanning, cutting edge technology allowing for minimally-invasive, in-office procedures, as well as nationally recognized luxury recovery suites. Plus we have highly-trained, board-certified sinus surgeons to care for you every step of the way.

 

Treatment

If you have the symptoms of a CSF Leak, consult a rhinologist immediately. One of the talented rhinologists at My Houston Surgeons can offer you an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. 

During treatment, your rhinologist will often collect and test your nasal drip to see if it contains beta-2 transferrin, a protein unique to CSF. A CT scan may also be used to asses your condition more closely. Additionally, your surgeon may also perform a nasal endoscopy to look inside your nasal structures to pinpoint exactly where the leak is coming from. 

A small leak may be treated with a lumbar spinal drain, in the hopes that the leak will resolve on its own. However, if the leak persists after the drain placement, surgery may be necessary to correct the problem. The key is determining the right course of treatment for every patient. Fortunately, at My Houston Surgeons, we know that every patient is different, which is why we promote individualized approaches for every case. 

Quality Patient Care

My Houston Surgeons has a number of fellowship trained sinus specialists in their team, ready to treat conditions like sinusitis with the skill and finesse required. Our team is highly trained in a wide variety surgical treatments concerning sinus and nasal disorders, so you can rest assured that your treatment for Chronic Sinusitis will be the one best suited for your health and full recovery.

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Sinus Blog Posts

Additionally, to learn more about sinus, read the following blogs. They provide surgery tips, reasons to finally book the procedure and also the most common medical conditions that a sinus surgeon can treat.

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