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CSF Leak Repair – Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

A cerebrospinal fluid leak is a condition in which the protective fluid cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) that surrounds the brain leaks into the ears or the sinuses. The skull base – a bony separation that separates the brain from the sinuses and the ears – keeps the brain sterile. CSF cushions the brain by surrounding it. The inside of the skull provides a seal by means of a leathery tissue-like thick membrane that lines inside the skull. This prevents spinal fluid from leaking and escaping. However, when this barrier breaks, a CSF leak occurs.

Some types of tumors, head trauma, and certain types of surgeries can damage the dura and lead to CSF leak. Sometimes, the leak may occur spontaneously. Why CSF leak repair is important – Untreated meningitis, brain infections, or brain stroke can become life-threatening if left untreated.

What are the Symptoms of CSF Leak?

The most prominent symptom of CSF leak is an upright headache that becomes severe when a person straightens up or sit upright or stand – but the headache improves when the person lies down.

  • In some cases, there is no direct link with the position of the headache as it progressively becomes worse throughout the day.
  • The CSF may also drain down the back of the throat.
  • Some persons may have watery and clear fluid running down their nose and ears when they lean or bend forward or move their head around.
  • The other symptoms of CSF leak may include changes in vision, hearing loss, and tinnitus.

How is CSF Leak Diagnosed?

Doctors use a variety of tests to diagnose cerebrospinal fluid leaks, which includes:

  • MRI scan
  • CT scan
  • Nasal endoscopy
  • Testing of nasal secretions

The treatment of CSF leak

Depending on the location of the leak, the treatment of the CSF leak may vary. CSF Leak repair Surgery is recommended if the leak doesn’t improve with treatment or when it is severe. Surgery may also be recommended for the treatment of herniated brain tissue, blood clotting in the brain, and severe CSF leak. Leaks into the sinuses can be repaired through minimally invasive endoscopic procedures. Cerebrospinal fluid leak from the ear typically requires open surgery.

Endoscopic Repair of Cerebrospinal Fluid Leak Rhinorrhoea (Drainage from the Nose)

In this procedure, our doctor accesses the leak through the patient’s nose, avoiding any external incision. Small tissue from the nasal lining is placed on the leaking site after the location of the leak has been precisely identified.

Repair of Cerebrospinal Fluid Leak Otorrhea (Drainage from the Ear)

A cerebrospinal fluid leak into the ear requires traditional surgical incisions. The options for surgery depend on the location of the leak. If the leak is toward the back of the skull, outpatient surgery can usually correct the problem. If the leak is near the center of the skull, it requires a craniotomy. 

What can you Expect After CSF Leak Repair?

To ensure that the surgery is successful and the recovery is complete, each patient’s recovery plan is tailored. Patients are advised to take bed rest for two to three days to help facilitate the healing process. Doctors closely monitor leak recurrence. It can take up to four to six weeks to heal completely. During this time, the patient is advised not to do the heavy lifting, straining, and nose blowing.

Dr. Neetu Modgil, with more than 15 years of experience offers a rapid and accurate diagnosis of this condition with world-class CSF leak repair surgery options to correct the leak. Comprehensive post-surgical care can optimize treatment and recovery.

Happy Patients


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  • Dr. Neetu really cares for her patients & this clearly shows. My experience with her has been very good. She is very patient, clearly explains the treatment & answers any queries regarding it. Thank you for the services.

    S. Kiran

  • Dr Neetu Modgil was excellent. Thorough, kind and patient, she did an excellent job. I will be requesting her services for my next appointment.

    Chandu Reddy

  • She is a blessing to this profession . So humble and approachable. she operated my ear , when every doctor i visited said no to me saying the risk of surgery is more . But she not only took risk...

    Ipshita Purohit

  • In my life i have met number of great doctor , but the way she talks , listens and convince the patient that is very rare and incredible , Very much experience ,humble doctor , highly recommended for any ENT...

    Rahul Yadav

  • It was good experience with doctor Neethu the way she treated me, felt like she treated me like her kid, Listens to our problems patiently,Her analysis and diagnosis was good.Clinic's ambience was quite good as well. I'd recommend her.

    Vijay Panwar

  • Visited for Ear wax. Explained well to me. removed my ear wax very well. Dr. is Very friendly with me.

    Aman Singh Mehta

  • She listen to my problem very attentively and prescribed medicine to take care of my problem. Besides being a good doctor she’s a wonderful human being too.

    Neha Nagar

  • I went for throat infection and clicking sound. She was very patient to hear my issue. Then did her examination and explained me the issue. She don't writes unnecessary tests and give minimum and required medication. I wish to have...

    Vinit Pandey

  • she is a friendly doctor and explained the disease very well. She had helped me out in my difficult times. Am very thankful yo her. Would like to recommend her to others.

    Ms. Atreyee Pal

  • I am obliged for everything doctor has done for me from day one. I am absolutely fine three months post surgery. I had many doubts before surgery but now as I m going well , I am happy and content.


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