The large ablations needed to remove some lateral skull base pathologic conditions remain a challenge to the reconstructive surgeon. Major short-comings abound despite significant development of surgical techniques and advances in the understanding of healing. The tremendous advances of the past 30 years with the dawn of major tissue transfer techniques, new biomaterials, and the use of surgical teams with enormous combined clinical knowledge bases have catapulted surgical reconstruction efforts. Progress has been tempered by the realization that normal tissue functions are still incompletely rebuilt. As work on tissue culture, genomic understanding, biomechanics, blood oxygenation substitutes, and other research fronts progress and converge, newer and better ways of addressing lateral skull base reconstruction will arise.
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