Transsphenoidal treatment of empty sella by means of a silastic coil: Technical note

Gianluigi Zona, Vincenzo Testa, Pier Filippo Sbaffi, Renato Spaziante, Edward R. Laws, Kalmon D. Post, Alex M. Landolt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE AND IMPORTANCE: Several methods have been proposed to achieve transsphenoidal arachnoid mobilization and chiasmapexy in symptomatic empty sella (primary or secondary empty sella syndrome). These procedures are often difficult to perform and have not always had satisfactory long-term outcomes because of the difficulty of achieving adequate and long-lasting sellar filling over time. The volume of fat or muscle packing decreases over time as a result of scar retraction. The same problem may occur with intrasellar balloon placement because of deflation of the balloon. TECHNIQUE: We propose extradural packing accomplished through a transsphenoidal approach, using a Silastic (Dow Corning, Auburn, MI) coil, fashioned by means of a ventricular catheter arranged as a spiral. RESULTS: This technique was used in four patients with satisfactory and long-lasting clinical results. It presents several advantages over previous methods: it can be tailored to each patient; Silastic is an inert substance, and therefore scarring, with consequent shrinkage, does not occur; and because the coil is very elastic, it presents few risks of inflammatory complications or of excessive compression of sellar, parasellar, and suprasellar structures. Furthermore, this technique does not require a supplementary skin incision to harvest autologous tissues (fat, muscle, or fascia lata). A skilled neurosurgeon can perform the procedure in a few minutes with more ease and less expense than other techniques. CONCLUSION: The reported technique is a valid alternative to classic transsphenoidal extradural packing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1299-1303
Number of pages5
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2002


  • Empty sella syndrome
  • Sella turcica
  • Transsphenoidal surgery


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