The fluid surrounding the brain, if it leaks and comes into the nose and sinuses, or ear, it is called a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak. The fluid is kept around the brain and spinal cord by two coverings called the dura and arachnoid. When these coverings are breached by operations, head trauma or tumours it can lead to a defect or fistula. Sometimes it happens without any specific reason.
Symptoms usually include a headache that worsens when you sit up and feels better when you lie down. Very often there will be continuous watery dripping from the nose on bending forwards. A salty taste is also often felt in the throat.
Since there is a risk of infection getting into the brain ( meningitis) from the nose a surgical approach is to be planned for correcting the defect and stopping the leak. This can be done endoscopically through the nose. The defect in the skull base where the nose, & brain are separated is identified, & the defect is patched up with fat taken from the earlobe, abdomen or the thigh.Thus an extensive neurosurgical procedure (craniotomy) can be avoided. The results are also better with the endoscopic approach.