A surgical technique called cranioplasty is used to fix a defect in the skull. The skull is the bony structure that envelops and safeguards the brain. A surgeon performing a cranioplasty will replace a piece of your skull, reshape your skull, or fix the damage on your skull.
Typically, this kind of surgery occurs after:
Cranioplasty might be necessary following certain kinds of craniectomies or other brain surgeries. When it is safe to undergo a cranioplasty and whether you are a candidate for the procedure will be communicated to you by your surgeon.
Cranioplasty is indicated for the following conditions:
Research indicates that the probability of a risk or complication after a cranioplasty treatment is around forty percent. The likelihood of complications following surgery depends on the condition your surgeon had to treat and on your overall health. The following are the most typical post-cranioplasty complications:
Following a cranioplasty, the following complications may be fatal:
Your surgeon will examine you physically and go over your entire medical history with you before a cranioplasty. In order to get you ready for surgery, they will schedule testing, which may include:
Before surgery, your surgeon will choose which material is best to utilize to repair your skull. In order to precisely measure and fabricate a prosthetic that fits the defect or damaged part of the skull, specialized imaging examinations can be required.
Before surgery, your surgeon may advise you to adjust your medication. If you take blood thinners on a regular basis, you might need to discontinue using them. Medication should not be stopped until your doctor gives the okay. To lower your risk of infection or surgical problems, your surgeon may also advise you to take antibiotics or anticonvulsants.
You must cut back on or give up using tobacco products and alcoholic beverages at least one week prior to surgery and for a few weeks following it in order to avoid issues that could impair your body’s ability to recuperate.
An anesthesiologist will administer anesthesia to you on the day of the procedure, along with drugs to induce sleep and manage pain.
During the procedure, your surgeon will:
During a cranioplasty, your surgeon will utilize one of the following materials to repair your skull:
Your surgeon will select a material that suits the requirements of the operation while reducing your risk of problems.
The average duration of a cranioplasty is three hours. Depending on what your surgeon needs to do, it can take longer.
You usually spend the night following a cranioplasty in a monitored unit, also known as a step-down unit, so your doctor can keep an eye on your recovery. You will be transferred to a regular hospital bed and monitored for an average of five days (or longer, if necessary) if there are no issues.
After surgery, pain, such as a headache, is possible. You will receive medicine from your doctor to help you feel better and reduce pain. It is crucial to ensure that you rest with your head elevated and supported by pillows.
You will receive imaging scans of your head before you are discharged from the hospital to ensure that everything is healing as it should. Once you are discharged from the hospital, your surgeon will provide you with detailed instructions on how to take care of yourself following surgery. You should take plenty of breaks from physically demanding tasks. Until your doctor gives the all-clear, avoid driving.
The length of your recovery depends on the type and extent of your surgery. Following a cranioplasty, recovery typically takes one to three months. For further details on how long it will take you to recover, speak with your doctor.
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