What are the causes of abnormalities of the skull?There are several conditions which can lead to abnormalities in skull structure, such as
- premature close of the cranial sutures
- Incapability of the skull to expand as the brain grows.
- Some hereditary conditions that can cause children to be born with skull irregularities.
- Persistent damage to the skull as a result of trauma.
- A hole in the head.
- The defect in some places that leaves the brain exposed that could cause severe damage
How is Cranioplasty performed?Cranioplasty is a procedure that takes approximately to replace a portion of the skull with either original bone tissue or plastic implants.
- The patient is given general anesthetic and is positioned with the bone defect uppermost.
- The area of incision is shaved and prepared with antiseptic.
- The patient is covered in drape in such a way only the incision can be viewed.
- Local anesthetic is injected and then the area is cut.
- The scalp is cut apart from the ‘dura’, the underlying covering of the brain, and the edges of the surrounding bone are cleaned to let the graft to stick.
- The surgeon will decide on the source of the graft. The iliac bone bounding the pelvis, ribs and even a part of adjacent skull bone can be used.
- It is also possible to fix a gap in the skull by using synthetic material. Materials such as tantalum, silastic, titanium plate, rib graft, prefabricated acrylic, synthetic bone substitute, and other similar material manufactured for the fast use of implantation into the body can also be used.
- The original bone or a replacement that is kept ready is placed in the defect area and secured with screws, plates or with special discs.
- If the graft is not available, the patient is treated from the chosen material.
- This is shaped to fit.
- This is also fixed to the surrounding area.
- Once plated everything is repositioned.
- The skin is then closed either with nylon suture or with special staples.
What is the recovery time?
- It is essential for the patient to be in hospital.
- The ease of the operation relies on the cause of the bone defect.
- If the underlying covering of the brain, the dura mater, is unbroken and healthy, the operation is straightforward and uncomplicated.
- The patient is discharged about 5-7 days.
- The sutures are removed 5-10 days after.