A craniotomy is the most commonly performed surgery for brain tumour removal. It also may be done to remove a blood clot (hematoma), to control haemorrhage from a weak, leaking blood vessel (cerebral aneurysm), to repair arteriovenous malformations (abnormal connections of blood vessels), to drain a brain abscess, to relieve pressure inside the skull, to perform a biopsy, or to inspect the brain. A cranioplasty is a surgical procedure to correct a deformity or defect of the skull and it is usually performed following a traumatic injury to the skull or after a previous brain surgery such as a craniotomy or craniectomy. In order to correct the defect the physician may have to use a prosthetic or other synthetic surgical material to complete the procedure.
Advantage: Early cranioplasty is helpful for improvement of neurological functions of patients.
What is the difference between a craniotomy and craniectomy?
Both procedures involve removing a portion of the skull, usually to perform surgery on the brain. The difference is that after a craniotomy the bone is replaced and after a craniectomy the bone is not replaced immediately.
What is the waiting period until the bone flap is replaced?
The bone flap is replaced after adequate time to heal. Your neurosurgeon will decide when the bone flap can be replaced but most often that decision is made when it is safe in order to reduce the risk of infection. Bone flaps are usuallyreplaced 1 - 3 months after the craniectomy.
Will my child need further surgery as the head grows?
Not usually. Your child will have several follow-up appointments after surgery to ensure that everything is healing appropriately. It is usually not necessary to replace the cranioplasty materials as your child grows.
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