Cranioplasty & Craniotomy
Craniotomy is a surgery that is performed to access the brain. Depending on the problem being fixed, the craniotomy can be large or small. The procedure involves cutting an opening in the skull. A bone flap is removed to allow access to the brain underneath.
The re-attaching of the bone flap is referred to as Cranioplasty. Cranioplasty also refers to surgeries performed to improve the symmetry and the shape of one’s head.
Why is it done?
Cranioplasty can be opted for by patients with aesthetic concerns or with medical conditions. The surgery is typically performed at infancy to treat birth defects likecraniosynostosis, but older patients may opt for it as well for reasons like trauma or recently discovered conditions. Various situations that could lead to the requirement of a Cranioplasty are:
- Premature closing of cranial sutures
- Skull’s incapability to expand as the brain grows
- Hereditary conditions that cause children to be born with skull irregularities
- Trauma resulting in persistent damage to the skull
- Hole in the head
- Defect that leaves the brain exposed
Craniotomy, on the other hand, is performed to treat a number of conditions like:
- Brain tumors
- Hematomas (blood clots)
- Aneurysms or AVMs
- Skull fractures
- Foreign objects (bullets)
- Swelling of the brain
There are a few risks that are associated with Cranioplasty and craniotomy surgeries. These include:
- Death (in rare cases)
- Post-operative blood clots that necessitate drainage
- Some infections
- Brain injury
- Prolonged recovery time
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