What is Cranioplasty Surgery?

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Cranioplasty is as a surgery done to improve the symmetry and shape the head. It involves the neurosurgery repair of irregularity or imperfection in the skull. The major purpose of cranioplastic surgery is to provide protection for the brain. Since cranioplasty is a surgery of the brain which is the most sensitive part of human organs, it is a complicated procedure. It requires a surgeon who is highly  professional, skilled and experienced. The surgery involves the use of a bone graft to repair a gap or defect in the vault of the skull. The graft is done using bone from the pelvis, ribs, or part of an adjacent skull You do not have access to view this node. Even suitable synthetic materials such as silastic or tantalum can be used. Cranioplasty is both a cosmetic surgery and also used for the neurological improvement.


What is the historical background of Cranioplasty?

Based on research, the Incan surgeons were doing cranioplasty surgery using precious metals. Around 16th century, cranioplasty in the form of a gold plate was declared by a physician Fallopius. In 1668, the initial bone graft was documented by a Dutch surgeon, Job Janszoon van Meekeren, who specified that canine bone was used to repair a cranial defect in a Russian person. In the early 20th century, the employment of auto grafts for cranioplasty became well-liked. In 20th century, due to the critical nature of warfare, a drive to search for other metals and plastics to envelop large cranial defects increased. The metallic bone substitutes have mainly been substituted by contemporary plastics. In 1940, Methyl methacrylate was initiated and is presently the most common material used in cranioplasty.


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 two hours 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?

  • The patient will be recovered after 1 hour from the You do not have access to view this node.
  •  It is essential for the patient to be in hospital for a week.
  •  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 after the You do not have access to view this node.
  •  The sutures are removed 5-10 days after the You do not have access to view this node.


What are the common risks involved?

The common risks include:

  •  Seizure
  •  Stroke
  •  Death in rare cases.
  •  Post operative blood clot necessitating drainage.
  •  Infections.
  •  Inflammation
  •  Brain injury
  •  Prolonged recovery time.


Where is the surgery done efficiently and what is the cost?

  • India is one of ideal destinations, due to the advanced medical centers, top drawer facilities, affordable costs and experienced surgeons.
  •  Most of the doctors in India train in U.S. or U.K., and are very professional for handling any cases.
  •  In addition to that, reduced costs are one of the major and most important reasons for people to travel India when they need a cranioplasty.
  •  Other reasons are, there is no waiting time and patients who have the need of a cranioplasty surgery are attended immediately, and the medical facilities offered are advanced and world class.
  •  The surgery costs a maximum of US $ 3,500 - $3,800 including airfare, accommodation and other miscellaneous expenses.


What are the other countries that perform cranioplasty successfully ?

  •  Apart from India, Mexico, Jordan, Costa Rica, Thailand and Malaysia have became known as ideal countries for patients who want to travel overseas for the cranioplasty You do not have access to view this node.
  •  The cost of a cranioplasty abroad is a portion of what a person would pay in countries like the U.S., Canada and U.K., and especially there is no waiting time and the medical facilities are as advanced as they are in the western nations.
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