Management of Failed Cranioplasty
AIM: Failed cranioplasty attempts may lead to numerous complications in a broad spectrum including cosmetic problems, infection,
neurological deterioration and even death. Selection of the most appropriate surgical technique for second and further surgical
attempts for these patients still remains a debate. We aimed to share our experience and technical pitfalls on management of failed
cranioplasty, particularly for patients with large cranial defects.
MATERIAL and METHODS: A retrospective data analysis of cranioplasty cases in our series was performed including the time
period between 2002 and 2012. Patients required recurrent cranioplasty were analyzed in detail.
RESULTS: Totally, 101 patients underwent cranioplasty for bony defect. Of 101 patients, eleven required a revision surgery due
to infection or spontaneous resorption of the bone flap. All patients underwent revision cranioplasty with pre-surgical plaster cast
mold technique modified from previous studies and/or tissue expansion technique. Polymethyl-metacrylate (PMMA) was used as
substitute for reconstructions. Mean follow-up was 36 months. Two out of eleven cases (18.1%) developed major complications,
which led to further revision. At the end, a satisfactory reconstruction was achieved for all patients.
CONCLUSION: Our modified molded plaster cast technique is a safe and cost-effective approach for the revision of failed
cranioplasty. We believe that the tissue expanding techniques have also great contribution to achieve successful results.