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Plastic Surgery Clinic of Chicago

Cranioplasty
What Is A Cranioplasty?

 

Cranioplasty Chicago

Cranioplasty is the surgical repair of defects in the skull, usually performed to amend the results of a traumatic injury or a previous surgery. The Plastic Surgery Clinic of Chicago is one of only seven centers in the city that offer cranioplasty as a procedure.

Cranioplasty is performed not only to improve the shape and appearance of the skull, but also to provide protection for the underlying brain.

Cranioplasty

AM I A CANDIDATE FOR CRANIOPLASTY?

Your doctor may recommend cranioplasty for any of the following reasons:

  • Cognitive Performance – Cranial defects can affect neurological activity in some patients.
  • Safety – Defects in the skull may leave the brain susceptible to injury.
  • Aesthetic – Visible asymmetries may impact appearance and, by extension, self-confidence.

Cranioplasty is usually more than just improving asymmetries of the skull; if you believe you might be a candidate for cranioplasty, schedule a consultation with us to discuss treatment options.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM YOUR CONSULTATION

If your doctor believes you are a candidate for cranioplasty, the consultation will include all aspects of the procedure, possible associated risks, and what to expect during recovery. During the consultation, be sure to share your entire medical history, particularly allergies, medications, and previous surgeries. Since the Plastic Surgery Clinic of Chicago is one of only a handful of centers in the city that perform cranioplasty, we will discuss all facets of the procedure with you so that you have a complete understanding before making the decision to move forward.

HOW A CRANIOPLASTY IS PERFORMED

After a general anesthetic is administered, the surgeon carefully makes an incision on the scalp and separates the layers in such a way that the dura, the outermost membrane surrounding the brain, remains intact.

The affected cranial area is usually restored with a contoured graft customized to each patient’s individual needs. These implants may be made from titanium, a synthetic bone substitute, molded acrylic, or a graft from the patient’s own bone. The implant or graft is then positioned and secured using plates and screws.

Finally, once any bleeding is controlled and the scalp is placed back into position, the incision is closed with sutures in layers. It is sometimes necessary to have a drain in place for a few days following the procedure to remove any excess fluid.

RECOVERY AFTER A CRANIOPLASTY

Since cranioplasty is an inpatient procedure, patients will be transferred to the NCCU (neurological critical care unit) after recovering from anesthesia. Cranial procedures do not often cause much pain, but patients are given medication to ensure comfort.

Most cranioplasty patients spend two to three days in the hospital after their procedure. By the first or second day, patients are encouraged to walk around; by the third day, the head bandage will be removed. If a final CT scan shows no complications, you will be released to return home.

Intermittent headaches and fatigue are common after cranial surgery. Patients should get plenty of rest in the days following their procedure, and always adhere strictly to all instructions given by their surgeon. Sutures are usually removed between two and three weeks after surgery.

POTENTIAL RISKS OF CRANIOPLASTY

Any surgical procedure comes with potential risks. Always discuss these with your surgeon before making the decision to undergo a cranioplasty. Potential risks include:

  • Bleeding
  • Hematoma (blood clot)
  • Infection
  • Seizure
  • Fever
  • Stroke

Always make sure that the surgeon performing the procedure is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, and that the surgery is being carried out in an accredited surgical facility.

WHAT DOES CRANIOPLASTY COST?

Most health insurance plans will cover a majority, or even the entirety, of a cranioplasty procedure because it is considered reconstructive in nature. Health coverage varies, so please contact your health insurance provider before scheduling a consultation.

SCHEDULE A CONSULTATION

The Plastic Surgery Clinic of Chicago is always willing to answer any questions or concerns that potential patients may have regarding any of our procedures. We are as committed to medical education as we are to patient care. If you would like to schedule a consultation, call us today or use the Contact link to send us an inquiry.

All surgical procedures by the Plastic Surgery Clinic of Chicago are performed at top hospitals in Chicago and CMS or AAAASF-certified surgical centers for safety.

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Check out this interesting rhinoplasty case where I performed a combined primary rhinoplasty and sliding genioplasty. Fixing the crooked or deviated nose is very challenging for all rhinoplasty surgeons and the goal is to achieve a straighter nose because a perfectly straight nose does not exist. On the frontal view, you can see a nose that is midline and with beautiful dorsal aesthetic lines. On the profile view, you can visual a nice nasal profile with a slight break at the tip. The sliding genioplasty complements the nose and improves the overall proportions and balance of the face. A chin implant would not be able to achieve this amount of chin augmentation or chin length. Posted with permission.

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It’s never too early to starting thinking about that summer body. This patient underwent a mommy makeover or a breast reduction/lift and tummy tuck. Pay close attention to the belly button, this patient had an umbilical hernia, which made the reconstruction of her belly button even harder. Most plastic surgeons take their time trying to make the belly button look as natural as possible since the appearance of the belly button can be an obvious sign that the patient had a tummy tuck. Posted with permission.

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A facial feminization case that highlights how subtle changes can have a major impact on the balance and proportions of the face. Do the post-operative images appear softer, less angular, more refined, and more heart-shaped rather than square-shaped? Can you tell what surgeries were performed? Hint: look closely at the forehead/orbital rims, nose, chin, jawline, and neck. Posted with permission.

#plasticsurgery #plasticsurgeon #craniofacialsurgery #FFS #facialfeminization #rhinoplasty #genioplasty #trachealshave #jawreduction #chicago #chicagoplasticsurgery
...

Post-operative results on a patient in her 50’s who wanted improvement in the contour of her neck and jawline. She felt like her neck showed her age and she wanted to appear as she did in her late 30’s. The patient underwent a lower facelift and neck lift. In the post-operative photos, you can see a nice and natural neck contour and improvement in the jawline (jowls were treated). Pay attention to the volume redistribution, now her volume is in a more youthful position at the level of the cheek bones. Her appearance changed from sad and tired to looking as though she is ready to take on the world. Posted with permission.

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6 month follow-up on a patient who underwent a breast reduction and lift for neck and back pain. For this surgery, we reduce the size of the breast and lift the breast and nipple to a more aesthetic position on the chest. These surgeries are some of the most rewarding surgeries plastic surgeons perform due to the impact they have on neck/back pain and improvement in mobility, exercise, and activities of daily living. The scars continue to fade with time and by 1 year, they blend in with the surrounding skin color. Posted with permission.

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Early follow-up (3 months) on a patient with thicker skin, who underwent a primary rhinoplasty. The patient’s goals were to reduce the dorsal hump, refine and lift the tip, but not change her nose significantly. In the post-operative photos you can see a natural result with improvement in the dorsal profile and tip aesthetics. Over the next 8-12 months, the tip will continue to improve in terms of swelling, refinement, and detail. Posted with permission.

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A combined primary rhinoplasty and otoplasty or ear pinning. For the rhinoplasty, the goals of the surgery were to improve the deviation, remove the dorsal hump, and refine the tip. The patient had deviation to the right which was straightened. The dorsal hump was removed to create a nice profile. For the tip, the tip was de-projected, de-rotated and refined. In other words, the tip was brought back closer to the face, rotated downwards, and it was made smaller. Happy for this patient and the improvements we were able to achieve for her. Posted with permission.

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This young patient wanted to feel more confident about the appearance of her ears and to be able to wear her hair up without feeling self-conscious about the asymmetries of her ears. The patient underwent a unilateral otoplasty of the left ear. The patient now proudly wears her hair up and is living her best life. Posted with permission.

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