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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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3 month follow-up on this patient who wanted improvement in the projection of her chin and definition of the jawline. The patient has retrogenia or a small chin and underwent #chinaugmentation with a #genioplasty. In the pre-operative photos, you can see the chin is short and recessed and therefore I moved the chin forward and down. In the post-operative photos you can see improvement in the projection of the chin, a more defined jawline and neck, and a more balanced lower 1/3 of the face. This case highlights the advantages of a genioplasty versus a chin implant, a chin implant cannot lengthen and advance the chin to the same extent that a genioplasty can. Posted with permission.

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A 1 year follow-up on a patient who wanted a rhinoplasty to remove the dorsal hump and improve the aesthetics of her tip. In this case the dorsal hump was removed, the nose made straighter, the tip refined, and the tip rotated and projected more. Her new nose fits her face without overtly changing the ethnic features of her face. Posted with permission.



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Proud of our research team for getting this important manuscript published in the #1 plastic surgery journal in the world. In this study, we looked at the published literature to develop guidelines on how to treat visual impairments related to droopy eyelids and excess skin of the eyelids.

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Happy for this patient who underwent full facial rejuvenation surgery, which included a brow lift, upper/lower blepharoplasty, facelift, neck lift, and facial fat transfer. How much younger does he look now? Posted with permission.

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Amazing transformation for this lovely patient who wanted to have fuller, more symmetric, youthful, and natural breasts. The patient underwent a #breastaugmentation with gel implants. Posted with permission.

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One year follow-up on a #BBL or Brazilian butt lift. As you can see from the post-operative photos, the fat that is transferred stays and is permanent. Posted with permission.

#plasticsurgery #plasticsurgeon #cosmeticsurgery #BBL #360degreeliposcution #liposuction #chicago #chicagoplasticsurgery
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Male patient in his late 60’s who was able to turn back the clock after undergoing a #facelift, #neck lift, #blepharoplasty, and #fattransfer. Pay close attention to the “bags” underneath the eyes, the jawline, and neck. The scars have healed nicely and are inconspicuous even with short hair. In the post-operative photos, the patient has maintained his natural facial features and anatomy, but just looks like a more youthful version of himself. Posted with permission.

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#Primaryrhinoplasty to fix the dorsal hump, droopy tip, and crooked nose. In the post-operative photos, the patient has a nice dorsal profile on side view, the tip has been lifted, and the nose is straight. To evaluate how straight the nose is, look at the dorsal aesthetic lines on bird’s eye view and follow the two light reflexes along the dorsum. Posted with permission.

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Challenging #tertiaryrhinoplasty on this patient who had nasal deviation, a dorsal hump, and an under-rotated/under-projected tip. In the post-operative photos, you can see a straighter nose with more symmetric dorsal aesthetic lines and tip defining points. Posted with permission.

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Honored to be inducted into the Rhinoplasty Society. The Rhinoplasty Society was founded in 1996 by plastic surgeons who have pioneered modern rhinoplasty. The society is dedicated to the education and advancement of nasal surgery.

#plasticsurgery #plasticsurgeon #cosmeticsurgery #rhinoplasty #therhinoplastysociety #chicago #chicagoplasticsurgery
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Relatively small surgeries can yield big changes. This patient wanted to improve the contour of her chin and the overall profile of her face. The patient’s lower 1/3 of the face and chin were short and set back. Additionally, the patient had asymmetries of the chin and jawline that she wanted improved. The patient underwent a #slidinggenioplasty to achieve these goals where the chin was cut and mobilized forward and downward. In the post-operative photos, you can see a more aesthetic and balanced facial profile. The advantages of a #genioplasty over a #chinimplant are that the chin can be moved in numerous planes, the advancement can be more significant, and asymmetries can be addressed. Posted with permission.

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This patient had a bilateral constricted ear deformity where the top portion of the ear folds over the rest of the ear. In this deformity, the ear appears shorter in height and there are abnormalities of the outer and inner folds of the ear. In the postoperative photos you can visualize the ear is longer in height, the helical rim or outer portion of the ear is lifted up and the antihelical fold or inner portion of the ear is more defined. Posted with permission.


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