gms | German Medical Science

63rd Annual Meeting of the German Society of Neurosurgery (DGNC)
Joint Meeting with the Japanese Neurosurgical Society (JNS)

German Society of Neurosurgery (DGNC)

13 - 16 June 2012, Leipzig

Cranioplasty following decompressive craniectomy: a trivial surgical procedure?

Meeting Abstract

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  • A. Reuland - Neurochirurgische Klinik und Poliklinik, Universitätsmedizin Mainz
  • S. Welschehold - Neurochirurgische Klinik und Poliklinik, Universitätsmedizin Mainz
  • A. Giese - Neurochirurgische Klinik und Poliklinik, Universitätsmedizin Mainz

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. Japanische Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. 63. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie (DGNC), Joint Meeting mit der Japanischen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie (JNS). Leipzig, 13.-16.06.2012. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2012. DocFR.02.07

doi: 10.3205/12dgnc182, urn:nbn:de:0183-12dgnc1820

Published: June 4, 2012

© 2012 Reuland et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Objective: Cranioplasty following decompressive craniectomy is often considered to be a simple standard surgical procedure, ignoring the existence of many pitfalls and the high complication and revision rate described in literature. In the past few years individual computer aided designed and computer aided manufactured implants (CAD/CAM-implants) are increasingly commercially available leading to a wide choice of different products and materials. We describe our experiences in cranioplastic surgery using different CAD/CAM-implants.

Methods: Between December 2007 and November 2011 cranioplasty was performed in 54 patients who had received decompressive craniectomy using different individual CAD/CAM-implants. Complications and implant specific particularities were registered.

Results: In five patients (9%) re-operation was necessary due to complications as epidural hematoma, cerebral edema or wound healing disorder. In two cases (4%) complications were lethal. Several specificities of different implants influencing operation planning and surgical procedure were noted.

Conclusions: Although cranioplasty is widely regarded as a non-complicated surgical procedure severe complications are not uncommon. Accuracy in operation planning, surgery and post-operative care as well as knowledge of the implant specific particularities should lower complication rates.