Decompressive craniectomy is the most common neurosurgical procedure performed in today's scenario, usually posttrauma or a cerebrovascular event. Cranioplasty is the repair of a cranial defect or deformation. In the last decade, there has been an increase in the number of cranioplasties performed because of an increase in the number of decompressive craniectomies. Although the main purpose of cranioplasty is to protect the brain and restore aesthetics, it has been proved beyond doubt that there is also an improvement in function and patient self-esteem.
Reconstructing the skull after a decompressive craniectomy is a challenge because of the size and contour of the defect, the projection of the brain outside in many cases, and the attendant risks of infection, hematoma, seizures, and CSF leak. In the last few decades, an enormous array of biomaterials has been used for cranioplasty, but there is no consensus on the best material. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Polymethylmethacrylate has been used for cranioplasty since the World War II and is still the most widely used reconstructive material.
Patients requiring reconstruction of hemispherical cranial defects were taken up for the study. An impression of the defect was taken over the skin using impression compound first and then silicone impression material. The model was trimmed to size, and an acrylic plate was made from High Impact Acrylic. Under general anesthesia, the acrylic plate was fixed to the margins of the defect using titanium plates and screws. Suction drain was placed and the wound closed with Vicryl Rapid. All patients were followed up for 2 years to note any postoperative complications and change in neurological status. There were 12 male patients and 3 female patients. Age of the patients ranged between 8 and 55 years.
All patients were happy with the aesthetic results. There were no complications in all our patients. A few patients showed dramatic improvement in their neurological status.
High Impact Acrylic is an excellent restorative material for reconstructing large sized cranial defects.
*Swami Devi Dyal College, Barwala
†Command Military Dental Centre, Chandimandir, Panchkula, Haryana, India.
Address correspondence and reprint requests to N. Girish Kumar, MDS, Swami Devi Dyal College, Panchkula, Haryana, India; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Received 25 January, 2015
Accepted 18 May, 2015
The study was funded by the Command Hospital and Command Dental Centre, Chandimandir, India.
The authors report no conflicts of interest.