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Partial Cranial Reconstruction using Titanium Mesh After Craniectomy: An Antiadhesive and Protective Barrier with Improved Aesthetic Outcomes.

World Neurosurgery 2024 Februrary 24
OBJECTIVE: Describe a new, safe, technique that uses titanium mesh to partially cover skull defects immediately after decompressive craniectomy.

METHODS: This study is a retrospective review of eight patients who underwent decompressive craniectomy and placement of a titanium mesh. The mesh partially covered the defect and was placed between the temporalis muscle and the dura graft. The muscle was sutured to the mesh. All patients underwent cranioplasty at a later time. The study recorded and analyzed demographic information, time between surgeries, extra-axial fluid collections, postoperative infections, need for reoperation, cortical hemorrhages, and functional and aesthetic outcomes.

RESULTS: After craniectomy, all patients underwent cranioplasty within an average of 112.5 days (30-240 days). One patient reported temporalis muscle atrophy, which was the only complication observed. During the cranioplasties, no adhesions were found between temporalis muscle, titanium mesh, and underlying dura. None of the patients showed complications in the follow-up computerized tomography (CT) scans. All patients had favorable aesthetic and functional results.

CONCLUSIONS: Placing a titanium mesh as an extra step during decompressive craniectomy could have anti-adhesive and protective properties, facilitating subsequent cranioplasty by preventing adhesions and providing a clear surgical plane between the temporalis muscle and intracranial tissues. This technique also helps preserve the temporalis muscle and enhances functional and aesthetic outcomes post-cranioplasty. Therefore, it represents a safe alternative to other synthetic anti-adhesive materials. Further studies are necessary to draw definitive conclusions and elucidate long-term outcomes, however, the results obtained hold great promise for the safety and efficacy of this technique.

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