Death, a Rare Complication of Cranioplasty in Emergency: A Case Report ZD04-ZD06
Lecturer, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Army Dental Centre R&R, New Delhi, India.
Cranioplasty is a reconstructive procedure which is performed to restore the calvarial integrity with either a stored autologous bone flap or a custom synthetic prosthesis. It is performed to protect the brain and as a cosmetic procedure. It has been shown to improve patient’s functional outcome. This procedure has been performed as early as <14 days postdecompressive craniectomy. Cranioplasty in emergency which is a variant of secondary cranioplasty is rarely indicated after decompressive craniectomy. Complication rate associated with cranioplasty is relatively high. Infection, convulsions, and epidural haematoma are frequent complications of cranioplasty which are not life threatening. Fatal complications associated with this procedure are not well documented and that could be among one of the reason that death, as a complication following cranioplasty is substantially low. Here, a case of unexpected death of a 37-year-old female postcranioplasty which was performed as an emergency procedure is reported. She was a previous case of right mid one-third parasagittal meningioma who developed severe sinking skin flap syndrome after three months of parasagittal craniectomy. The patient was operated under general anaesthesia for reconstruction of the residual calvarial defect. However, the patient developed bacterial meningitis and on the 16th day postcranioplasty procedure, she died of cardiac arrest. The procedure had otherwise been uneventful and it was speculated that infection and cerebral oedema postcranioplasty might have been the cause of death.