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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 132-138

Cisternostomy: Replacing the age old decompressive hemicraniectomy?

1 Department of Neurosurgery, College of Medical Sciences, Bharatpur, Nepal
2 Department of Neurosurgery, Affiliated Hospital of Hebei University, Baoding, Hebei Province, China

Correspondence Address:
Iype Cherian
Department of Neurosurgery, College of Medical Sciences, P.O. Box-23
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1793-5482.121684

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Backround: Practical scenario in trauma neurosurgery comes with multiple challenges and limitations. It accounts for the maximum mortality in neurosurgery and yet the developing countries are still ill-equipped even for an emergency set-up for primary management of traumatic brain injuries. The evolution of modern neurosurgical techniques in traumatic brain injury has been ongoing for the last two centuries. However, it has always been a challenge to obtain a satisfactory clinical outcome, especially those following severe traumatic brain injuries. Other than the well-established procedures such as decompressive hemicraniectomy and those for acute and or chronic subdural hematomas and depressed skull fractures, contusions etcetera newer avenues for development of surgical techniques where indicated have been minimal. We are advocating a replacement for decompressive hemicranictomy, which would have the same indications as decompressive hemicraniectomy. The results of this procedure has been compared with the results of decompressive hemicraniectomy done in our institution and elsewhere and has been proven beyond doubts to be superior to decompressive hemicraniectomy. This procedure is elegant and can replace decompressive hemicraniectomy because of low morbidity and mortality. However, there is a steep learning curve and the microscope has to be used. Materials and Methods: Based on the clinical experience and observation of acute neurosurgical service in tertiary medical centers in a developing country, the procedure of cisternostomy in the management of trauma neurosurgery have been elucidated in the current study. The study proposes to apply the principles of microvascular surgery and skull base surgery in selected cases of severe traumatic brain injuries, thus replacing decompressive hemicraniectomy as the primary modality of treatment for indicated cases. Conclusion: Extensive opening of cisterns making use of skull base techniques to approach them in a swollen brain is a better option to decompressive hemicraniectomy for the same indications.

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