What Are the Surgical Options for Treating Type 1 Chiari Malformation?


Quick Answer

The surgical options for treating type 1 Chiari malformation include posterior fossa decompression, electrocautery and spinal laminectomy. The most common surgical operation is the posterior fossa decompression, as stated by Mayo Clinic. The type of surgical procedure used is determined by the presence of fluid in a patient's brain.

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Posterior fossa decompression entails the removal of a small part at the bottom of the skull, according to Mayo Clinic. This helps to give the brain more room for the fluid. In some cases, a part of the spinal column will need to be removed to correct abnormal born structure. This provides more space for the circulation of the cerebrospinal fluid. In electrocautery, high electrical currents are used to reduce the lower portion of the cerebellum, as stated by WebMD.

The other surgical option is spinal laminectomy, which involves the reduction of the portion of the bony roof of the spinal cord. This procedure helps to increase the size of the canal, according to WebMD.

Additional surgical procedures may be required to correct complications related to type 1 Chiari malformation and this is decided by the doctor. Surgical operation helps reduce the condition's symptoms up to 50 percent, as reported by WebMD. The surgical procedures may have several risks, including bleeding, infection and cerebrospinal fluid leakage.

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