AVM Survivors Network

Bone Flap Replacement - Craniectomy


My sister had a craniectomy on March 11. They are replacing the bone flap within the next five days at Mass General and she will be returning to the rehab hospital. What does this procedure involve? Will she be in ICU for several days? Any information you can share would be greatly appreciated.


I had a craniotomy in nov 2009 for a brain abscess due to PAVMs. In June 2010 my brain flap was replaced. All at Baylor Medical Center of Dallas. The surgery went well. I was only in the hospital a few days and resumed my activities. I am a teacher so I had the rest of the summer off anyways.


Clare, replacing the bone flap is just putting the piece of skull bone back in place and securing it with screws. If your sister is in ICU now, I would suspect she will be until after the bone flap is replaced. Replacing the bone flap isn't normally a complicated procedure. Best wishes to your sister. Let us know how everything goes.


Clare, after they put my bone flap back on I started to leak out of one of my removed staples the next month I had to go back for emergency surgery I had an infection in my brain so they opened me back up took the flap back off and irrigated my brain. Then I was on a pic line of antibiotics for six weeks. That was a year ago last Friday. I was back at work June second. Your sister will do great. I will send positive vibes to her and your family as well. I think the family goes through soooo much than us patients. I don’t remember a lot of what happened to me


Doc replaced my bone flap on Friday,spent the night in icu, then moved to a room, went home Sunday. Got staples out a couple of weeks later. I 've had no problems. hope it goes well.I laid off t5hertapy for a few days, then full speed. I waited 9 months to get mine replaced, though. My surgeon tolds me that usually infection issues show up fairly quickly


Thank you so much for your kind words!


That's good to know it only took a few days in the hospital. I was wondering about that.


I'm glad to hear it isn't a normally complicated procedure. She isn't conscious yet from her initial AVM bleed and they feel that once the flap is back on they can give her more stimulants.


So sorry it didn't initially go well for you, but I am glad to hear that shortly after that you were able to get back to work. Thanks so much for sending the positive vibes.


Thanks so much for the information. I'm glad to hear it was just a short stay in the hospital.


In response to another comment I read---That is the whole reason my bone flap was off for so long-- to make sure the infection was gone and the swelling was gone. I too had a pic line and administered the antibiotics for several months after leaving the hospital through it.


I had a crainiotomy two months ago. My surgeon used bone putty as a gluing agent and very small steal plates and screw’s. They had to remove it in the left side of my forehead. I’m happy to say no one can tell the difference. I can because it’s my body and I can just barely feel them. She will be OK. It sounds scarier than it is. I was in the ICU for two days but only because I had a 12 inch incision. Best of luck. This too shall pass


Hi Tania, Thank you so much for this encouraging message. It sounds like everything will go well.