Introduction: Craniofacial access required in the treatment of craniofacial pathology is typically achieved through a craniotomy or craniectomy. Depending on the extent of the resulting cranial defect there are cosmetic, functional and therapeutic reasons necessitating repair, either immediately or as a delayed procedure. This repair, known as a cranioplasty, can be undertaken in a variety of ways but there currently exists very little to inform of how and when it should be done.
Aims: The aim of this study was to retrospectively analyse all cranioplasty procedures performed in the Oxford region in adult patients over the last ten years across all the specialties undertaking them – maxillofacial surgery, neurosurgery and plastic surgery.
Methods: An “Oxford Cranioplasty Database” was created to record all aspects of adult cranioplasty cases including demographics, medical history, indications, pathology, timing and method of cranioplasty repair (including fixation) and complications. We believe this is one of the largest cranioplasty studies ever undertaken.
Results: Of the 224 cranioplasty patients identified, data were analysed for 172 cases. Over the past decade the number of cranioplasty procedures has increased across all specialties. The timing and methods adopted for cranioplasty repair (including methods of fixation) were not protocol-driven. The most common complication was infection necessitating the removal of cranioplasty prostheses in approximately 10% cases.
Conclusions: The Oxford Cranioplasty Database compares Oxford’s experience with the international literature. Ultimately, it is anticipated that by adding to the body of knowledge on the subject, the treatment of all patients undergoing cranioplasties will be improved.
Conflict of interest: None declared.