What Causes Chiari Malformation? Chiari Decompression Surgery
Chiari malformation is a rare disease, and one in every 1000 people is infected with it. Although it's an uncommon disease, it should be treated timely after the appearance of symptoms. Otherwise, it can change the anatomy of the brain and spinal cord. This blog is written to provide detailed information about Chiari malformation causes and its treatment.
Chiari Malformation and Its Causes
Chiari malformation is a rare condition in which some part of the brain tissue pushes into the spinal cord at the base of the skull. It is a neurological disorder that causes pressure on the brain stem. Hence, the normal flow of cerebrospinal fluid is disrupted. Moreover, Chiari disorder can be congenital, which means it could be present at birth and then later develop due to any injury. There is no specific cure for this disorder, but Chiari decompression surgery is a great option as treatment.
The exact cause of Chiari malformation is still unknown, but it is believed that it occurs due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Besides this, as described earlier, it's a congenital disease that develops during fetal development. In this disease, skull and brain tissues don't develop properly. Additionally, it could also be acquired lately due to increasing pressure on the skull, like in the case of hydrocephalus or a brain tumor.
Symptoms of Chiari Malformation
Sometimes people with Chiari malformation don't show any symptoms. Most of the time, the patient remains asymptomatic. However, here are the symptoms most associated with Chiari malformation.
- Headache (most probably at the base of the skull and the back of the head)
- Neck stiffness, pain, and discomfort
- Muscle pain and weakness (in arms and legs)
- Double or blurred vision
- Sleep apnea
- Numbness of feet and hands
Most importantly, you have to remember that these symptoms can also be due to any other disease or disorder. That's why it's essential to go to the doctor to confirm the exact disease and treatment.
Chiari Decompression Surgery
Chiari decompression surgery is a procedure in which a neurosurgeon releases pressure on the cerebellum and spinal cord. This surgical procedure involves removing the small bone section at the back of the skull to create more space for the cerebellum. The detail of the procedure is given below.
- In the first step, the healthcare provider gives general anesthesia to the patient so he can sleep during the procedure.
- Now, the patient is positioned face-down on the operating table. Moreover, the head of the patient is secured in a headrest.
- Depending upon the type of Chiari malformation decompression surgery, the surgeon makes an incision at the back of the head or neck.
- Then, the surgeon removes that small bone portion from the patient's body to create more space for the cerebellum.
- Additionally, the surgeon may also perform duraplasty. In this step, the surgeon opens the protective covering around the brain and then sews it in patches. It also creates space in the skull.
- In the end, the neurosurgeon uses stitches or staples to close the incision. Sterile dressing covers the wound.
After the surgery, the patient is moved to the recovery area, where doctors closely observe him for any side effects or complications. Also, the recovery period's length depends on the malformation's severity and the type of malformation surgery. The patient has to follow all the post-operative instructions to recover faster.
Choose Expert Neurosurgeon for Chiari Decompression Surgery
Chiari decompression is a complex surgical procedure only a specialist neurosurgeon can perform. Most importantly, it would help if you chose a neurosurgeon that has expertise and experience in Chiari malformation surgery. It is also important to select experts as Chiari malformation is a rare disease, and not every neurosurgeon gets a chance to perform decompression surgery. In addition, a specialist can provide specialized aftercare of surgery. Choose Dr. Adbul Baker for your decompression surgery to enhance your chances of a successful outcome. Moreover, he ensures faster recovery due to his vast experience in neurosurgery. You can visit him for consultation and treatment in Plano and Sherman.
Dr. Baker specializes in neurosurgery, neurosurgical spine surgery, neurotrauma, brain tumors, spinal tumors, and peripheral nerve damage treatment.