3/2022 4/2022

The ideal timing for revision surgery following an infected cranioplasty

G. Van Hout1, G. Vissers1,2, F. Thiessen1,2, T. Tondu1,2

1 Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Antwerp, Wilrijk, Belgium
2 Department of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, University Hospital Antwerp, Edegem, Belgium


It is a challenge to define the ideal timing for revision surgery following an infected cranioplasty. Both healing of infected bone and preparedness of soft tissue must be considered. There is no gold standard regarding the timing of revision surgery and a lot of studies have contradictory findings. Many studies recommend waiting for 6–12 months to reduce reinfection risks. This case report highlights that delay in revision surgery for an infected cranioplasty is a useful and rewarding modality. It allows a longer observational timeframe to monitor for infectious episodes. Furthermore, vascular delay enhances tissue neovascularization and may therefore lead to less invasive reconstructive techniques with minimized donor site morbidities.

Key words

bone flap – cranioplasty – delay – infection – revision surgery

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