Craniotomy vs. craniectomy for posterior fossa tumors: A prospective study to evaluate complications after surgery

Federico G. Legnani, Andrea Saladino, Cecilia Casali, Ignazio G. Vetrano, Marco Varisco, Luca Mattei, Francesco Prada, Alessandro Perin, Antonella Mangraviti, Carlo L. Solero, Francesco DiMeco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Background Posterior fossa surgery traditionally implies permanent bone removal. Although suboccipital craniectomy offers an excellent exposure, it could lead to complications. Thus, some authors proposed craniotomy as a valuable alternative to craniectomy. In the present study we compare postoperative complications after craniotomy or craniectomy for posterior fossa surgery. Methods We prospectively collected data for a consecutive series of patients who underwent either posterior fossa craniotomy or craniectomy for tumor resection. We divided patients into two groups based on the surgical procedure performed and safety, complication rates and length of hospitalization were analyzed. Craniotomies were performed with Control-Depth-Attachment® drill and chisel, while we did craniectomies with perforator and rongeurs. Results One-hundred-fifty-two patients were included in the study (craniotomy n =100, craniectomy n =52). We detected no dural damage after bone removal in both groups. The total complication rate related to the technique itself was 7 % for the craniotomy group and 32.6 % for the craniectomy group (

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2281-2286
Number of pages6
JournalActa Neurochirurgica
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2013


  • Brain tumor
  • Craniectomy
  • Craniotomy
  • CSF leak
  • Posterior fossa
  • Pseudomeningocele

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery


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