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Chiari Decompression

Thank you for considering our practice for your upcoming procedure. We understand that surgery can be overwhelming, but we are committed to providing you with the information and care you need to feel confident and prepared for your procedure. Here is what you can expect before, during, and after your surgery.

About the Procedure

What is a Chiari Decompression?

BA Chiari decompression procedure is a surgical treatment for Chiari malformation, a condition where the cerebellar tonsils extend below the foramen magnum (the large opening at the base of the skull). This can cause compression of the brainstem and spinal cord, leading to a variety of symptoms, including headaches, neck pain, difficulty swallowing, dizziness, and balance problems.

Before the procedure:

Before the surgery, you will meet with your surgeon to discuss the procedure and ask any questions you may have. You may need to stop taking certain medications, such as blood thinners, and fast for a certain period of time before your surgery. Your surgeon will provide you with detailed instructions on how to prepare for your procedure.

During the procedure:

The Chiari decompression procedure is typically performed under general anesthesia. The surgeon will make an incision in the back of the skull and remove a small portion of the bone to create more space for the brainstem and cerebellum. They may also remove a portion of the dura mater (the tough, protective layer surrounding the brain and spinal cord) to allow more room for the cerebellar tonsils. If there is a syrinx (a fluid-filled cyst) in the spinal cord, the surgeon may also drain or remove it.

After the procedure:

After the surgery, you will be closely monitored in the recovery room until you are awake and stable enough to be moved to a hospital room. You may need to stay in the hospital for several days to a week or more, depending on the specifics of your surgery. Your surgeon will provide you with detailed instructions on how to care for your incision, manage any pain or discomfort, and gradually resume your normal activities.

We hope this information has been helpful in preparing you for your procedure. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our office. We are here to support you throughout your entire journey to recovery.

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