Classification of the Residual Cranial Defects and Selection of Reconstruction Materials

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Abstract

The cranial defects are complex in nature and are due to various causes. Therefore, there is a need for a common term of reference to these defects. This requirement stood as a prime reason for proposing a classification system for cranial defects. The classification is based on 2 decades of experience in cranioplasty. This efficient and simple way of representation would fill the existing lacunae for a systematic communication on cranial defects. Over the ages the evolution of reconstruction and grafting had undergone a massive progress. Therefore, it is essential to enumerate all available graft and bio-materials for restoring the cranial defects. The aetiology for these defects, age and sex of the patient, site and size of the defect, associated systemic conditions, cost factor, and operator's choice are the factors that play key role in the selection of the reconstructive material. This article discusses on these factors in cranioplasty. High success rate with excellent function and cosmetic outcome in using a variety of materials, as shared in this article. The advantages of autografts cannot be matched by any existing alloplast. However, in case of larger defects, for a better cosmetic outcome and to reduce the donor site morbidity, alloplasts are the most widely preferred material of choice.

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