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A 30-year-old man was involved in a vehicular crash while working overseas and had to undergo emergency brain surgery. Because of the brain swelling at that time, the bone was not replaced on the skull and was placed in the patient’s abdomen. The patient gradually improved and came back home after 5 months. He then consulted a neurosurgeon for a cranioplasty procedure. 

Cranioplasty is a surgical operation wherein a bone defect is repaired. This is done for several reasons, mainly for protection of the brain. Some patients may also experience “syndrome of the trephined,” wherein the patient may complain of headache, drowsiness, weakness, or seizures due to the effect of the atmospheric pressure directly on the brain. Another reason would be cosmesis, to improve the appearance. 

Cranioplasty can be done using the patient’s own bone, like in this patient’s case, because his bone was placed in his abdomen. In cases where the patient’s original bone is not available, other materials such as bone cement, titanium, or pre-fabricated material can be used to repair the defect.

 Disclaimer: The information provided here is  for general medical education purposes only and is not meant to substitute 
for expert medical opinion on a specific patient's medical condition.
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