Flap Design for Cranial Reconstruction: An Analysis of Craniectomy and Cranioplasty Incisions



The surgical approach for cranial reconstruction is influenced by the presence of pre-existing scar tissue. Scars that lie within the vicinity of cranial defect require modification.


The present study was conducted to analyse co-relation between craniectomy scar and cranioplasty incision.

Materials and Methods

A retrospective evaluation of 70 patients who were divided into three groups based on location of cranioplasty incision line was done. In group I, incision was located parallel and outside the scar; group II, incision was located over the scar; and group III, mixed and criss-cross incision was present. The primary outcome variable of interest was to analyse co-relation between craniectomy and cranioplasty incisions.


There were 45 cases of group I, 15 cases of group II and 10 cases of group III. Thirty-three patients had defect on left side, 26 had on right side, and 10 had bifrontal defect. No significant association was noted between the site and cranioplasty incision (Chi2 = 9.155, p = 0.433 and likelihood ratio = 9.487, p = 0.394).


Well-vascularized broad-based scalp flap that provides adequate exposure and located on healthy bone irrespective of pre-existing craniectomy scar forms the mainstay of successful cranial reconstruction.

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Correspondence to Ankur Thakral.

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All authors have no conflict of interest to declare.

Ethical Approval

All procedures involved in the present study involving human participant were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors. Institutional ethical committee approval was obtained.

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Written informed consent was obtained from patients included in the study.

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Sahoo, N.K., Thakral, A., Kumar, S. et al. Flap Design for Cranial Reconstruction: An Analysis of Craniectomy and Cranioplasty Incisions. J. Maxillofac. Oral Surg. (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12663-021-01526-z

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  • Cranial reconstruction
  • Cranioplasty
  • Skin flap
  • Scalp incision