Management of postcraniotomy wound infections

Alain Polynice, Fredric Meyer, Ricky P. Clay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background and Objectives. Wound infections following elective postcraniotomy are rare, but they do occur. It is important, therefore, to recognize the risk factors for these infections and determine the most effective treatment. Methods and Materials. A retrospective analysis was conducted of all 8,316 elective craniotomies, performed at the Mayo Clinic during an 11-year period. The incidence of postoperative wound infection was established, and the most effective approach to achieve wound healing was outlined. Results and/or Conclusions. Of the 8,316 craniotomies performed, 37 (0.45%) patients developed infection at the surgical site. Of the 37 patients, 49% had infection in the parietal area, 46% in the frontal bone, and 2% in the ocipital area; 19 (51%) patients were treated with debridement alone (without cranioplasty); 18 (49%) patients received debridement, followed by delayed cranioplasty; the average delay was 9 months. The average follow-up was 25 months; 29 (78.3%) patients healed; 5 (13.5%) patients had continued infection; 3 (8%) patients were lost in follow-up. Infections following craniotomies should be managed by radical debridement; delayed cranioplasty may follow to achieve a better contour.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-40
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Cranio-Maxillofacial Trauma
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2000


  • Management
  • Postcraniotomy wound infections

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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    Polynice, A., Meyer, F., & Clay, R. P. (2000). Management of postcraniotomy wound infections. Journal of Cranio-Maxillofacial Trauma, 6(2), 36-40.