Cranio cervical decompression

FORAMEN MAGNUM DECOMPRESSION


If you have been diagnosed with a Chiari malformation, our neurosurgeons can treat you with a decompression procedure

What is a cranio-cervical decompression?

Cranio-cervical (foramen magnum) decompression is a surgical procedure to treat Chiari malformation. This is when part of your brain protrudes into your upper spinal canal. As a result your neurosurgeon will remove small sections of bone from your skull and spine. This creates more space for the brain tissue in this area.

Need to know

Cranio-cervical decompression is a surgical procedure carried out under general anaesthetic. It is also known as foramen magnum decompression.

Your surgeon will make an incision at the top of the neck extending to the back of the head. They will then remove a small amount from the base of the skull, along with the arch of bone at the back of the first vertebra and occasionally the second.

The tough membrane covering the back of the brain and spinal cord (the dura) will then be opened and patched to create more space for the brain tissue.

Your neurosurgeon will explain your foramen magnum decompression procedure to you and answer any questions you might have.

Because you'll be having general anaesthetic, they'll let you know how long you should avoid eating and drinking before surgery. You may also be asked to attend a nurse-led pre assessment clinic.

Like all procedures, there may be some risks and side effects involved. Your consultant will explain these to you.

After your foramen magnum decompression procedure, you'll be transferred to our recovery ward, where you’ll be looked after by a specialist team. Your neurosurgeon will explain your recovery time to you and when you can expect to get back to your usual routine.

Cranio cervical decompression Consultants

Mr Parag Sayal

Mr Parag Sayal

Neurosurgery

Mr Sinan Barazi

Mr Sinan Barazi

Neurosurgery

Mr Rohit Shetty

Mr Rohit Shetty

Orthopaedic Surgery

Mr Andraay Leung

Mr Andraay Leung

Orthopaedic Surgery

Our locations

The Harley Street Clinic

The Harley Street Clinic

35 Weymouth Street W1G 8BJ London
The Princess Grace Hospital

The Princess Grace Hospital

42-52 Nottingham Place W1U 5NY London
The Shard Outpatients

The Shard Outpatients

The Shard, 32 St Thomas Street SE1 9BS London

Patient stories

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.