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Doctor insights on: Chiari Malformation Surgery Success Rate

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How safe is the surgery to fix a chiari malformation?

How safe is the surgery to fix a chiari malformation?

Moderately risky: Chiari decompression surgery is considered moderate risk surgery. In other words, its not like having your appendix or hernia repaired but its also not like having a complex brain tumor or aneurysm worked on either. The major risks of this surgery are severe (sometime chronic) neck pain, bleeding, infection, and a small risk of spinal fluid leak. The more scary risks (stroke) are very rare. ...Read more

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Dr. James Goodrich
177 doctors shared insights

Chiari Malformation (Definition)

A congenital condition where the connection between the brain and the ...Read more


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Arnold chiari malformation, what constitutes a botched surgery?

Arnold chiari malformation, what constitutes a botched surgery?

Chiari surgery: Surgery for a chari malformation is rather straight forward - a "botched" surgery is rare, in some rare cases further surgery might be indicated if the symptoms are not resolved - this assumes there were no complications during the procedure. ...Read more

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How long will it take to recover from surgery for a chiari malformation?

How long will it take to recover from surgery for a chiari malformation?

A few weeks: Most are out of the hospital in 1-2 days. You then have to take it easy ( no lifting >10 lbs) for about a month. Expect a stiff neck for a few weeks at least. ...Read more

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What will happen to me if I don't have surgery for a chiari malformation?

Hydrocephalus: Fluid will build up in the ventricular system of the brain with a resultant increase in pressure inside the brain/skull. ...Read more

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Is it possible for me to live with a chiari malformation and not have surgery?

Yes: Many people go through life completely unaware they have chiari malformation until they get their head and neck imaged for an unrelated injury. Good to know, but doesn't necessarily require surgery. If you need a spinal tap, then things get a bit murky so put it on your med history anyway. ...Read more

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What happens if you had surgery to correct a chiari malformation, can you join the air force?

What happens if you had surgery to correct a chiari malformation, can you join the air force?

Chiari malformation: It depends on what type of surgery you are going to have (what your true diagnosis is... be careful!) and what job you want at the airforce. Speak with your neurosurgeon and ask details, then call the recruiting folks for the air force and ask them what they think... do not rush into it at age 48... rare to have to have Chiari surgery done at that point.... good luck! ...Read more

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I have chiari malformation 1 and I have all the classic symptoms. Yet it is only 3mm. Should I get surgery?

I have chiari malformation 1 and I have all the classic symptoms. Yet it is only 3mm. Should I get surgery?

Neurological : symptoms guide the decision that surgery is needed, not the length of the lesion. Pressure from the cerebellum on the spinal cord or lower brainstem can cause neurological signs & symptoms. See www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/chiari-malformation/basics/definition/con-20031115. Seek a neurosurgical opinion if you are hesitant. ...Read more

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What are the risks of surgery to treat chiari malformation?

What are the risks of surgery to treat chiari malformation?

Many things: Surgery to decompress the herniations can either focus on removing some of the bones to allow more room, or detangling the spinal cord as it leaves the brain (rarely done). This is serious surgery that can result in infections, paralysis, problems breathing, and worse. However neurosurgeons today are incredibly trained and can do amazing things! ...Read more

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Should a child have surgery for chiari malformation if he has no symptoms?

Should a child have surgery for chiari malformation if he has no symptoms?

Possibly: Typically, asymptomatic chiari type-1 malformations are not recommended to undergo a sub-occipital decompression unless there are other associated findings. In children, if there is associated hydrocephalus, or a cervical region syringomyelia, a sub-occipital decompression may be indicated. This is to prevent future neurological decline. ...Read more

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How dangerous is surgery for the arnold chiari malformation in a 18-month old?

How dangerous is surgery for the arnold chiari malformation in a 18-month old?

It is: Chiari described different types of developmental defects of the cerebellum. Type 2 is associated with spina bifida, type 3 and type 4 are severe defects. You are probably talking about type 2 associated with spina bifida. It can cause breathing and swallowing problems. Treatment with surgery is controversial. ...Read more

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Is it okay not to have surgery for a chiari malformation if there are no symptoms?

Is it okay not to have surgery for a chiari malformation if there are no symptoms?

Absolutely: A chiari 1 malformation is not a dangerous condition. It is usually found incidentally during the workup for a headache. The only reason to have surgery is to relieve symptoms, and often the symptoms and the chiari are unrelated so surgery doesn't help. If you do not have symptoms, then you absolutely should not have surgery. ...Read more

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How dangerous to an 18-month-old is the surgery to fix the arnold-chiari malformation?

How dangerous to an 18-month-old is the surgery to fix the arnold-chiari malformation?

Safe if experienced: As a general rule, such surgeries should be done in major medical centers or in designated childrens hospitals by neurosurgeons who specialize in pediatric neurosurgery. Under those circumstances, the surgeries are as safe as they can be made and almost always better than not repairing the malformation. ...Read more

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I got results on my chiari malformation said 6mm below something and the nuero surgen doesn't want to do surgery why?

Surgery not needed: A chiari 1 malformation is not a dangerous condition, but can cause headaches, numbness, dizziness or unsteadiness. In yours, the cerebellar tonsils lie 6 mm below the foramen magnum (the hole at the base of the skull). This is fairly small and not dangerous so the only reason to have surgery is to relieve symptoms. Often the symptoms and the chiari are unrelated so surgery doesn't help. ...Read more

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Will the surgery to correct a chiari malformation get rid of the symptoms forever?

Not necessarily: Depending on the symptoms and type of surgery, this can be very successful. No surgery is guaranteed to reesolve symptoms permanently. ...Read more

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I have arnold chiari malformation type 1. I recently had corrective surgery. What are the possible side effects from that?

There are risks: With any brain surgery, there are risks or brain or nerve injury, bleeding, infection and even death in rare circumstances. Specific to chiari decompression, neck pain, CSF leak, and pseudomeningocele formation are also risks. ...Read more

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My son was diagnosis with chiari malformation and a 6mm cyst. Is this dangerous at least the cyst part? He's 9 yrs old, should he have any surgery pleasehelp

My son was diagnosis with chiari malformation and a 6mm cyst. Is this dangerous at least the cyst part? He's 9 yrs old, should he have any surgery pleasehelp

Chiari surgery: Based on the age of the child, the presence of a chiari malformation and the cyst i would recommend a consultation with a pediatric neurosurgeon and close follow up as the child reaches the teenage years. ...Read more

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If I had surgery for a chiari malformation in 2002 and they put a mesh patch in place of a piece of skull, could it be causing dystonia?

If I had surgery for a chiari malformation in 2002 and they put a mesh patch in place of a piece of skull, could it be causing dystonia?

Not likely: Dystonia is a complex problem usually caused by either meds, brain pathway problems, or both. The use of mesh in the chiari surgery is very common and never been reported to cause dystonia. It can cause some local headaches but they usually resolve spontaneously. ...Read more

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Last year I had chiari malformation surgery, which helped but recently I've been getting very sick, and also have bad neck pain. Are they related?

Last year I had chiari malformation surgery, which helped but recently I've been getting very sick, and also have bad neck pain. Are they related?

Possible : Probably you should first discuss your issues with the surgeon who did your Chiari surgery. You need to see your physician for an evaluation to be certain there are not other medical problems that may be playing a role here ...Read more