Restoring the brain and skull to its best form and function

Surgery to treat brain and skull conditions can have life-changing, but potentially disfiguring results. These can include skull indentations, missing bone and tissue, uneven facial features and visible lumps, bumps and scars.

At The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, neuroplastic reconstructive specialists are part of the care team for advanced neurological procedures. Ohio State neurosurgeons, experts in brain, spine and nervous system surgery, work closely with neuroplastic surgeons, experts in skull and scalp reconstructive surgery, for comprehensive results. From consultation and pre-surgical planning through surgery and recovery, you receive exceptional care — inside and out.

Multidisciplinary teamwork for customized care

Our reconstructive surgery team includes doctors who are part of the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center and The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute. Other areas of specialization include microsurgery, microvascular surgery, facial reconstructive surgery, comprehensive wound care and tissue reconstruction.

Why is neuroplastic surgery done?

When brain or head surgery leaves dents, bumps or gaps in your skull, our neuroplastic reconstructive experts step in to help. They use advanced techniques to reshape and smooth out the natural curve of the skull. They may replace missing or damaged sections of bone and scalp. They can restore, rebuild, even out or reshape facial features. Neuroplastic specialists create unique implants to ensure brain protection while preserving natural appearance. 

Related brain, head and skull conditions and treatments

These and other cosmetic improvements can change your look and your outlook after surgery. Related brain, head and skull conditions and treatments may include:

Cranioplasty — The surgeon repairs skull bone defects from previous surgeries, congenital conditions or head injuries using bone or a customized implant.

Craniectomy — Surgeons remove a piece of skull bone to relieve pressure after head trauma.

Brain implants — Neuroplastic experts create streamlined housing to hold embedded medical devices such as deep brain stimulation (DBS) for seizures or tremors, or shunts that drain fluid buildup. Custom prefabricated devices fit better without protruding conspicuously.

Facial reconstruction — These procedures include reshaping or rebuilding facial features or placing custom-molded implants. With 3D printing capabilities, doctors can closely match natural facial features. They may use specially molded facial implants to replace injured or traumatized facial features.

Pain relief — Proper skull shape, strengthened materials and support may reduce headaches and other neurological complications of past surgery or injury. 

Scalp surgery — Skin cancer can grow on the scalp, and other cancers can spread to your scalp and head. Doctors remove tumors and surrounding tissues, and repair or transplant scalp tissues. 

Other conditions that may benefit from neuroplastic surgery

Neuroplastic surgeons may be involved in procedures, conditions or treatments such as:

Smart materials, tools and techniques

Ohio State’s neuroplastic experts use sophisticated technologies and techniques such as 3D CAD/CAM technology (computer-aided design and manufacturing). Our doctors develop and implant premade, customized face, head and skull implants. By tailoring the fit and form with custom biocompatible materials, they can give you inconspicuous, natural-looking results.

Other materials used during reconstructive procedures may include:

Bone grafts — Doctors use your own transplanted bone tissues from other areas of the skull or other parts of the body, such as a rib or pelvic bone.

Synthetic materials  – To shape or repair the skull, doctors may use artificial bone substitutes and materials, such as:

  • PEEK (polyether ether ketone) – Highly advanced thermoplastic useful in molded implants
  • Titanium – Metal material commonly used for skull plates, mesh or screws  
  • PMMA (polymethylmethacrylate) – Lightweight but strong polymer, similar to acrylic
  • Calcium hydroxyapatite (bone cement) 
prosthesis neuroplastics

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