Vacuum-assisted closure of necrotic and infected cranial wound with loss of dura mater: A technical note

Osama Ahmed, Christopher M. Storey, Shihao Zhang, Marjorie R. Chelly, Melvin S. Yeoh, Anil Nanda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Complex cranial wounds can be a problematic occurrence for surgeons. Vacuum-assisted closure devices have a wide variety of applications and have recently been used in neurosurgical cases involving complex cranial wounds. There is only one report regarding the use of a vacuum-assisted closure device with loss of dura mater. We report a complicated case of a necrotic cranial wound with loss of dura mater. Case Description: A 68-year-old female underwent an evacuation of a subdural hematoma. Postoperatively, the patient developed a wound infection that required removal of the bone flap. The wound developed a wedge-shaped necrosis of the scalp with exposure of brain tissue due to loss of dura mater from previous surgeries. She underwent debridement and excision of the necrotic tissue with placement of a synthetic dural graft (Durepair®, Medtronic, Inc.) and placement of a wound vac. The patient underwent a latissismus dorsi muscle flap reconstruction that subsequently failed. After the wound vac was replaced, the synthetic dural graft was replaced with a fascia lata graft and an anterolateral thigh free flap reconstruction. We describe the technical nuances of this complicated case, how the obstacles were handled, and the literature that discusses the utility. Conclusion: We describe a case of a complex cranial wound and technical nuances on how to utilize a wound-vac with loss of dura mater.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11
JournalSurgical Neurology International
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Infection
  • necrosis
  • subdural hematoma
  • vacuum-assisted closure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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