The Neurosurgical Wound and Factors That Can Affect Cosmetic, Functional, and Neurological Outcomes

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Surgically accessing pathological lesions located within the central nervous system (CNS) frequently requires creating an incision in cosmetic regions of the head and neck. The biggest factors of surgical success typically tend to focus on the middle portion of the surgery, but a vast majority of surgical complications tend to happen towards the end of a case, during closure of the surgical site incisions. One of the most difficult complications for a surgeon to deal with is having to take a patient back to the operating room for wound breakdowns and, even worse, wound or CNS infections, which can negate all the positive outcomes from the surgery itself. In this paper, we discuss the underlying anatomy, pharmacological considerations, surgical techniques and nutritional needs necessary to help facilitate appropriate wound healing. A successful surgery begins with preoperative planning regarding the placement of the surgical incision, being cognizant of cosmetics, and the effects of possible adjuvant radiation therapy on healing incisions. We need to assess patient's medications and past medical history to make sure we can optimise conditions for proper wound reepithelialisation, such as minimizing the amount of steroids and certain antibiotics. Contrary to harmful medications, it is imperative to optimise nutritional intake with adequate supplementation and vitamin intake. The goals of this paper are to reinforce the mechanisms by which surgical wounds can fail, leading to postoperative complications, and to provide surgeons with the reminder and techniques that can help foster a more successful surgical outcome.

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International Wound Journal





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This article was published in International Wound Journal, Volume 16, Issue 1, pages 71-78.

The published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1111/iwj.12993.

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