After cranial surgery air or gas may collect within the cranium (pneumocephalus) and can cause symptoms during postoperative recovery.
Risk factors for pneumocephalus:
(1) posterior fossa craniotomy
(2) patient in a head-up posture
(3) use of nitrous oxide (N2O) after sealing of the intracranial space during cranial closure
(1) increasing "tightness" to the brain during the surgery
(2) delayed awakening, nonwaking or impaired consciousness after surgery
(3) severe headache after surgery
The diagnosis can be confirmed by taking a lateral skull X-ray or cranial CT scan with the brow up.
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Specialty: Anesthesiology, Neurology, Surgery, orthopedic