Chiari Malformation Treatment

Chiari malformation treatment is indicated for those patients who have significant symptoms and/or have progressive symptoms that are getting worse. The decision to treat Chiari malformation depends on several factors and varies from patient to patient.

Treatment of Type I Chiari depends on the severity of the malformation and the patient's symptoms. While some people with mild Type I Chiari may be asymptomatic or have only mild symptoms, more significant disease can lead to quite debilitating symptoms. In these patients with symptoms which are more than just a nuisance or which are progressive, getting worse with time, treatment is often recommended. The most common Chiari malformation treatment in these cases is surgical. A procedure called a Chiari decompression or posterior fossa decompression is the most commonly used Chiari malformation surgery. The surgery aims to make more room at the base of the skull where there is crowding of structures in this malformation.

Treatment of Type II and Type III Chiari is less straightforward. In most cases, a decompressive surgery like that done for Type I is not performed. However, these patients generally have other abnormalities in conjunction with the Chiari malformation which may require treatment. For example, many of these patients have concomitant hydrocephalus, which may require treatment with a shunt procedure. They also generally have other congenital malformations such as a myelomeningocele or encephalocele which may require their own surgical treatments.

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Important Note: This site is not intended to offer medical advice. Every patient is different, and only your personal physician can help to counsel you about what is best for your situation. What we offer is general reference information about various disorders and treatments for your education.

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