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Surgery intended to alleviated the compression caused by a Chiari Malformation, and restore the flow of cerebrospinal fluid. While some surgeons prefer a conservative approach to surgery such as a “bone only” decompression or a “Minimally Invasive Subpial Tonsillectomy,” a full decompression usually consists of:

  • Craniectomy: removal of part of the sub-occipital skull.
  • Laminectomy of C1 (and sometimes C2): removal of the lamina from the vertebra.
  • Duraplasty: opening of the dura (the outermost membrane enveloping the brain and spinal cord) and patching it so there is more room.
  • Cerebellar Tonsillectomy: removal/cauterization of the cerebellar tonsils.

Note: It is very important that comorbid conditions are investigated prior to Decompression Surgery. Failure to realize certain conditions can lead to post-surgical complications and/or a failed decompression surgery.


Chiari decompression
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Bridges are built as a means to assist people in getting over the things that obstruct their path. We are constantly facing obstacles when it comes to our health, so we decided to build a bridge! Chiari Bridges is a non-profit network built by Chiarians for Chiarians. Our goal is to provide information, substantiated by published studies, in a way that is easy to understand. We encourage readers, to not only read our articles, but look up every study for themselves and read that too. Print it out and sit down with a highlighter; read it as many times as necessary until you understand; then use it to talk to your doctors. Our doctors are under no obligation to read our articles, but they should be willing to read officially published studies from journals, especially those specific to their profession. As many of our authors are patients as well, all authors sharing original pieces will be writing under pseudo-ghost names, to protect them from being black-listed by their doctors. Chiari Bridges is not affiliated with any physician or medical group. You should in no way use this site as a replacement for diagnosis, treatment, or medical from a qualified medical professional. The information provided on our website is strictly for educational purposes, in order to help further the understanding of Chiari, and its associated conditions. Our goal is to share our collective experiences and the information we have gathered, with those in need of answers, that it may increase your knowledge and guide you in conversations with your doctors.