Stroke: decompressive hemicraniectomy surgery in people under 60

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence - NICE
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE);OptionGrid
Publication date:
01 May 2019


When a person has a severe stroke, sometimes the brain can swell. The pressure inside their skull builds up and they can die. NICE says that an option for some people is surgery to ease the pressure by removing part of the skull. This surgery is called decompressivehemicraniectomy. The part of the skull that’s removed can be replaced by a plate in another operation later on. The surgery won’t undo any damage already done to the brain by the stroke, but it could stop damage to parts of the brain that haven’t been affected yet.   There are pros and cons to this kind of surgery. Often, people who have had a severe stroke are not well enough to decide for themselves whether to have the surgery or not. This decision aid can help the person’s family members or carers and their stroke team make the decision together.