What is Chiari malformation?
Chiari malformation is an abnormality in the brain, which occurs when part of the cerebellum shifts downwards onto the upper part of the spinal column. This causes compression on the brain or spinal cord.

What is posterior fossa decompression?
Posterior fossa decompression is a procedure that is performed in order to remove the bone at the back of the spine and skull. The aim of the procedure is to relieve compression on the brain and spinal cord, as well as to ensure that cerebrospinal fluid flows normally.

How does the procedure work?
Your surgeon will make an incision down the back of the neck, so that he can access the top of the spine and the skull. The dura, or membrane around the brain and spinal cord, is opened and a small section of the skull bone is then removed, which relieves the compression in this area. Synthetic materials are implanted in order to enlarge the dura before it is sealed. This prevents fluid from leaking. After the surgery, you will be required to stay in the hospital for a few days so that the team can monitor your recovery.


I am a qualified neurosurgeon following my pre- and postgraduate studies at the University of Stellenbosch and currently have private practices at Netcare N1 City, which caters for the northern suburbs of Cape Town and Netcare Blaauwberg Hospital, which caters for the west coast of Cape Town and Western Cape.


Netcare Blaauwberg Hospital
Tel: +27 (0)21 554 0779 / Fax: +27 (0)21 554 2144

Netcare N1 City Hospital
Tel: 021 595 4633 / Fax: 086 684 8004