Topographic superficial craniectomy for invasive scalp carcinoma

Int J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2021 Oct 13;S0901-5027(21)00347-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ijom.2021.09.010. Online ahead of print.


The management of non-melanoma skin cancer of the scalp that invades the deep structures can be challenging. An operative technique of topographic superficial craniectomy using a piezoelectric instrument (Piezosurgery (Mectron S.p.A., Carasco, Italy)) for tumours with periosteal invasion without diploic space invasion is presented here. The tumour was resected including the periosteum of the craniectomy area. A grid was carved through the outer table using the Piezosurgery device. The grid squares measured approximately 1.5 cm on each side. A bony strip was removed from one side of the grid to complete a deep cut while avoiding crossing the inner table. The squares were collected individually with a chisel and sent for pathological analysis. This technique was used to identify and localize any possible bone invasion. As this method allowed an accurate pathological diagnosis to be obtained from the Piezosurgery squares, it was possible to determine the appropriate adjuvant treatment, thereby reducing the risk of malignant cells spreading.

Keywords: periosteum; piezo-electric surgery; scalp; skin cancer; squamous cell carcinoma.