Massive Congestive Facial and Submandibular Oedema Due to Extreme Neck Flexion Following Suboccipital Craniectomy: A Case Report

Cureus. 2022 Nov 21;14(11):e31759. doi: 10.7759/cureus.31759. eCollection 2022 Nov.


A variety of factors could contribute to facial oedema during a prone neurosurgical procedure. For optimal surgical exposure, suboccipital cranial surgeries frequently necessitate extreme neck flexion. Extreme neck flexion in the prone position can impair venous drainage of the facial and oropharyngeal structures, leading to life-threatening oedema, so a two-fingerbreadth space between the chin and the sternum is critical. We present a case of massive facial oedema with submandibular swelling in a patient who underwent foramen magnum decompression in the prone position for Arnold Chiari malformation.

Keywords: arnold chiari malformation; congestive oedema; neck flexion; submandibular swelling; suboccipital craniectomy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports