Neuroplastic Approach to Brain and Skull Surgery

At Johns Hopkins, adult and pediatric patients can benefit from a neuroplastic approach when they undergo brain surgery or other types of surgery that may disrupt the contours of the head and face. Instead of correcting the symmetry after the fact, a neuroplastic surgeon and a neurosurgeon working together can prevent the defects in the first place, or work to minimize the risk of complications related to scalp and skull reconstruction.

Prior Deformities and Complications

Neuroplastic surgery techniques can benefit patients at any stage of care. Innovative neuroplastic methods can be used to repair complications from prior procedures or address skull deformities that have gone untreated.

Patient Results

Before and after of a cranioplasty reconstruction
Before and after image of a hydrophalus shunt valve revision
Before and after of a skull tumor resection
Before and after of combined cranioplasty and neuromodulation device insertion
Before and after of a neuroplastic reconstruction and cranioplasty
  • Cranioplasty for traumatic brain injury

  • Alleviating visible deformity and scalp ischemia by embedding a shunt within a valve agnostic cranial implant

  • Skull tumor removal and simultaneous cranioplasty to prevent a skull defect, visual deformity and social stigma

  • Cranioplasty and an embedded neuromodulation device for epilepsy

  • Reconstruction and cranioplasty to correct post-neurosurgical temporal hollowing over the left forehead after meningioma removal

Benefits of the Neuroplastic Approach

Neurosurgeons are experts when it comes to the brain, but they rarely have training to care for complications of brain surgery that may affect the appearance of the skull and surrounding soft and hard tissues. When a neurosurgeon works alongside a neuroplastic surgeon, you get the best of both worlds: an effective treatment for your condition and a simultaneous reconstruction of any resulting skull or scalp defects.

A neuroplastic surgeon can help prevent and correct these and other side effects common after certain types of brain and skull surgery:

  • Visual narrowing of the head at the temples (temporal hallowing)
  • A sunken area in the skull after removing a piece of bone
  • An unsightly and/or uncomfortable neurological implant (for managing epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease or other conditions)

What You Need to Know About Neuroplastic Surgery

Johns Hopkins neuroplastic surgeon Chad Gordon describes how patients who need brain surgery can benefit from neuroplastic surgery, a new field that combines the expertise of neurosurgery with plastic and reconstructive surgery to preserve or restore a patient’s appearance.

How do I get treated with the neuroplastic approach?

If you are scheduled for brain surgery at Johns Hopkins, our surgeons will discuss the neuroplastic surgery approach with you during surgery planning. Neuroplastic surgery is built into our process, so you don’t have to request it.

If you are considering another hospital, be sure to ask your neurosurgeon about how he or she plans to avoid or address skull defects. Because neuroplastic surgery essentially combines two or more surgeries into one, it may be a better option regarding recovery, comfort, patient outcomes and cost.

Request an Appointment

For a consultation with a neuroplastic surgeon:


(Plastic and Reconstruction Surgery)

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To discuss surgical treatment options for those newly diagnosed: