Posterior Fossa Decompression

Posterior fossa decompression is a surgical procedure to release pressure in the brain by removing a part of the bone at the base of the skull or sometimes the upper spine. The procedure is recommended for the treatment of tumours, cerebral strokes, bleeds and chiari malformation (structural defects in the cerebellum).

Posterior fossa decompression surgery is performed under general anaesthesia. Your surgeon makes an incision in the bone and tissue covering your brain at the back of your neck and removes a small bone fragment either from the skull base or from the upper part of the spine. The incision is closed with clips or sutures. To treat bleeding and presence of a tumour, an opening is made in the cerebellum lining to remove the tumour or blood clot. Synthetic materials or tissue grafting is used to close the opening.

As with any procedure, posterior fossa decompression may involve certain risks and complications which include infection, bruising, pain, bleeding, vomiting and leakage of brain fluid.

  • Westmead Private Hospital
  • Neuro Surgical Society
  • the University of Sydney