Treatment for Chiari Malformation

Chiari malformation is a structural defect in the base of the skull and cerebellum that may lead to the brain's downward displacement. Chiari decompression is a surgical procedure aimed at alleviating symptoms associated with this malformation by creating more space and relieving pressure. Virginia Neurosurgeons has provided expert care and personalized treatment options for those facing the challenges of Chiari malformation.

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Why Choose Virginia Neurosurgeons for Chiari Decompression?

At Virginia Neurosurgeons, we stand as a beacon of excellence in neurosurgical care, dedicated to providing compassionate and comprehensive treatment. Founded in Arlington in 2001, we've emerged as the largest independent neurosurgical group in Northern Virginia, setting a standard for academic-level care within a community setting. Our esteemed surgeons, all board-certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgeons, have undergone extensive training at prestigious institutions and hold academic faculty appointments with the George Washington University School of Medicine. Fueled by an ethical and honest approach, our mission is to guide patients through their conditions, offering the most advanced neurosurgical treatments tailored to individual needs.

With over two decades of experience, we've cared for more than 30,000 patients, delivering life-altering surgeries and promoting a healing environment that improves mobility and enhances the quality of life. When you choose Virginia Neurosurgeons, you choose a partner dedicated to your well-being, ensuring a personalized and evidence-based approach to neurosurgical care.

Symptoms of Chiari Malformation

Chiari malformation is a structural abnormality in which the cerebellum, the part of the brain that controls balance and coordination, protrudes through the base of the skull into the spinal canal. This displacement can cause a range of symptoms as it interferes with the normal flow of cerebrospinal fluid. Common symptoms associated with Chiari malformation include:

  • Headaches, often at the back of the head
  • Neck pain
  • Balance and coordination issues
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Weakness, numbness, or burning sensations in the extremities

Expert Chiari Decompression Treatment in Northern Virginia

Virginia Neurosurgeons employ state-of-the-art diagnostic techniques to accurately assess Chiari malformation, ensuring a precise understanding of each patient's unique condition. With cutting-edge imaging studies and thorough neurologic assessments, our specialists can pinpoint the exact nature and severity of Chiari malformation. When it comes to Chiari decompression, our experienced surgeons utilize advanced techniques honed through extensive training. 

These methods are designed to alleviate symptoms by creating more space for the cerebellum and restoring the normal flow of cerebrospinal fluid.

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About the Chiari Decompression Process 

Utilizing specialized equipment and techniques, Virginia Neurosurgeons aims to ensure the Chiari decompression procedure is as safely and effectively as possible.

Preoperative Evaluation:

  • Thorough patient assessment, including medical history and diagnostic imaging studies.
  • Specialized imaging techniques such as MRI to precisely visualize the extent of Chiari malformation.

Anesthesia and Positioning:

  • Administration of anesthesia to ensure patient comfort and safety.
  • Careful positioning of the patient to optimize access to the surgical site.

Incision and exposure:

  • An incision is made in the back of the head and the region of the skull is exposed. 


  • A small piece of bone is removed from the base of the skull (craniectomy) to create additional space for the brain. 

Dural Opening:

  • Gently opening the protective covering of the brain (dura) to access and decompress the cerebellum. Specialized microsurgical techniques are used to expand the space around the cerebellum.  


  • The decompression of the cerebellum is reinforced by repairing the dural opening with special grafts to prevent future compression. 


  • Precise closure of the surgical site using advanced suturing techniques.
  • Attention to minimizing scarring and optimizing healing.

Postoperative Monitoring:

  • Careful monitoring in the recovery room for immediate postoperative care.
  • Regular follow-up appointments to track progress and address any concerns.

Contact our Arlington Practice Today to Schedule a Consultation with a Chiari Decompression Specialist

If you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms associated with Chiari malformation, take the first step towards relief by scheduling a consultation with Virginia Neurosurgeons. Our experienced specialists, equipped with cutting-edge technology, are dedicated to understanding your specific case and providing the highest quality of neurosurgical expertise. Don't wait—reach out today to embark on the journey towards improved neurological health.

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