Complications Following Posterior Fossa Tumour Surgery in Children: Experience from a Tertiary Care Neurosurgical Facility in a Developing Country

  • ZIA- UR-REHMAN Department of Neurosurgery, Hayatabad Medical Complex Peshawar
  • MUHAMMAD MUKHTAR KHAN Department of Neurosurgery, Hayatabad Medical Complex Peshawar
  • MIAN IFTIKHAR-UL-HAQ Department of Neurosurgery, Hayatabad Medical Complex Peshawar
Keywords: Posterior cranial fossa, tumour surgery


Background: Posterior fossa tumours are the commonest childhood brain tumours with diverse clinical presentations, treatment modalities and postoperative outcomes. The literature has limited description of postoperative complications following surgery for these tumours.
Objective: The aim of this study is to analyse the postoperative complications, which occur after PFT surgery in children. A brief overview of the in-hospital mortality and management of these complications presented.
Materials and Methods: This is a retrospective chart review of children who were operated for PFTs. The occurrence of complications during the postoperative period was noted. Complications management, in-hospital mortality and overall survival was also recorded until the time of discharge. The complications are divided according to the modified Clavien-Dindo classification and outcome was stratified accordingly.
Results: 79 (60.3%) males and 52 (39.7%) females with a mean age of 8.15 ± 3.3 years. The mean duration between symptoms onset and diagnosis was 35.3 ± 16.6 days. Overall, there were 53 (40.5%) cases of medulloblastoma, 40 (30.5%) cases of ependymoma, 34 (26.0%) cases of pilocytic astrocytoma and only 4 (3.1%) cases of atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumours. Twenty-five (19.1%) patients developed hydrocephalous postoperatively. The most common complication was postoperative incisional CSF leak, which occurred in 17 (13.0%) patients. Wound infection was noted in 8 (6.1%) patients, eight (6.1%) of patients presented with cerebellar mutism, five (3.8%) patients had bleed in tumour bed, five (3.8%) patients had aspiration pneumonia and 7 (5.3%) patients developed hospital acquired pneumonia. The overall mean length of stay (LOS) was 5.4 ± 2.2 days (range: 3 – 12 days). The overall mortality rate was 9.9% (n = 13).
Conclusion: The most common complication is the development of hydrocephalous, followed by cerebrospinal fluid leaks, cerebellar mutism, peri-tumour oedema, tumour bed haematoma and systemic complications such as meningitis, sepsis and postoperative pneumonia. 


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Original Article