Craniectomy Cases: Do You Need Legal Animation?

Just like every other case of medical malpractice, using legal animation to support a negligence claim during a craniectomy procedure isn't out of the question.
Photo by jesse orrico on Unsplash

Craniectomy is one of the ancient procedures used in the field of medicine to treat some cases of traumatic brain injury (TBI) or stroke.

During this procedure, a part of the skull is removed in order to relieve increased intracranial pressure on the underlying brain. Neurosurgeons perform this procedure to relieve pressure on the brain caused by cerebral edema or hemorrhage. They leave the opening in the skull exposed until the pressure decreases, and then they shut it.

This procedure has risks associated with it, including more bleeding, infection, and further damage to the brain. 

Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

However, in some cases, these risks are not clearly spelled out to the patients by the medical practitioners leading to a medical malpractice case filed against them.

One of the tenets of medical malpractice cases is an attorney’s ability to prove that the actions of a medical personnel have led to the harm of a patient. Such a medical practitioner can be sued on the grounds of negligence, lack of informed consent, and in some cases, for performing a surgery that wasn’t necessary. 

Case of Lack of Informed Consent During Craniectomy

The case of Brown v. Capanna is one of the lack of informed consent cases.

The defendant performed a craniectomy procedure on the victim, after which the victim lapsed into a coma and died six weeks later.

A case action was brought against the defendant, stating that “the victim signed a consent form stating risks. However, the form did not enumerate those risks.”

Case of Performing An Unnecessary Craniectomy Procedure

A patient might sue a medical practitioner if they performed an unnecessary surgical treatment that resulted in additional injuries or harm.

This was the case in Baoust v. Kraut, where the plaintiff sued the defendant for performing a craniectomy procedure that wasn’t “seen as necessary.”

In this case, after the defendants, who are neurosurgeons, performed a first surgery on the plaintiff, it led to a discharge from the wounds, and they performed a craniectomy procedure on the plaintiff to stop the discharge.

The plaintiff claims that as a result of the procedure, she was left without a portion of her skull, and she suffered injuries as a direct result of the procedure.

Other incidents where a craniectomy procedure led to court cases include, but are not limited to, Adeyemi v. Guerrero, Andrews v. Northwestern Memorial Hosp., Hewlett v. Lattinville

Using Legal Animation During Trial and Mediation

Legal animation can be one of the legal visual strategies an attorney with cases having similar circumstances and events can employ either as a plaintiff or defendant.

An attorney with a similar case to that of Baoust v. Kraut above can choose to use legal animation to explain to the jury how craniectomy is a procedure that was indeed necessary to stop the discharge from the skull and was in no way unnecessary.

It can be used to demonstrate what happens during the removal of the part of the skull and how the intracranial pressure on the brain is reduced.

Legal animation can also be used to show the right and wrong way to perform a craniectomy procedure.

In a case where a medical practitioner committed an error during a craniectomy procedure, legal animation can illustrate which areas such errors were committed and clearly demonstrate how the craniectomy procedure could have been appropriately performed.


The strength of legal animation knows no bounds as long as it is created by a legal animation company that is familiar with its principles of admissibility and has a track record to back up such claims.

Whether as a defendant or a plaintiff, legal animation can be created for you to strengthen your positions and help you get justice and settlement. 

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