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Management of Atretic Encephaloceles in Children

This page was last updated on May 9th, 2017

Initial Management at Presentation

  • Information to parents: An informative talk with the child’s parents will contribute to relief of anxiety.
  • Protection of lesion: Only gentle manipulation of the lesion is done to avoid infection, erosion, or hemorrhage.
  • Careful surgical planning: The patient is prepared as outlined on the Presentation page to anticipate possible procedural needs.

Adjunctive Therapies

  • Seizures: Anticonvulsant therapy may be needed for children with associated seizures.
  • Rehabilitation: Developmental delay can be associated with atretic encephaloceles. Infants identified with this lesion are commonly evaluated for physical, occupational, and speech therapy needs.


  • Wound healing: Initial follow-up confirms healing of scalp closure. Long-term follow-up is needed to confirm closure of the skull defect.
  • Hydrocephalus: Head growth should be followed for signs of developing ventriculomegaly or hydrocephalus.
  • Development: Long-term follow-up is indicated for signs of developmental delay.