Patient Positioning in Neurosurgery, Principles and Complications

Adrian Balasa 1 , Corina Ionela Hurghis 2 , Flaviu Tamas 2  and Rares Chinezu 1 , 2
  • 1 George Emil Palade University of Medicine, Romania
  • 2 Neurosurgery Clinic, Emergency County Hospital, Targu Mures, Romania


Patient positioning is a crucial step in neurosurgical interventions This is the responsibility of both the neurosurgeon and the anesthesiologist. Patient safety, surgeon’s comfort, choosing an optimal trajectory to the lesion, reducing brain tension by facilitating venous drainage, using gravitation to maintain the lesion exposed and dynamic retraction represent general rules for correct positioning. All bony prominences must be protected by silicone padding. The head can be positioned using a horseshoe headrest or three pin skull clamp, following the general principles: avoiding elevating the head above heart more than 30 degrees, avoiding turning the head to one side more than 30 degrees and maintaining 2 to 3 finger breaths between chin and sternum. Serious complications can occur if the patient is not properly positioned so this is why great care must be paid during this step of the surgical act.

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