Neurology Associates, P.C.
Brain surgery is a procedure performed by neurosurgeons to treat problems in the brain and the surrounding structures (It is also referred to as craniotomy or craniectomy.)
Brain surgery may be performed to treat the following conditions:
Before surgery, the hair on part of the scalp is shaved, and the area is cleaned. The doctor makes a surgical cut through the scalp. The location of this cut depends on where the problem in the brain is located.
The surgeon creates a hole in the skull and removes a piece, called a bone flap.
If possible, the surgeon will make a smaller hole and insert a tube with a light and camera on the end. This is called an endoscope. The surgery will be done with tools placed through the endoscope. MRI or CT can help guide the doctor to the proper place in the brain.
The following steps depend on the procedure being performed and the portion of the brain being treated. For example, the neurosurgeon may put a clip on a blood vessel to treat a cerebral aneurysm, remove fluid from a hematoma, or biopsy a portion of tissue.
The duration of surgery depends on the problem being treated.
The bone flap is usually replaced after surgery, using small metal plates, sutures, or wires. The bone flap may not be put back if your surgery involved a tumor or an infection, or if the brain was swollen.
Surgery on any one area may cause problems with speech, memory, muscle weakness, balance, vision, coordination, and other functions. These problems may last a short while or they may not go away.
Before Brain Surgery
Your doctor will examine you, and may order laboratory and x-ray tests.
Always tell your doctor or nurse:
During the days before the surgery
On the day of the surgery
After surgery, you'll be closely monitored by your health care team to make sure your brain is working properly. The doctor or nurse may ask you questions, shine a light in your eyes, and ask you to do simple tasks. You may need oxygen for a few days.
The head of your bed will be kept raised to help reduce swelling of your face or head, which is normal.
You will probably be given medications to relieve pain.
You will usually stay in the hospital for 3 to 7 days. You may need physical therapy (rehabilitation).
How well you do after brain surgery depends on the condition being treated, your general health, which part of the brain is involved, and the specific type of surgery.
Reference: The National Institute of Neurological Disorder and Stroke.