BACK TOTOP Browse A-ZSearchBrowse A-ZABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ0-9 E-mail FormEmail ResultsName:Email address:Recipients Name:Recipients address:Message: Print-FriendlyBookmarksbookmarks-menuBrain surgeryCraniotomy; Surgery - brain; Neurosurgery; Craniectomy; Stereotactic craniotomy; Stereotactic brain biopsy; Endoscopic craniotomyBrain surgery is an operation to treat problems in the brain and surrounding structures. Description Before surgery, the hair on part of the scalp is shaved and the skin is cleaned. The doctor makes a surgical cut through the scalp to expose the bone (skull). 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 portion of the bone (a bone flap).Sometimes, 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. An MRI or CT scan can help guide the doctor to the proper place in the brain.MRIA head MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is an imaging test that uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create pictures of the brain and surrounding...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article CTA computed tomography (CT) scan is an imaging method that uses x-rays to create pictures of cross-sections of the body. Related tests include:Abdomin...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article During surgery, your surgeon may:Clip off an aneurysm to prevent bleeding AneurysmAn aneurysm is a weak area in the wall of a blood vessel that causes the blood vessel to bulge or balloon out. When an aneurysm occurs in a blood ve...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Remove abnormal blood vessels Remove a tumor or a piece of tumor for a biopsy TumorA primary brain tumor is a group (mass) of abnormal cells that start in the brain.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article BiopsyA biopsy is the removal of a small piece of tissue for laboratory examination.Read Article Now Book Mark Article Remove abnormal brain tissue Drain blood or an infection Free a nerve Take a sample of brain tissue to help diagnose nervous system diseasesThe bone flap is usually replaced after surgery, using small metal plates, sutures, or wires. This brain surgery is called a craniotomy.The bone flap may not be put back if your surgery involved a tumor or an infection, or if the brain was swollen. This brain surgery is called a craniectomy. The bone flap may be put back during a future operation.The time it takes for the surgery depends on the problem being treated. Why the Procedure Is Performed Brain surgery may be done if you have:Brain tumor Bleeding (hemorrhage) in the brain Blood clots (hematomas) in the brain Weaknesses in blood vessels (brain aneurysm repair) Brain aneurysm repairBrain aneurysm repair is surgery to correct an aneurysm. This is a weak area in a blood vessel wall that causes the vessel to bulge or balloon out a...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Abnormal blood vessels in the brain (arteriovenous malformations; AVM) Damage to tissues covering the brain (dura) Infections in the brain (brain abscesses) Brain abscessesA brain abscess is a collection of pus, immune cells, and other material in the brain, caused by a bacterial or fungal infection.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Severe nerve or face pain (such as trigeminal neuralgia, or tic douloureux) Trigeminal neuralgiaTrigeminal neuralgia (TN) is a nerve disorder. It causes a stabbing or electric shock-like pain in parts of the face.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Skull fracture Pressure in the brain after an injury or stroke Epilepsy EpilepsyEpilepsy is a brain disorder in which a person has repeated seizures over time. Seizures are episodes of uncontrolled and abnormal firing of brain c...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Certain brain diseases (such as Parkinson disease) that may be helped with an implanted electronic device Hydrocephalus (brain swelling)HydrocephalusHydrocephalus is a buildup of fluid inside the skull that leads to brain swelling. Hydrocephalus means "water on the brain. "ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Risks Risks for anesthesia and surgery in general are:Reactions to medicines Problems breathing Bleeding, blood clots, infection Possible risks of brain surgery are: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. Blood clot or bleeding in the brain. Seizures. Stroke. Coma. Infection in the brain, wound, or skull. Brain swelling. The need for more surgery. Before the Procedure Your doctor will examine you, and may order laboratory and imaging tests.Tell your doctor or nurse:If you could be pregnant What medicines you are taking, even medicines, supplements, vitamins, or herbs you bought without a prescription If you have been drinking a lot of alcohol If you take aspirin or anti-inflammatory medicines such as ibuprofen If you have allergies or reactions to medicines or iodine During the days before the surgery:You may be asked to temporarily stop taking aspirin, ibuprofen, warfarin (Coumadin), and any other blood thinning medicines. Ask your doctor which medicines you should still take on the day of the surgery. Try to stop smoking. Smoking can slow healing after your operation. Ask your doctor for help. Your doctor or nurse may ask you to wash your hair with a special shampoo the night before surgery. On the day of the surgery:You will likely be asked not to drink or eat anything for 8 to 12 hours before the surgery. Take the medicines your doctor told you to take with a small sip of water. Arrive at the hospital on time. After the Procedure After surgery, you will 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. The swelling is normal after surgery.Medicines will be given to relieve pain.You will usually stay in the hospital for 3 to 7 days. You may need physical therapy (rehabilitation).After you go home, follow any self-care instructions you're given. Self-care instructionsYou had surgery on your brain. During surgery, your doctor made a surgical cut (incision) in your scalp. A small hole was then drilled into your sk...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Outlook (Prognosis) 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.Open ReferencesReferencesNikova A, Birbilis T. The basic steps of evolution of brain surgery. Maedica (Bucur). 2017;12(4):297-305. PMID: 29610595 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29610595/.Patterson JT. Neurosurgery. In: Townsend CM Jr, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 21st ed. St Louis, MO: Elsevier; 2022:chap 68.Zada G, Attenello FJ, Pham M, Weiss MH. Surgical planning: an overview. In: Winn HR, ed. Youmans and Winn Neurological Surgery. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 18.AllVideoImagesTogBefore and after hematoma repair - illustration Brain surgery may be needed in treatment of subdural hematoma to remove blood and to decrease intracranial pressure. The outcome of the surgery depends on the source, severity, and location of the problem.Before and after hematoma repairillustrationCraniotomy - seriesPresentation Before and after hematoma repair - illustration Brain surgery may be needed in treatment of subdural hematoma to remove blood and to decrease intracranial pressure. The outcome of the surgery depends on the source, severity, and location of the problem.Before and after hematoma repairillustration Craniotomy - seriesPresentation Tests for Brain surgery Head MRIRelated Information Subdural hematoma (Condition)Brain abscess(Condition)Epilepsy(Condition)Brain tumor - children(Condition)Metastatic brain tumor(Condition)Cerebral arteriovenous malformation(Condition)Aneurysm in the brain(Condition)Brain tumor - primary - adults(Condition)Brain aneurysm repair(Surgery)Communicating with someone with aphasia(Self-Care)Communicating with someone with dysarthria(Self-Care)Caring for muscle spasticity or spasms (Self-Care)Swallowing problems (Self-Care)Brain aneurysm repair - discharge(Discharge)Brain surgery - discharge(Discharge)Epilepsy in children - discharge(Discharge)Epilepsy or seizures - discharge (Discharge)Stroke - discharge (Discharge)Epilepsy in adults - what to ask your doctor(Doctor Questions) Review Date: 1/15/2021 Reviewed By: Luc Jasmin, MD, PhD, FRCS (C), FACS, Department of Surgery, Johnson City Medical Center, TN; Department of Surgery St-Alexius Medical Center, Bismarck, ND; Department of Neurosurgery Fort Sanders Medical Center, Knoxville, TN, Department of Neurosurgery UPMC Williamsport PA, Department of Maxillofacial Surgery at UCSF, San Francisco, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- © 1997- All rights reserved. A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.Content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.