Alternate Names : Brain Surgery
A craniotomy is a type of surgery done to open part of the skull, or cranium.
This procedure is needed when a person has a condition or injury that affects
the brain, its tissues, or its blood vessels.
Who is a candidate for the procedure?
A craniotomy allows the surgeon to do the following:
remove a lesion, such as a brain tumor
remove a blood clot, such as a chronic subdural hematoma
repair a leaking blood vessel, known as an cerebral aneurysm
remove an abnormal collection of blood vessels, known as
arteriovenous malformation, or AVM
drain a pocket of pus, also called a brain abscess
repair skull fractures caused by a head injury
repair a tear in the membrane lining the brain
relieve pressure within the brain, which is also called increased intracranial pressure
How is the procedure performed?
A craniotomy is performed under general anesthesia. This means the
person is put to sleep with medication and cannot feel any pain. The hair on
part or all of the scalp is shaved. An incision is made in the scalp over the
area of the suspected condition or disorder. A flap of the bone is cut away
from the skull and set aside during the surgery. The disorder is located and
treated. The bone flap is replaced, and the scalp is closed with sutures or