Craniotomy: Correcting Your Problem
What your surgeon does during your craniotomy depends on your problem. But no matter what, every measure is taken to avoid damage to normal tissue.
The source of bleeding is controlled and blood is removed. Damaged tissue may also be cleaned away.
As much of the brain tumor as possible is removed.
The artery is clipped or sealed at the leak. This prevents more blood from flowing into the brain.
AVM (Arteriovenous Malformation)
Abnormal arteries and veins are clipped to redirect blood flow to normal vessels and prevent the AVM from leaking blood. After the abnormal arteries and veins are sealed off, they may be removed through the blood vessels using a glue-like substance. This process is called embolization and resection.
Other Types of Brain Procedures
The procedures below may be done alone, or they may be performed in addition to a craniotomy. To provide access for shunts or stereotactic surgery, burr holes are made in the skull. Your hospital experience before and after these procedures may be about the same as for a craniotomy.
Stereotactic surgery improves access to problems in parts of the brain that are delicate or hard to reach. Stereotactic surgery uses CT or MRI scans to locate the problem and map a precise approach. During this procedure a special frame may be used to hold the head in place.
A shunt is a special type of drain. It is used to decrease pressure on the brain by removing excess spinal fluid. The fluid is drained from the brain to the abdomen. This is done through a tube that is tunneled under the skin. Once the fluid reaches the abdomen, it is absorbed by the body.