Craniotomy surgery is a high skilled operation that requires massive experience to successfully conduct. Simply put, craniotomy is the surgical removal of a portion of the skull to perform a surgery on the brains and then replacing the same. Specialized equipment are used for performing the craniotomy surgery because it involves the temporary removal of the bone flap a part of the skull. Sometimes critical surgeries require Magnetic Resonance Imaging or MRI and also Computerised Tomography Scans or CT scans. These equipment help in locating the exact position of the grey matter which needs to be operated.

What is the procedure?

Prior to the operation, doctors place frames on to the skulls or place superficial markers on the scalp to mark out the areas on which the operation will be conducted. The brain scans along with the localized frames and computers offer a three-dimensional image of the abnormal tissue. The doctors can therefore operate on the right tissue during craniotomy. Sometimes an endoscopic craniotomy is also performed in a camera is inserted into the brain through a hole in the skull.

Why is this procedure needed?

There may be multiple reasons behind a craniotomy surgery.

  • It is sometimes performed to remove blood clots and treat brain tumors.
  • If there is a pus-filled area in the brain then a surgery might be required to clear the pus collection.
  • This procedure is helpful for diagnosing, removal and treatment of a tumor.
  • Repairing an aneurysm
  • It can also help in the removal of an abnormal blood vessel mass.
  • Skull fractures can also be treated with this method
  • The membrane in the brain can sometimes get a tear
  • A person suffering from epilepsy may also require this surgery for treatment
  • Patients suffering from Parkinson’s also need craniotomy
  • Sometimes there is a pressure build up inside the brain which can be relieved with the help of this surgery

Risks involved in the procedure

Complications may occur in course of the surgery. Since the surgery is connected with the centers of speech, vision, hearing etc. the any of these can get affected because of the operation. Complications like blood clot, bleeding, infection high blood pressure, brain swelling, cerebrospinal fluid leakage etc may also occur. Some people also develop problems like speech difficulty, memory problems, paralysis, coma and even abnormal balance. Before the operation the neurosurgeon conducts a meeting with the family of the patient to explain the pros, cons and craniotomy surgery cost.

Steps to take before the surgery

The neurosurgeon will ask patients to undergo various kinds of blood tests, chest x-ray and electrocardiogram prior to the surgery. You will also have to sign various kinds of consent forms and provide information regarding your medical history. The patient will not be allowed to take any blood thinning medicine or anti inflammatory ones. Smoking, drinking and chewing tobacco will have to be stopped also since these can increase the blood pressure and cause bleeding. The craniotomy surgery cost is not meager so maximum care of the patient should be taken both before and after the operation.