Surgical excision of your brain tumor may require your neurosurgeon to create a bone flap and temporarily remove a piece of your skull to gain access to the tumor. Many factors will determine if a craniotomy is part of your tumor surgery:
Neurosurgeons may employ a craniotomy for a variety of reasons to treat various neurological conditions:
Accessing the treatment site
An opening in the skull may be necessary to access and then treat brain aneurysms, tumors, and arteriovenous malformations (AVMs).
Relieving intracranial pressure
Certain conditions such as subdural hematomas and hydrocephalus may require a burr hole, a small dime-sized craniotomy, to relieve excess blood or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the skull. This additional fluid may put pressure on the brain and need to be controlled by opening up the skull and releasing pressure.
A ventriculoperitoneal shunt may be installed to provide continual drainage of excess CSF in the case of hydrocephalus. A craniotomy is also part of the process in the implantation of a deep brain stimulation device for conditions such as Parkinson’s Disease, Essential Tremor, Dystonia, and refractive epilepsy.
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