Craniotomy for Infection in Minnesota

Patients who have a brain abscess may need a Craniotomy for infection. Find out more about Craniotomy here and schedule an appointment with Hart Garner, MD.

What is a Craniotomy for Infection?

A craniotomy is a surgery that opens up the skull to fix a problem in the brain, like a brain abscess.
Neurosurgeons perform Craniotomies in hospitals, sometimes under general anesthesia. This involves shaving the incision site, and then removing the bone flap to allow access to the treatment area. In some cases, patients are awake during surgery and asked to move or recite the alphabet to determine the status of brain function.

The surgeon will make the incision near the area of the brain that needs treatment. They may use a special saw to cut the bone flap, or a medical drill to create small holes.

This is followed by an incision made in the brain’s covering, the dura mater. Ideally, the tumor will be completely removed, if possible. The doctor will then stitch together any cut tissues, and reattach bone flaps with sutures, plates, or wires.

In some cases, complete removal may not be possible. Surgery can relieve symptoms and lower pressure within the brain even if the tumor cannot be completely removed.

If the tumor is only partially removed, it may need additional treatment, such as radiation therapy. Likewise, additional treatment may be required if the craniotomy reveals a malignant brain tumor.

Post-craniotomy, patients experience headaches and fatigue. Patients usually stay in the hospital for 3 to 7 days, but the recovery time varies. The doctor will prescribe pain relievers to reduce symptoms and speed recovery. Until the surgeon has cleared the patient, the patient may have restrictions on daily activities such as driving and lifting.

Who Needs a Craniotomy for Infection?

A person may need this surgery if they have damaged brain or blood vessels or if they have an infection or a tumor in their brain. When a brain abscess is larger than 2cm, it is usually necessary to drain the pus from it surgically.
You may experience fatigue and headaches following surgery. It can take 4 to 8 weeks to recover. It is possible to experience some pain for the first five days following surgery.

Your scalp and eyes may swell, and you have numbness and shooting pains near the treatment area. The wound may itch during the healing process. Cold packs and medicines can relieve headaches, pain, swelling, and itching. These symptoms are a normal part of the healing process.

Within seven to ten days, the stitches that hold your incisions together may fall out on their own. Some patients may need a plate attached to hold the skull flap in place while it heals.

Additionally, patients may need physical therapy after leaving the hospital.

Learn More About Craniotomy for Infection Surgery in Minnesota

Experienced neurosurgeon Hart Garner, MD offers surgical treatment for brain abscesses. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment and learn more about craniotomy for infection.