Craniotomy for Tumor Removal in Minnesota

Learn more about Craniotomy for tumor removal and schedule a consultation with a Minnesota neurosurgeon today.

Craniotomy diagram

What is Craniotomy for Tumor Removal?

A Craniotomy is a procedure performed by a neurosurgeon to biopsy or excise (remove) a brain tumor. Through an incision in the scalp, a window of bone (also called “bone flap”) is removed from the skull. This allows access to the inside of the skull and brain. The surgeon will reattach the bone flap at the end of the surgery.
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 Craniotomy for Tumor Removal?

Neurosurgeons perform craniotomies to treat tumors and many other brain conditions.
Relieving Intracranial Pressure
Subdural hematomas and hydrocephalus may require a craniotomy to release excess blood or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from the skull. A small hole in the skull can relieve pressure on the brain caused by extra fluid in the skull.
Device Implants
Hydrocephalus patients may benefit from a ventriculoperitoneal shunt to drain excess CSF continuously. A craniotomy is also required to implant deep brain stimulation devices for patients suffering from essential tremor, refractive epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, and dystonia.
Hard-to-Reach Treatment Site
Treating aneurysms, tumors, and arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) of the brain may require an opening in the skull.

Contact A Minnesota Craniotomy Surgeon Today

Speak to experienced Minnesota neurosurgeon, Dr. Hart Garner today to learn more about Craniotomy for tumor removal and schedule your appointment.