Brain Surgery

What is a craniotomy?

A craniotomy is an operation that involves a neurosurgeon temporarily removing a portion of the skull so they can access the brain to treat a condition affecting it or related anatomy, such as the skull.

To access the brain and surrounding structures, a neurosurgeon will shave a thin strip of hair from a patient’s scalp where they need to make an incision. Once they have cut through the scalp, they will remove a piece of skull bone with specialised equipment such as a high speed drill and saw.

A neurosurgeon will then open the protective layer of the brain called the dura (located underneath the bone) to access the brain and perform the required neurosurgical procedure. After the neurosurgeon completes this procedure, they will place the bone back and secure it using titanium implants.

A craniotomy allows a neurosurgeon to perform the following medical procedures:

  • repair aneurysms
  • remove brain tumours or abnormal brain tissue
  • treat brain injuries such as concussion and other trauma
  • treat infections
  • alleviate pressure caused by stroke
  • take a brain tissue sample for pathologists to diagnose a potential problem.
  • treat skull fractures
  • treat skull malformations