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A craniotomy is surgery to open your skull to treat a problem in your brain. It can be done for many reasons. For example, you may need a craniotomy if your brain or blood vessels are damaged. Or you may need one if you have a tumour or an infection in your brain.
Part of your head may be shaved. The doctor uses special tools to make cuts (incisions) through your scalp and skull. The doctor then looks at the inside of your skull to treat the problem. The doctor closes the skull and incisions.
You may get medicine so you will be asleep during the surgery. Or you may be awake, but you will not feel pain. Sometimes a person must be awake during surgery so the doctor can test how well the brain is working.
Your doctor will help you know how long the surgery will last and what to expect. Afterward, you may stay in the hospital for a few days to a week or more. You may need a month or two to recover. Your recovery may take longer if you have weak areas of your body or have problems talking or seeing. How fully you recover depends on why you had the surgery and how well you do after your surgery.
Surgery can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for surgery.
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Current as of: August 25, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Barrie J. Hurwitz MD - Neurology
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