A craniotomy is surgery to open your skull to fix 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.
The doctor uses special tools to make
cuts (incisions) through your scalp and skull. The doctor then looks at the inside of your skull or fixes the problem. He or she
uses small plates and clamps to put the piece of your skull back in
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
The surgery can last from 30 minutes to 12 hours. Afterward, you may
stay in the hospital for 3 to 10 days. Depending on why you had the surgery, you may need 4 to 8 weeks to fully recover. Your recovery may take
longer if you have weak areas of your body or have problems talking or seeing.
You may need up to 6 months to recover from some brain injuries or infections.
You may not recover completely from some types of brain injuries.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor
if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and
keep a list of the medicines you take.
Surgery can be
stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for surgery.
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter B928 in the search box to learn more about "Craniotomy: Before Your Surgery."
Current as of:
June 4, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
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