Craniotomy For Brain Tumour Removal

A brain tumor is an abnormal growth of cells in the brain due to uncontrolled cell multiplication. Because the skull is a closed space, tumor growth can increase the pressure inside the brain. Most of the brain tumor needs to remove at least for the diagnosis. Craniotomy is the most commonly performed procedure to remove the brain tumor. Craniotomy is a procedure in which a part of the bone in the skull is cut and opened to reach to the tumor. The bone flap is temporarily removed and then placed again after the brain tumor removal surgery.

Types of Craniotomy

Depending on the site and extension of the tumor, your surgeon for brain tumor removal may perform one of the following craniotomies. –

  • Extended bifrontal Craniotomy – The extended bifrontal Craniotomy is a skull-based approach to treat the difficult tumors in the front part of the brain. Types of brain tumors that can be treated with this type of Craniotomy are meningiomas, esthesioneuroblastomas, and malignant skull base tumors.
  • Minimally Invasive Supra-Orbital “Eyebrow” Craniotomy – It is a procedure used to remove brain tumors in the bae of the skull. In this procedure, an incision is made in the eyebrow to treat tumors in the front of the brain and around the pituitary gland which is present deeper in the brain around the nose and eyes.
  • Retro-Sigmoid “Keyhole” Craniotomy – It is a minimally invasive procedure to remove brain tumors in the back of the head (cerebello pontine angle to be specific) and this approach is used to treat tumors like meningiomas, acoustic neuromas, skull-based tumors, and metastatic brain tumors.

There are various other craniotomies that can be performed for the superficial brain tumors like frontal craniotomy, occipital craniotomy, parietal or temporal craniotomy.

There is no one best approach or type of craniotomy for any particular tumor and it is based on your surgeon’s preference and familiarity with such procedures.

Symptoms of brain tumors

There are different types of brain tumors and symptoms depend on the type, size of the tumor, and location of the tumor. Some common symptoms of brain tumors are discussed below-   

To confirm the diagnosis, some imaging tests such as MRI, and CT scans are usually done.

Brain tumor treatment

If the tumor is benign and static or growing slowly with no pressure on the adjacent tissues or nerves then it can be observed with serial MRI scans without any intervention. But most of the tumors need surgery at least to establish a diagnosis. If the tumor is malignant, it needs further treatment after the brain tumor surgeries like radiation therapy, and/or chemotherapy If the diagnosis is not clear on the MRI scan, sometimes, your surgeon may offer stereotactic biopsy of the tumor (done by placing a small hole in the skull and inserting a needle to aspirate the tumor cells) to establish a tissue diagnosis. 

Surgical steps:

The bone in the exposed part of the skull is cut and the bone flap is lifted. This leads to the exposure of the covering called dura which protects the brain tissues. The dura is detected and the tumor is located. The tumor is then separated from the surroundings and removed. If the brain tumor is surrounded by critical brain tissues or nerves then some monitoring techniques are used to make the surgery safe.

Then the dura is closed and the bone flap is replaced and fixed with miniplates and screws. Finally, the skin is restored to its original position and sutured

Post operative recovery:

After the surgery is done, the patient is shifted to ICU or intensive care unit for close monitoring of all the vital signs. Most of the times, the patients are awake before shifting to the ICU. But sometimes, the patient may stay on ventilation or breathing tube support depending on the complexity of the procedure. The patient might feel a headache or nauseated for some time with brain tumor after removal. The patient is required to stay in the hospital for a few days under observation

If you are suggested to undergo a brain tumor surgery, the get a second opinion from another Best Neurosurgeon In Dubai as the procedure is complex and getting second opinion validates your decision to undergo surgery.

The patient is given general anesthesia and the head of the patient is placed on a device to keep it stable during the procedure. Some hairs may be shaved off around the incision area. The incision is made at the skin and the skin and muscles are moved aside.

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Dr. Arun Rajeswaran

Consult Dr. Arun with a professional experience of more than 13 years in the field of Neurosurgery

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