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Craniotomy - series


Normal anatomy

The brain is located inside the cranium. The cranium is a set of bones which makes up the skull, and protects and holds the brain.

Normal anatomy

Brain surgery may be needed to treat:

  • brain tumors
  • bleeding (hemorrhage) or blood clots (hematomas) from injuries (subdural hematoma or epidural hematomas)
  • weaknesses in blood vessels (cerebral aneurysms)
  • damage to tissues covering the brain (dura)
  • pockets of infection in the brain (brain abscesses)
  • severe nerve or facial pain (such as trigeminal neuralgia or tic douloureux)
  • epilepsy

The hair on part of the scalp is shaved. An incision is made through the scalp and a hole is drilled through the skull. A piece of the skull may be removed while the brain is being operated on and replaced before the skin is stitched closed. The surgery in which the brain is accessed through the skull is called "craniotomy".


The results depend on the source, severity, and location of the problem.


Review Date: 5/3/2007
Reviewed By: Robert A. Cowles, M.D., Assistant Professor of Surgery, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
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