Pronounced: Crane-knee-ah-toe-meEn Español (Spanish Version)
A craniotomy is a surgery done on the head. The surgeon cuts through the skull to reach the brain. There are different types of craniotomies, including:
- Burr hole—A small hole is made in the skull
- Traditional craniotomy—A piece of skull is cut out and then put back after surgery
- Stereotaxy—A computer is used to help find where things are in the brain during surgery
- Awake craniotomy—The patient is awake during part of the surgery
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The success of this surgery depends on the reason it is being done. The most common reasons for a craniotomy include:
- Biopsy —to obtain a brain tissue sample
- Brain cancer
- Head trauma
- Blood clot in the brain
- Blood vessel problems with the brain
- Nerve disorders
- Brain swelling
- Brain infection
Smoking may increase the risk of complications.
Last reviewedSeptember 2012by Marcin Chwistek, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.