Type of Surgery

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Last updated: 11/24/2009

Demographics

Because craniotomy is a procedure that is utilized for several conditions and diseases, statistical information for the procedure itself is not available. However, because craniotomy is most commonly performed to remove a brain tumor, statistics concerning...

this condition are given. Approximately 90% of primary brain cancers occur in adults, more commonly in males between 55 and 65 years of age. Tumors in children peak between the ages of three and 12. Brain tumors are presently the most common cancer in children (four out of 100,000).


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In a craniotomy, the skin over a part of the skull is cut and pulled back (A). Small holes are drilled into the skull (B), and a special saw is used to cut the bone between the holes (C). The bone is removed, and a tumor or other defect is visualized and repaired (D). The bone is replaced (E), and the skin closed (F). (Illustration by GGS Inc.) In a craniotomy, the skin over a part of the skull is cut and pulled back (A). Small holes are drilled into the skull (B), and a special saw is used to cut the bone between the holes (C). The bone is removed, and a tumor or other defect is visualized and repaired (D). The bone is replaced (E), and the skin closed (F). (Illustration by GGS Inc.)




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Other Information

A craniotomy is a surgical operation in which part of the skull, called a bone flap, is removed in order to access the brain. Craniotomies are often a critical operation performed on patients suffering from brain lesions or traumatic brain injury (TBI), and can also allow doctors to surgically implant deep brain stimulators for the treatment of Parkinson's disease, epilepsy and cerebellar tremor. The procedure is also widely used in neuroscience for extracellular recording, brain imaging, and for neurological manipulations such as electrical stimulation and chemical titration.

Human craniotomy is usually performed under general anesthesia but can be also done with the patient awake using a local anaesthetic; the procedure generally does not involve significant discomfort for the patient. In general, a craniotomy will be preceded by an MRI scan which provides a picture of the brain that the surgeon uses to plan the precise location for bone removal and the appropriate angle of access to the relevant brain areas. The amount of skull that needs to be removed depends to a large extent on the type of surgery being performed. Most small holes can heal with no difficulty. When larger parts of the skull must be removed, surgeons will usually try to retain the bone flap and replace it immediately after surgery. It is held in place temporarily with metal plates and rather quickly reintegrates with the intact part of the skull, at which point the metal plates are removed.

Craniotomy is distinguished from craniectomy, in which the skull flap is not replaced, and from trepanation, which is performed voluntarily without medical necessity.


From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craniotomy

Other Information

Select comparative data from 1999 to 2006 include a decrease of 14 percent in the number of neurosurgeons in private practice and a decrease of 13 percent in the number of neurosurgeons in solo practice.


From: AANS

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