If you have a neurological condition that affects the brain, then you may need to go through a type of neurosurgery. A craniotomy may be part of the procedure, so keep reading to learn more about this, what it is, and how you can prepare for your operation.

What Is A Craniotomy?

A craniotomy is a surgical procedure where a portion of the skull is removed. Typically, small portions are removed to allow for direct access to the brain. However, larger sections may be slated for removal in cases where brain swelling must be treated. The bone is removed in a precise manner with the help of a drill. The drill is used to create an access hole through the bone, and an electric saw is used from this point to create a flap. 

There are a wide variety of reasons why a craniotomy may be completed. This may allow for access to a brain tumor that can then be biopsied or removed. It also lets a neurosurgeon locate and patch bleeding vessels in the brain. This is often required in cases where massive bleeds cannot be shunted from inside the vessel itself. 

The operation is also helpful in the placement of drainage devices to help with the removal of fluid due to a swelling issue. The removal of the skull also assists with creation of space for the brain to expand if swelling is problematic. And, a craniotomy is often required in cases where complex brain surgeries are completed, like when epilepsy is treated and much of the brain must be exposed.

How Do You Prepare For A Craniotomy?

The surgical location must be prepared in advance, so you will need to arrive at the hospital early. The hair around the area will be shaved at this time, and you will be given instructions on the specifics of the procedure. This is incredibly important if you are receiving wakeful sedation. This is something that happens when you must respond to questions during the operation, like when certain areas of the brain are stimulated.

If you are receiving general sedation, then you will not eat for some hours beforehand. And you will often need to stay in the hospital for several days after your operation to ensure the stability of your neurological health. You should prepare your belongings for this.

You also may need to think about how you need to change your lifestyle after the operation is over. Some people will not have the bone flap replaced for several months after the operation. You will need to make adjustments to your life to prevent falls and accidents as much as you can to keep yourself from hitting the unprotected surgical area.