The idea that you require brain surgery is overwhelming. This surgery is normally recommended in treating life-threatening conditions such as hemorrhagic stroke, aneurysm, hydrocephalus, cranial nerve disorders, and traumatic brain injuries. As you navigate this difficult journey, experienced surgeons such as Ali H. Mesiwala, MD, FAANS, can support you with their surgical skills. Neurosurgeons use various surgical techniques to correct the brain’s various functional or anatomical abnormalities. Here is a look at the common types of brain surgery to treat brain tumors and other issues.
Craniotomy surgery involves the removal of a disc of bone from the skull using a high-speed drill. This allows your surgeon to access your brain for treatment. When the brain surgical repair is complete, the bone flap is replaced and well-secured with sutures, plates, or wires. The craniotomy size depends on the brain region that needs access and the underlying condition. Large craniotomies are known as keyholes, while small craniotomies are known as burr holes.
This invasive procedure involves surgically removing a sample of your brain tissue for examination under a microscope. The sample is examined for functional or structural abnormalities, which can help give a diagnosis or prognosis for a certain condition. Your neurosurgeon will drill a small hole in your skull and remove some brain tissue using a thin needle.
This is a treatment procedure that corrects any defect in your skull. This might include repositioning and reshaping the skull, replacing the skull bone, or implanting hardware.
Endoscopic Endonasal Surgery
This is an innovative, minimally invasive brain surgery. An endoscope is a tiny flexible tube with a light source and camera. This tube is inserted through your nose and sinus, allowing the surgeon to access the brain regions that are difficult to reach via traditional surgical approaches that need incisions, such as the top of your spine or the base of your skull. The light on the endoscope lightens the brain region, and innovative tools are inserted via the nose to remove lesions or tumors.
Gamma Knife Stereotactic Radiosurgery
This treatment does not use an invasive incision. It instead uses radiation beams to treat brain tumors. It emits hundreds of radiation beams from all directions to treat a brain tumor. Every individual radiation beam has a low intensity that is harmless to your skin and the surrounding brain tissues. However, when hundreds of the radiation beams meet on the tumor, their combined effect creates radiation that kills the tumorous brain cells.
Cerebrospinal Fluid Shunt
If you have been diagnosed with pseudotumor cerebri or hydrocephalus, these conditions can cause excess cerebrospinal fluid around your brain. This excess fluid causes excess pressure on your brain. Surgeons implant a cerebrospinal fluid shunt to drain the fluid.
Ultimately, these are some of the common types of brain surgery. Brain surgery might be considered for any condition that causes changes in cerebrospinal fluid, altered blood flow in the brain, and changes to the brain tissue and brain function. Your neurosurgeon will recommend the best surgical technique for you based on the size, location, and surrounding structures of the brain region needing access.