A craniotomy and craniectomy are two medical procedures that are used to operate on an area of the brain. The procedures are very similar in nature, but the difference between a craniotomy and a craniectomy is that in a craniectomy, a part of the skull that is removed is left off after surgery in order to leave the brain more room for expansion.
Reasons For A Cranitomy Or Craniectomy
There are a number of reasons why a person may need to undergo one of the above procedures, including to address a:
- Brain Tumor
- Brain Abscess
- An Anuerysm
- Skull Fractures
- Blood Clots
- Excess Pressure
- Treating Epilepsy
There are obviously some risks involved when it comes to surgery, especially when the body part being operated on is the brain. Although a neurosurgeon will do everything in their power to reduce risks, some rare complications include infection, bleeding, blood clots, seizure, brain swelling or memory problems.
Performing The Procedure
There are a number of different types of craniotomys and craniectomys based on the problem that needs to be treated. The issue and the location of the problem will determine which procedure you’ll undergo. Some different types of brain surgery include:
- Extended Bifrontal Craniotomy
- Minimally Invasive Supra-Orbital “Eyebrow” Craniotomy
- Retro-Sigmoid “Keyhole” Craniotomy
- Orbitozygomatic Craniotomy
- Translabyrinthine Craniotomy
They all vary a bit, but the basic procedure is the same. The neurosurgeon will put the patient under anesthesia and then remove a small portion of the bone flap that covers the brain. Once removed, the surgeon will conduct the necessary operation on the brain, like removing a brain tumor or addressing a blood clot.
In a craniotomy, the doctor will reattach the removed bone flap using titanium plates, screws or another fixation tool. In a craniectomy, the bone flap is left off which allows for the brain to grow and swell as part of healing and recovery. This is more common in children, who are still expected to go through some growing. The bone flap is stored, and after the doctor is happy with the healing process, the bone or an artificial device is reattached to the skull to reconstruct the skull.
For more information about either procedure, contact Dr. Chang today.