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Brain Surgery: Meaning, Scope, and Other details

Team AckoJan 18, 2024

For those who have had to undergo Brain Surgery, the experience can be daunting and overwhelming. Yet, despite the risks, it remains an essential treatment for a myriad of conditions, including brain tumours, strokes, and traumatic brain injuries. However, this complex and delicate procedure can only be undertaken by the most skilled and experienced neurosurgeons. From the initial diagnosis to the post-operative care, the process demands precision, patience, and above all, empathy. This article highlights important points related to Brain Surgery along with some frequently asked questions.




What is Brain Surgery?

Brain Surgery is a medical specialty that involves the treatment of conditions that affect the brain, spinal cord, and nerves. It is a complex and challenging field that requires years of specialised training and experience.

Different types of Brain Surgery

There are various forms of Brain Surgery, which are as follows.

1. Craniotomy

During a craniotomy, the neurosurgeon makes an incision in the scalp and removes a part of the skull to access the brain.

2. Biopsy

Removing a small piece of brain tissue for examination.

3. Lobectomy

In a lobectomy, a portion of the brain is removed to treat conditions such as epilepsy.

4. Deep brain stimulation

Implanting electrodes in the brain to treat conditions such as Parkinson's disease.

5. Hemispherectomy

A hemispherectomy is a rare procedure in which one half of the brain is removed.

Different types of Brain Surgery may be recommended based on the patient's condition. Some other types of brain surgeries are as follows.

6. Endonasal endoscopic surgery

Endonasal endoscopic surgery involves entering the brain through the nasal cavity instead of making an incision in the scalp. This surgery is typically used for conditions such as pituitary tumours.

7. Stereotactic radiosurgery

Stereotactic radiosurgery uses radiation to treat brain tumours and other abnormalities in the brain. It delivers a high dose of radiation to the targeted area while minimising the exposure to surrounding tissues.

8. Awake Brain Surgery

During Awake Brain Surgery, the patient is awake to help the surgeon map out critical brain functions. This allows the surgeon to safely remove brain tissue without causing damage to important areas of the brain.

Preparation for Brain Surgery

Preparing for Brain Surgery can be overwhelming. Here’s the list of the necessary steps involved in preparing for the surgery.

  • Initial consultation and evaluation: The first step in preparing for Brain Surgery is to schedule a consultation with a neurosurgeon. 

  • Pre-surgery tests and procedures: After your initial consultation, you will undergo several tests to help prepare for surgery. 

The Brain Surgery procedure

The Brain Surgery procedure involves several steps that must be carefully executed to ensure its success. Below are the three main steps involved in this complex procedure.

  1. Anaesthesia and incision: The first step is administering anaesthesia to the patient to ensure they are comfortable and pain-free during the procedure. Once the anaesthesia has taken effect, the surgeon will make an incision in the scalp to access the skull.

  2. Navigating the brain: With the skull exposed, the surgeon will use specialised tools and equipment to carefully navigate the brain and identify the specific area requiring attention.

  3. Surgical tools and equipment: Lastly, the surgeon will use surgical tools and equipment to perform the necessary repairs or removal of tissues.

Possible risks and complications of Brain Surgery

Risks include infection, bleeding, seizures, blood clots, swelling of the brain, pneumonia, and allergic reactions to anaesthesia. Depending on the part of the brain being operated on, there is a risk of neurological deficits such as speech or vision problems, weakness, or paralysis. In rare cases, Brain Surgery can result in coma or death. 

Coping with Brain Surgery

In coping with Brain Surgery, there are two important factors to consider: psychological support for patients and their families, and coping mechanisms for post-surgery stress and anxiety.

  • Psychological support for patients and their families: Getting through Brain Surgery can be a daunting task for anyone. It's important that patients, as well as their families, feel supported via mental health experts during this challenging time. 

  • Coping mechanisms for post-surgery stress and anxiety: It's not uncommon for patients to experience stress and anxiety after their Brain Surgery. Coping mechanisms such as relaxation techniques, exercise, and mindfulness practices like meditation can help alleviate these symptoms. It's also important for patients to communicate with their healthcare providers if they are struggling with post-surgery stress or anxiety, as they may be able to offer additional resources or support.

Frequently asked questions

Here are some questions and answers related to Brain Surgery.


Will I be awake during the surgery?

Some brain surgeries require the patient to be awake so doctors can monitor their brain function. Other surgeries require general anaesthesia.

How long will it take to recover from Brain Surgery?

Some patients are able to return to their normal activities within a few weeks, while others may need several months of rehabilitation. 

Will I have a scar after Brain Surgery?

It depends on the type of surgery and where the incision is made. 

What are the benefits of Brain Surgery?

The benefits of Brain Surgery depend on the reason for the surgery. In some cases, Brain Surgery can remove a tumour or reduce seizures. In other cases, it may alleviate symptoms of a neurological condition or improve brain function. 

What kind of physical therapy might I need after Brain Surgery?

The type of physical therapy you need will depend on the type of surgery you had and your individual needs. It may include exercises to improve your range of motion, strength training, and balance training to help you regain normal movement. Your physical therapist will work with you to develop a personalised rehabilitation plan.

What can I do to help speed up my recovery after Brain Surgery?

To help speed up your recovery, it's important to get plenty of rest and follow your surgeon's instructions about physical therapy and other rehabilitation activities. You should also eat a healthy diet and avoid alcohol and tobacco.


Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. Please consult a doctor before making any health-related decisions.


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