Welcome to our health education library. The information shared below is provided to you as an educational and informational source only and is not intended to replace a medical examination or consultation, or medical advice given to you by a physician or medical professional.

The Day of Your CraniotomyEl d­a de la craneotom­a

The Day of Your Craniotomy

Arrive at the hospital on time. You may still have concerns and are likely to feel a bit nervous. Your healthcare team will try to answer all your questions. They will also do all they can to put you at ease.

Just Before Surgery

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The smallest amount of skull possible is lifted away.

The healthcare provider in charge of your anesthesia will talk with you before surgery. You will be given general anesthesia to help you "sleep" through the surgery. At some point, an IV (intravenous) line is placed in your arm. This line can supply medication and fluids as needed. In many cases, some or all of your hair is trimmed or removed. This is done to decrease the risk of infection.

Reaching the Brain

The surgeon makes an incision in your scalp. Then dime-sized burr holes are drilled in the skull. The bone between the holes is cut and lifted away. The surgeon then opens the dura, exposing the brain. The next step will depend on your specific problem. In some cases, certain nerves may be stimulated while the response in the brain is monitored. This is done to make sure that normal brain tissue is not disturbed during the surgery.

Finishing the Craniotomy

When the goal of surgery is met, the dura covering the brain is closed. Usually, the skull bone is put back and held in place with wire mesh or screw plates. If blood or fluid remains in the brain tissue, a drain may be placed through a burr hole for a few days. Most of the time, the burr holes are filled or covered right after surgery. Then the skin incision is closed with stitches or staples.

Risks of Surgery

  • Seizure (jerking movements)

  • Infection

  • Loss of memory or confusion

  • Swelling or bleeding in the brain

  • Blood clots

  • Loss of sensation, including vision

  • Weakness or paralysis

  • Death

Note to Family and Friends

You can wait in a nearby room during surgery. Craniotomy often takes 3-5 hours, or more, to complete. If possible, be sure one person is always in the waiting room to receive any news. The doctor will come talk with you as soon as surgery is over. You'll also be told when you can visit your loved one.

Date Last Reviewed:

Date Last Modified: 2010-01-07T00:00:00-07:00

Put your injured patients or employees in the best possible hands while reducing exposure and mitigating losses. Call us at 877.331.5763 with your questions or to schedule an appointment. For your convenience, you can use our online Appointment Request form.

What people say about us?

I had a spinal decompression done at three levels. Although all pain is not gone, the surgery did exactly what Dr. Hayward had hoped it would. What impressed me most about Dr. Hayward was his willingness to have me get a second opinion. He did not want me going into surgery without hearing what someone else thought. He even went as far to tell me that just because he was the first neurosurgeon that I had seen, he expected me go where I felt most comfortable if I did have surgery.
~D.Goetting

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10435 Clayton Rd. Suite 120
Saint Louis, Mo 63131
135 Plaza Dr.
Sikeston, MO 63801
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Dr. Franklin Hayward at Heartland Spine Institute provides compassionate care to people of all walks of life. He provides nonsurgical and surgical spine care to people suffering from debilitating back, neck and spine problems, carpel tunnel syndrome and work related injuries . Patients travel up to 3 hours to see him in the Heartland; from Southern Illinois, Northeast and Northwest Kentucky, Southwest Indiana and across Missouri.

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