Awake brain surgery or awake craniotomy is a type of procedure performed while the patient is awake and aware. This procedure is used to treat certain neurological conditions; including some brain tumours and seizures. Awake craniotomy is opted if your tumour or area of the brain where seizure occurs is near the parts of your brain that controls vision, movement or speech. Your responses while you are awake helps the surgeon to ensure that the correct area of the brain is being treated.
- Medications will be given by your anaesthesiologist.
- Your neurosurgeon will apply numbing medications to your scalp.
- Your head fill be placed in a fixed position
- Part of your skull will be removed while you remain sedated and then your anaesthesiologist will stop administering the sedatives and allow you to wake up.
- Your doctor will conduct brain mapping that allows the surgeon to avoid damaging areas that control speech, movement and vision.
- The doctor may ask you several questions, make movements and give instructions so as to assess you during the surgery and your responses help the surgeon to avoid damage to functional areas in your brain.
- Surgeons will safely remove your brain tumour or epileptic focus, guided by 3D computer images of your brain.
- You will be sedated again while the surgeon reattaches your skull.
- It maximises tumour resection while preserving neurological function.
- Functional aspects of the brain can be more accurately delineated.
- Fewer neurological deficits
- Shorter hospital stay
- Longer survival
- Speech and language difficulties
- Vision change
- Loss of memory
- Leakage of spinal fluid
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