Awake craniotomy for the removal of tumours

SURGICAL TECHIQUE FOR THE REMOVAL OF BRAIN TUMOURS


Our neurosurgeons can remove tumours near functionally-sensitive parts of the brain, using an awake craniotomy

Mr Inderpaul Birdi_1021_17

What is an awake craniotomy?

During an awake craniotomy, a patient is brought back to consciousness during part of the procedure, but any painful parts of the surgery are performed under anaesthetic.

This is an effective way to remove tumours near areas of the brain that control speech, language, movement or sight (‘eloquent’ cortex).

By performing the procedure this way, the neurosurgeon can test regions of the brain and functionality throughout the operation.

Need to know

An awake craniotomy normally begins under general anaesthetic, which means you'll be asleep.

Part of your head will be shaved, and a small cut made in your scalp. A piece of the skull will then be removed (craniotomy). At this point, you'll be woken up and may be asked to carry out tasks, such as reading out loud.

Your neurosurgeon may then map the brain using electrodes to identify important areas to avoid and protect during the procedure. Once the tumour is located and removed, your neurosurgeon will replace the bone and closes the skin incision.

It is not painful however some patients may feel a tugging sensation.
Your HCA UK neurosurgeon will explain your awake craniotomy to you and answer any questions you might have.

Because you'll be having general anaesthetic, they'll let you know how long you should avoid eating and drinking before surgery. You may also be asked to attend a nurse-led pre-assessment clinic.

Like all procedures, there may be some risks and side effects involved. Your consultant will explain these to you.
After your awake craniotomy, you'll be transferred to our recovery area, where you’ll be looked after by a specialist team.

Your neurosurgeon will explain your recovery time to you and when you can expect to get back to your usual routine.

Awake craniotomy for the removal of tumours Consultants

Mr Christopher Chandler

Mr Christopher Chandler

Neurosurgery

Mr Francesco Vergani

Mr Francesco Vergani

Neurosurgery

Professor Keyoumars Ashkan

Professor Keyoumars Ashkan

Neurosurgery

Mr Ranjeev Bhangoo

Mr Ranjeev Bhangoo

Neurosurgery

Our locations

The Harley Street Clinic

The Harley Street Clinic

35 Weymouth Street W1G 8BJ London
The Princess Grace Hospital

The Princess Grace Hospital

42-52 Nottingham Place W1U 5NY London
The Lister Hospital

The Lister Hospital

Chelsea Bridge Road, SW1W 8RH London

Patient stories

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.