A craniotomy is a highly intricate surgical procedure in Singapore that fundamentally involves removing a section of the skull (cranium) to access a specific brain region temporarily. With the literal definition of “hole in the head”, a craniotomy is employed to treat various brain conditions and to obtain an accurate diagnosis. A craniotomy employed for diagnosis is also known as “diagnostic craniotomy”.
A craniotomy procedure can be classified as:
A craniotomy is executed in several stages. Below is an outline of how a craniotomy procedure is performed:
A craniotomy is a reliable treatment intervention for brain conditions such as:
Fundamentally, a craniotomy allows your neurosurgeon to treat the root cause of the identified brain condition and prevent the progression of said condition. The recovery of a patient post-surgery is relative to the brain condition and the underlying cause of symptom presentation. If signs of complications are present, your neurosurgeon will appropriately manage these.
A craniotomy is a reliable method that has relieved many patients with improved quality of life. Under regimented after-care and good lifestyle practices, patients have been empowered with improved physical and cognitive performance.
A craniotomy is usually a one-off procedure; however, treatment does not end at surgery. You will be monitored post-operation to ensure the stability of vital signs is established, and improvement of neurological functions is achieved with a series of neurological exams.
After your discharge from the hospital (3-7 days) post-surgery, you will be requested to visit our clinic within a week or two for a follow-up. You will also be asked to visit us for a routine check-up to monitor your general well-being.
You may also be provided physical therapy to regain loss of neurological function and mobility and to regain general autonomy of your health.
Recovering from the surgery itself will take anywhere from 6-8 weeks. Patients need to understand recovery also involves the full recovery of the brain itself. Your neurosurgeon will estimate the exact timeline for recovery. Having a positive outlook in life and dedication towards recovery is essential. This includes practising a good lifestyle and avoiding activities that increase risks.
Reports of long-term impediments often repel patients; however, this is not caused by surgical interventions like craniotomy but rather by the development of your brain condition. The risk of complications from a craniotomy is generally minimal. However, some potential risks could include:
-- Reactions to anaesthesia: some patients may experience allergic reactions to the sedatives and use of anaesthesia.
-- Infection: antibiotics are typically administered to mitigate the risk of an infection.
-- Bleeding: there may be bleeding or blood clots during or after the procedure, which the surgical team will carefully monitor and manage.
-- Swelling and bruising: swelling and bruising around the surgical site are common but usually subsides over time.
-- Neurological complications: in rare cases, some patients may experience neurological issues, such as strokes, seizures, changes in sensation, or loss of mental functions.
A craniotomy can last anywhere from 3-7 hours. The duration varies on a case-by-case basis.
Yes, a craniotomy is considered a major surgery. It is unsurprising for patients to seek experienced neurosurgeons to handle their cases to have the best outcomes.