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Types of Brain Surgery

Brain surgery is any procedure performed to address an abnormality in the brain. For instance, a neurosurgeon might perform brain surgery to remove a tumor or a cancerous portion of the brain, repair a ruptured aneurysm or close off an arteriovenous malformation (AVM). A component of the body’s central nervous system, the brain controls many vital functions, such as speech, thought, movement and memory. The goal of brain surgery is to effectively treat the targeted issue without disrupting these important functions. 

Types and Procedure Details 

Some common types of brain surgery include:  

Biopsy 

If a brain abnormality is detected in an imaging scan, a physician may order a biopsy to check for cancerous cells. After making a small hole in the skull, a surgeon will use either a needle or a special surgical instrument to obtain a small sample of the suspicious tissue for examination by a pathologist under a microscope. 

Craniotomy 

To access a brain tumor, repair an aneurysm, relieve pressure after a brain bleed or treat another brain condition, a surgeon will create a bone flap by removing a piece of skull bone. After completing the procedure, the surgeon will replace the bone flap.  

Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) 

DBS is a therapeutic surgical option for treating movement disorders, such as uncontrollable shaking and twitching, which can result from disorganized electrical signals generated by areas of the brain that control movement. Functioning like a pacemaker for the brain, deep brain stimulation utilizes implanted electrodes and a pulse-generating medical device to disrupt those signals by sending mild electrical impulses to predefined areas. 

Neuroendoscopy 

A minimally invasive surgical technique, neuroendoscopy involves threading a thin tube with a light and miniature camera attached to the end (endoscope) through the patient’s mouth, nose or a small incision in his or her skull to access or remove brain tissue. The surgeon then performs the procedure with special surgical instruments inserted through the endoscope.  

Thrombectomy & Cerebral Aneurysm Repair 

To address a blood clot in a brain artery or a cerebral aneurysm, a surgeon will carefully guide a surgical catheter or thin metal wires through a large blood vessel in the patient’s groin to reach the blood vessels in the brain. Utilizing imaging technology and a contrast dye, the surgeon can identify and address the problematic blood vessel without opening the patient’s skull.  

Tampa General Hospital offers a comprehensive range of effective treatments for neurological conditions, including the latest techniques in brain surgery.