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Home >> Specialities >> Neurosciences >> Neurosurgery >> Awake Craniotomy Surgery

Awake Craniotomy Surgery

Awake Craniotomy, also referred to as awake brain surgery, is a type of surgery that is performed on the brain while the patient is awake and alert. The procedure is used for the treatment/management of various brain (Neurological) conditions like Brain Tumours or epileptic seizures.

If the affected area, i.e. where the tumour is present or where the seizures originate (Epileptic focus), is near the eloquent parts of the brain, the doctors may suggest awake craniotomy. This is because these parts are responsible for controlling our speech and movement. When you are awake and able to respond, it helps the doctors to precisely monitor your brain activity, thereby making it possible to preserve brain function. 

Who needs Awake Craniotomy?
If the Tumour or the Epileptic focus needs surgical removal, doctors need to make sure that they are not damaging the parts that are essential for carrying out important neurological functions, such as the sensorimotor cortex and language cortex. 
It can be very difficult to precisely outline the area in which the surgery is to be performed. Awake Craniotomy allows doctors to pinpoint the exact area. This allows doctors to avoid sensitive areas of the brain and preserve important Neurological functions.

What are the benefits of Awake Craniotomy?
One of the most noteworthy benefits of Awake Craniotomy is that it allows maximal tumour resection while preserving Neurological function. Some other benefits associated with the procedure include:

  • It helps to ensure minimal to no neurological deficits (7% vs.23%) and reduced post-surgical hospital stay (1.7 vs. 9 days), as compared to the patients who have undergone the procedure under general Anaesthesia
  • Patients undergoing Awake Craniotomy do not need general anaesthesia, and as such, the risks and complications inherent to general anaesthesia, intubation, and mechanical ventilation are completely negated.
  • There is a reduced need for intensive monitoring and care, which helps to ensure shorter or eliminated intensive care unit (ICU) stay
  • Minimal post-operative side-effects like pain, Nausea and Vomiting, as compared to the patients who have undergone the procedure under general Anaesthesia

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