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The Basics of Brain Surgery

Brain surgery is a procedure that takes place in the brain to treat problems. Some of the reasons a person may have brain surgery are for a brain tumor, brain hemorrhage, blood clot, brain aneurysm, infections, skull fracture, stroke, epilepsy, and other brain diseases.

The Surgery

During brain surgery, the hair is shaved on the part of the scalp that is being operated on. The surgeon then cuts the scalp and then a piece of the skull is removed otherwise known as a bone flap. The surgeon may also create a small hole to insert a light and scope. A CT Scan and MRI will help the doctor determine where they need to be operating on. Once the surgery is finished the bone flap is put back into place and secured with a metal plate. In some cases the bone flap is not put back due to brain swelling.

Before the Procedure

Before the surgery it is important to inform the doctor or nurse if there is a possibility of pregnancy. If on medications it is important to let them know what type and the quantity that is taken. It is important for the doctors to be aware of any allergies to medications and if the patient has been taking any anti-inflammatory drugs.

The doctor will inform their patient not to take any asprin or ibuprofen or else the blood will have a hard time clotting. It is important that the day of the surgery the patient does not smoke or drink on the days leading up to the surgery. Some doctors may advise their patient to wash their hair with a special shampoo on the night before the surgery.

On the day of the surgery, patients are asked to not eat or drink eight to twelve hours prior to the surgery. Drugs that are prescribed or allowed to take should be consumed with only a small sip of water.

After the Procedure

Doctors and nurses will monitor their patients after surgery to ensure that the brain is functioning properly. The neurosurgeon may ask questions, shine a light in their eyes, and have the patient perform tasks. Typically the patient is put on oxygen for a few days after the surgery. Patients will have to sleep at an incline in order to keep the swelling down. The recovery time in the hospital will take approximately three to seven days.

Dr. Imran Fayaz established The Brain & Spine Institute of North Houston and has been practicing for over twenty years. He specializes in treating the brain and spine.