What Is An Awake Craniotomy?
Sometimes a brain tumor is located in an area of the brain that controls important speech or motor (movement) functions.
In these cases, our team uses an advanced surgical procedure called an awake craniotomy.
Using an awake craniotomy ensures that there is no damage done to any critical brain functions while the surgeon is removing the tumor.
Awake Craniotomy: Why Choose Memorial Healthcare System?
At Memorial Healthcare System, you will find:
- Expertise: Our neurosurgery team is among the first to implement new technologies and treatment options, such as the awake craniotomy.
- Our focus is on you: Finding out you’re going to be awake during surgery can be alarming. We are here to calm your fears. From the moment you step foot in one of our facilities, we give you a clear point-of-contact. This person is available to support you and your family from your initial diagnosis all the way through recovery.
- Timely treatment: We offer same-day appointments for new brain tumor diagnoses. Learning that you have a brain tumor can be scary. We’re here to put your mind at ease by finding a treatment plan right away, whether that’s an awake craniotomy, skull base neurosurgery or radiation.
Collaboration on Brain Tumor Treatment
Data shows that patients whose treatment involves a variety of specialists experience better outcomes. That’s why we conduct a monthly meeting called a tumor board to discuss treatment plans for our patients with brain tumors.
The highly skilled specialists on our tumor boards may include:
- Neuropsychologists: Specialists who focus on how injuries or illnesses of the brain affect cognitive functions and behaviors.
- Neurosurgeons: Specialists who treat injuries or diseases of the brain, spine or related nerves.
- Radiation oncologists: Specialists who use radiation therapy to shrink cancerous brain tumors.
Awake Craniotomy Overview
During an awake craniotomy, our team of neuropsychologists and neurosurgeons use a process called motor and language mapping.
Before surgery, the area of the brain near the tumor is tested for critical movement or speech functions. This might involve electrically stimulating specific areas of the brain while asking the patient to perform certain activities, such as speaking, reading, counting or moving their arms.
During the procedure, the patient remains awake and communicates with a neuropsychologist and the neurosurgeon. This process ensures that your surgeon can remove as much of the tumor as possible without damaging any crucial abilities.
Awake Brain Surgery at Memorial Neuroscience Institute
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