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Performing Craniotomy


Craniotomy is surgery that allows your doctor to access your brain. It may be performed to:

  • Implant a medical device, such as a deep brain stimulator for Parkinson’s disease
  • Remove a brain tumor, blood clot, or a cyst
  • Repair a fractured skull
  • Repair blood vessel problems, such as brain aneurysms or arteriovenous malformations
  • Treat epilepsy or hydrocephalus

For more information about craniotomy in the Bay Area, Find a Doctor at Dignity Health. Our neurosurgeons are highly experienced and can perform your brain surgery with personal care.

What to Expect With Craniotomy

Before brain surgery, your doctor will go over the details so you’ll know how to prepare and feel as comfortable with the procedure as possible.

Craniotomy is a major operation performed in a Dignity Health Bay Area hospital. You’ll have general anesthesia, so you’ll be asleep and won’t feel any pain. Your neurosurgeon makes an incision in your scalp and skull to access your brain and make a repair or implant a device. When complete, your surgeon replaces the bone and scalp and closes the incisions with sutures.

In some instances, an awake craniotomy is done to allow the surgeon to stimulate certain parts of your brain and test your motor skills. You may be asked to follow simple commands during the surgery, such as raising your hand. You will feel no pain during this procedure.

Craniotomy Recovery

After surgery, you’ll be taken to a recovery area and then to an intensive care unit (ICU). You may stay in the hospital for several days while your care team monitors your status and gives you pain medication, as needed. When it’s time to go home, your doctor will give you special instructions regarding activity and follow-up care.

Craniotomy can be a life-saving operation and in some cases, may cure a brain disorder.

Our providers combine the latest tools and technology with personalized treatment to offer you a high standard of care when you visit Dignity Health.

Dignity Health Bay Area hospitals offer neurologic care and procedures, including craniotomy, in San Francisco, Santa Cruz, and Redwood City.