As the name suggests, Awake Craniotomy is a neurosurgical technique used to remove a brain tumor while the patient remains awake to avoid brain damage. In this process of surgery the neurosurgeon performs cortical mapping to locate vital areas, referred to as ‘eloquent brain’ which should not be disturbed while removing the tumor. This process of craniotomy is a preferred technique to operate and remove lesions involving eloquent or functionally important parts of the brain. This procedure allows the surgeons to test regions of the brain before they are incised or removed. It also allows to test the functions of the patient throughout the process of operation. The overall motive behind such surgery is to minimize the risks involved with such operations.
How an Awake Craniotomy is Performed
In Awake Craniotomy the patient is taken to the anesthetic room where they will have a drip inserted with some drugs making them feel comfortable and relaxed. Then in the operation theatre, neuronavigation system is used to mark out the incision. A very small amount of hair is shaved across the line of the incision and then cleaned with antiseptic solutions. After this local anaesthetic is inserted around the incision. In the beginning, it stings for a few seconds and then go numb. The surgeons then place some drapes around the wound while you will be able to see the anesthetic team, you will be able to move your arms and legs without any obstacle during the operation. While the operation process continues, for a brief period of time you will hear some noises and the drilling sound.
After mapping out the eloquent regions of the brain to avoid and save, the doctors remove the tumors. In this process, doctors constantly keep testing the patient’s function and in case anything happens, they can stop it immediately. Awake Craniotomy in Australia is getting quite popular these days.