Brain Surgery in Plano, TX
At the Brain & Spine Center of Texas, neurosurgeon Dr. Rebecca Stachniak leads her staff in performing brain surgery to treat a variety of issues.
What is brain surgery?
Brain surgery involves preventing or correcting problems within the brain or surrounding tissue. The neurosurgeon generally enters the brain through a cut of the scalp, and then makes a hole in the skull. The removal of a bone flap, called a craniotomy, allows the doctor to determine precisely where to operate. It can even help direct the neurosurgeon to know where to create a smaller hole so that an endoscope, a lighted tube, can be inserted and tools can be used to perform the necessary procedures.
Why is brain surgery performed?
Patients who require neurosurgery may suffer from any number of conditions. These can include tumors, internal bleeding, blood clots, cancer, and malformation of the skull, among other reasons.
Types of brain surgery performed by Brain & Spine Center of Texas
Dr. Stachniak and her team perform several types of brain surgery that address different issues her patients have.
For patients who have brain tumors, whether benign or malignant, a craniotomy for resection of the tumor may be necessary. This brain tumor surgery begins with shaving the area of the scalp where the incision will be made; then a medical drill or saw will cut the bone flap, enabling the surgeon to access the tumor. If possible, the entire tumor will be removed. If not, radiation or other treatments can destroy the rest of the tumor tissue. Either way, removal of even part of the tumor will relieve pressure and ease other related symptoms. The tissue will be resewn and the bone flap reattached before the procedure is complete.
A craniotomy for hematoma begins in a similar way to the tumor craniotomy, but it is used to stop internal bleeding. This hemorrhage often results from a trauma to the head caused by a car accident, fall, or sports injury.
Craniotomies temporarily remove part of the skull. While craniectomies also remove a piece of the skull, they do not immediately replace it, often due to swollen brain tissue, multiple fractures of the skull, or infections of the skull.
Stereotactic brain biopsy
A stereotactic brain biopsy collects brain tissue so the neurosurgeon can make a diagnosis of a tumor, infection, or abnormality. It starts with a brain scan to pinpoint the exact location of the affected tissue. The biopsy itself is minimally invasive and usually can be completed in an hour.
A burr hole procedure is used to drain a blood clot. A small hole is drilled to allow the pooling blood to be suctioned out.
Chiari malformation correction
Chiari malformation occurs when the skull’s shape alters the location of the cerebellum, a part of the brain. This malformation can be from a birth defect, issues during gestation, or from toxic substances ingested later in life. If surgery is needed, part of the spine may be removed or the bone structure may be corrected.
A ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt is implanted into a patient who suffers from hydrocephalus, a buildup of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the brain. This device drains the fluid away from the brain, alleviating severe pressure that can lead to brain damage.
Risks of brain surgery
Any surgery incurs risks of infection, bleeding, and anesthesia side effects. In addition to the usually risks of surgery, neurosurgery patients are also at risk of seizures, swelling of the brain, a stroke, or brain injuries.
How to prepare
You will likely need medical clearance from your primary physician before undergoing brain surgery. You will need to inform Dr. Stachniak about any medications you take, especially aspirin, that might thin your blood, and let her know if you tend to bleed easily.
Recovering from brain surgery
The length of recovery depends on the procedure. Craniotomy patients usually must spend a few days in the hospital after the surgery. Biopsy patients may be able to resume normal activities within a few hours of the procedure. If you would like an estimate of your recovery time, please call Brain & Spine Center of Texas.
Call our neurosurgery center in Plano today to schedule your brain surgery consultation.