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What is brain surgery?

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Quick Answer

Brain surgery is a medical operation to treat or correct problems with the brain or surrounding structures. It is commonly used to treat tumors, blood clots, infections, skull fractures or tissue damage, as listed by MedlinePlus. Bleeding is another reason a surgeon performs brain surgery.

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Full Answer

Brain surgery usually requires shaving hair from the head about a location where a hole is made in the skull to access the brain tissues, according to MedlinePlus. A surgeon uses an endoscope to image brain regions that are not directly visible, and MRI or CT scan images are used to help the surgeon identify the specific location for a procedure. In most cases, the surgeon replaces the bone flap from the hole using sutures, wires or metal plates.

A surgeon performs different tasks depending upon the type of brain surgery, as defined by MedlinePlus. A surgeon may clip off a bulging aneurysm to avoid rupture and bleeding, or he may repair it with a reinforcing stent or coil. A brain tumor may be removed or sampled for biopsy, or a nerve may be freed from pressure to resolve facial pain. Additional surgical procedures include removing abnormal brain tissue, draining blood or infection, and relieving pressure from brain swelling.

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