Both craniotomy and craniectomy are surgical procedures that involve removing a section of the skull to access the brain, but there are some important differences between the two procedures:
- Involves removing a small section of the skull, which is then replaced after the procedure is complete.
- The bone flap is removed temporarily to allow access to the brain for surgical or diagnostic purposes, such as removing a brain tumor or repairing a blood vessel.
- The bone flap is secured back into place using plates and screws or other materials.
- Craniotomy is typically used for non-emergency procedures that require precise access to the brain.
- Involves removing a larger section of the skull, which is not replaced after the procedure.
- The removed bone is typically stored, usually in the abdomen or in a freezer, and may be replaced later in a separate procedure, depending on the reason for the craniectomy and the patient’s overall condition.
- Craniectomy is typically used for emergency situations, such as after a traumatic brain injury, where there is significant swelling of the brain that needs to be relieved to prevent further damage.
Both craniotomy and craniectomy are serious surgical procedures that involve removing a section of the skull to access the brain, and both have risks and potential complications. The choice of procedure will depend on the patient’s condition and the reason for the surgery, and will be determined by the treating physician in consultation with the patient and their family.