To remove the tumour, you will need an operation called a craniotomy. In a craniotomy, the neurosurgeon removes an area of bone from the skull to get to the brain tissue underneath.
They cut the scalp and a piece of the skull over the tumour. After removing part or all of the tumour, they replace the piece of skull and use stitches or staples to close the scalp.
You will usually have a general anaesthetic. Before the operation starts, they may shave an area of your hair off. You will be under anaesthetic at this point so won’t be aware of this. If you’re
worried about this, you can talk to your nurse or doctor before the operation.
The surgeon uses specialised instruments and a powerful microscope to look at the brain tissue. This means they can remove the tumour without taking healthy tissue.
Sometimes the surgeon uses keyhole surgery which is done through a small opening in the skull rather than a larger opening. They use an instrument called a neuroendoscope.
This is a thin, flexible tube with a camera on the end and an eyepiece to look through. The surgeon attaches special instruments to the neuroedoscope to remove the tumour.
They will explain if this is suitable in your situation. If it isn’t possible to remove the whole tumour, the surgeon will remove as much of it as they can. This is sometimes called a partial resection or debulking.
After the operation, all the tissue the surgeon removed is sent to a laboratory to be examined by a pathologist.