Surgery explained

Your medical team might recommend you have an operation to remove all or part of your brain tumour. There are lots of different operations that might be possible. Find out what to expect and how to prepare.

  • Brain tumours

    When is surgery used?

    Surgery can be used to remove all or part of the tumour or to give chemotherapy into the brain.

  • Brain tumours


    A biopsy consists in removing and examining a small piece of tissue. It’s used to identify the tumour’s type.

  • Brain tumours

    Types of surgery for primary brain tumours

    You may have different types of surgery to remove part, or all of the tumour, or to improve symptoms.

  • Brain tumours


    The surgeon removes all or as much as possible of the brain tumour with an operation called a craniotomy.

  • Brain tumours

    Having your operation

    A team of healthcare professionals will help you before and after surgery for a brain tumour.

  • Brain tumours


    A shunt is a thin tube that drains extra fluid away from the brain to relieve raised intracranial pressure.

  • Brain tumours

    What happens before surgery?

    To prepare for your operation, you’ll have some tests and may be given steroids. If you smoke, try to give up or cut down.

  • General information

    Who might I meet?

    A team of specialists will plan your surgery. This will include a surgeon who specialises in your type of cancer.

  • Brain tumours

    What happens after surgery?

    You'll be monitored closely after your operation. You may have a drip (infusion) giving you fluids for a short while.