Intracranial surgery describes a variety of operations designed to treat problems in the brain and surrounding areas. The cranium is the skull.
Like many other organs in the body, the brain is vulnerable to infection, bleeding, injury, cancer, and other types of damage or disease. These types of problems sometimes require brain surgery to diagnose, repair, treat, or restore the brain and its functions.
Who Needs Brain Surgery?
Brain surgery is used for a wide range of brain problems. These issues are often grouped into four main categories:
1. Problems with Blood Flow in the Brain
Some of the conditions that can affect and interrupt healthy blood flow in the brain include:
A stroke can happen when a blood vessel in the brain becomes blocked or bursts from unhealthy pressure. Intracranial surgery is performed in order to repair the damaged vessels in the brain.
A thick membrane, called the dura mater, covers the brain. A buildup of blood under this membrane – called subdural bruising or a subdural hematoma – is dangerous, and it is usually the result of a head injury.
When a blood vessel in the brain becomes enlarged and bursts, it hemorrhages and causes an aneurysm. The most common symptom of a subarachnoid hemorrhage is a sudden headache that is very painful and with a feeling of pressure.
Also called intraventricular hemorrhaging, this is when there is a sudden increase in blood flow that causes the smaller blood vessels in the brain to burst.
Weakened blood vessels in the brain can cause veins and arteries to bulge or deform, which can lead to bursting. When a blood vessel bursts, it is an aneurysm, which can be fatal.
2. Problems with Cerebrospinal Fluid
Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is a clear liquid found in the spinal cord and the brain. One of its main functions is to maintain consistent pressure in the brain and the spinal cord.
It also helps the nerve system to function properly. Some problems that can happen with the CSF include:
- Infections – Bacteria and viruses can target the cerebrospinal fluid. Meningitis and encephalitis are two forms of cerebrospinal fluid infections.
- Hydrocephalus – An abnormal buildup of CSF inside the skull.
3. Brain Cancer and Brain Tumors
Several types of cancers and tumors can develop in the brain, such as meningioma, pituitary adenoma, and glioblastoma. These are named after the areas of the brain or the type of cells from which they originate.
In addition, cancer that has developed in other parts of the body can migrate and grow in the brain. This is called metastatic cancer.
4. Other Conditions
Many other types of health issues can create the need for brain surgery, such as epilepsy, nerve damage, and severe head or face pain.
Brain Surgeons in Colorado
If your doctor has told you that you need brain surgery, or if you’d like the opinion and evaluation of a neurosurgeon, contact Front Range Spine and Neurosurgery today. Our surgeons have decades of experience in successfully treating patients for various neurological and spinal tumors, disorders, and injuries.
To schedule an appointment, call us today at (303) 790-1800 or complete our online appointment request form. We look forward to serving you and helping you get back to the lifestyle you enjoy.