A neurosurgeon may perform a craniotomy for brain tumours in children to remove as much of the tumour as is safely possible
When possible, the neurosurgeon will try to remove all of the tumour, or as much of your child's tumour as is safe to. During surgery a 'bone flap' will be removed from your child's skull. This type of operation is known as a 'craniotomy'. It allows the neurosurgeon to see into your child's brain and to remove the tumour.
It is the most common type of surgery for brain tumour patients and it is used to remove all or part of the tumour.
You may hear the complete removal of the tumour being called 'total resection'. Or removal of part of the tumour as 'partial resection' or 'de-bulking'.
The aims of removing the tumour include:
Not all brain tumours can be operated on. If the tumour is too near a sensitve area of the brain, such as the brain stem which controls breathing; or if it is slow growing and causing relatively minor symptoms, then trying to remove the tumour is likely to cause more harm than not operating. If this is the case, your child will be actively monitored. (This is sometimes called 'watch and wait'.)
Surgeons may not operate if: