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Minimally invasive brain surgery is used by neurosurgeons when the procedures can achieve comparable or better results as compared to normal open surgical procedures. State of the art, minimally invasive neuro-navigation technology reduces incisions and usually allows the surgeons to cosmetically hide scars.
Some of the minimally invasive surgical techniques used by neurosurgeons are listed below:
A craniotomy is the surgical removal procedure of part of the bone from the skull to expose the brain. Specialized tools are utilized to remove the portion of bone known as the bone flap. The bone flap is momentarily removed, then put back after the brain surgery has been completed.
Types of Craniotomy:-
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a surgical technique to implant a device that transmits or sends electrical signals to brain areas responsible for body movement. Electrodes are implanted deep in the brain depending upon the symptoms being treated and are connected to a stimulator device. The electrodes are implanted on both the left and right sides of the brain through small holes made at the top of the skull.
The electrodes are linked together by lengthy wires which travel beneath the skin and below the neck to a battery powered stimulator beneath the skin of the chest. After turning on, the stimulator transmits or sends electrical pulses to block the faulty nerve signals which are causing tremors, rigidity, and other symptoms. Similar to a heart pacemaker, a neuro-stimulator uses electric pulses to control brain activity.
Neuro-endoscopic surgery is done because it causes minimum damage to the normal structures, carries a lower rate of problems, and achieves excellent results. Surgeons using an endoscope and related instruments could perform complicated procedures through very tiny incisions, which is particularly useful for minimally invasive techniques for the brain and the spine.
Biopsies are computer navigated and stereotactic biopsies are done with imaging to diagnose a potential brain abnormality. The surgeon creates an incision in the skull or inserts a needle to remove brain cells or tissue for examination by a pathologist.
This treatment includes portions of the brain known as the cerebellum and brainstem. For instance, to treat a Chiari malformation, the surgeon creates an incision at the back of the patient’s head to remove a small section of the bone at the bottom of the skull. This removal makes more space for the cerebellum and relieves pressure on the spinal cord.
The primary care physician guides surgical instruments like a catheter or thin metal wires through a large blood vessel in the patient’s groin to reach the brain vessels, using contrast dye to confirm the problematic blood vessel without opening up the skull. The technique is most commonly used on patients with a blood clot in a brain artery, a cerebral aneurysm (a weakened and bulging region in an artery wall), or a ruptured aneurysm that causes bleeding into the brain.