Brain surgery is often seen as the most complex and rare type of operation. After all, the phrase “Hey, it’s not brain surgery!” is rooted in truth. With that being said, brain surgery is more common than people imagine, as thousands of Americans undergo precautionary and lifesaving procedures each and every day. This speaks to the larger question – why might someone need brain surgery? We take a look at some of the more common reasons brain surgery is recommended in today’s blog.
Instead of rattling off a list of potential issues that could result in the need for surgical intervention, we’re going to group conditions together based on what they are doing to the patient that would make brain surgery necessary.
Changes In Brain Tissue – If a problem develops that affects crucial brain tissue, surgery or another hands-on procedure may be required. Cancer or the formation of a tumor are the two conditions that probably come to mind that meet this criteria, but infections that interrupt healthy tissue or conditions that lead to swelling and compression of brain tissue may also require surgical care. Tissue damage from blunt force or punctures also fall into this category. Some of these issues require immediate surgical intervention, while some issues like tumors can be studied and addressed with more precision because they are slow developing and not causing immediate danger to the patient. Some tumors are even charted and replicas are created in labs so neurosurgeons can practice before moving onto the real thing.
Changes In Brain Blood Flow – If healthy blood can’t flow to your brain, problems can develop in a hurry. Conditions like a subdural hematoma (blood pooling oftentimes due to a traumatic brain injury), subarachnoid hemorrhage (a type of stroke categorized by bleeding into the space surrounding the brain) or an intraventricular bleed (bleeding into the brain’s venticular space as a result of physical trauma or a stroke) can all disrupt normal blood flow and cause serious injury or even death. Unlike the above category, time is typically of the essence in treating patients with inhibited brain blood flow.
Changes In Cerebrospinal Fluid Flow – The final category that could result in the need for brain surgery is any condition that interrupts the flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Infections in the area can result in inhibited CSF flow, as can a condition like hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus is a condition in which excessive CSF builds up in the ventricles of the brain, leading to inter-cranial pressure. It’s more common in newborns, but can also develop in adults.
Brain surgery is surgery complex, but it’s more common than you might expect. The good news is that the best neurosurgeons are here to provide you with care every step of the way. To connect with one of the best, reach out to Dr. Chang’s office today for more information.