The hair on part of the scalp is shaved. An incision is made through the scalp and a hole is drilled through the skull. A piece of the skull may be removed while the brain is being operated on and replaced before the skin is stitched closed. The surgery in which the brain is accessed through the skull is called "craniotomy".
Review Date 1/15/2021
Updated by: Luc Jasmin, MD, PhD, FRCS (C), FACS, Department of Surgery, Johnson City Medical Center, TN; Department of Surgery St-Alexius Medical Center, Bismarck, ND; Department of Neurosurgery Fort Sanders Medical Center, Knoxville, TN, Department of Neurosurgery UPMC Williamsport PA, Department of Maxillofacial Surgery at UCSF, San Francisco, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.