Procedures We Perform


Craniotomy for Hematoma

An acoustic neuroma is a benign tumor found on the nerves that lead from the brain to the inner ear and control balance and hearing. When surgery to remove an acoustic neuroma is necessary, a suboccipital craniectomy is most frequently the procedure chosen.

The Craniotomy Procedure

A craniotomy may be performed under general or local anesthesia. The latter is required when the patient’s participation is necessary to check for brain function during the procedure. At the beginning of the operation, an incision is made in the scalp to allow access to the treatment site, either with a special saw or a medical drill (for keyhole craniotomies).

The scalp is pulled up and clipped to control bleeding while providing access to the brain. The dura mater, or thick outer membrane covering the brain, is separated from the bone and carefully cut apart to allow any excess fluid that has accumulated to drain. At times, microsurgical instruments may be used under magnification to enable the surgeon to visualize the area more precisely. Once the procedure has been completed, the tissue that has been cut is sutured and normally the bone flap is reattached.

Recovery from a Craniotomy Procedure

The postsurgical craniotomy patient spends some time in intensive care (ICU) until vital signs are stable and the patient is alert. Once out of ICU, the patient will remain hospitalized for several days and oxygen will be administered. Respiratory therapy will be given to make sure the patient’s lungs re-expand and that the patient doesn’t develop pneumonia.

During recovery in the hospital, the patient will also wear sequential compression devices (SCDs) to prevent the formation of blood clots in the legs and will periodically be administered neurological and cognitive testing to check brain function. While some swelling of the head is expected following the craniotomy procedure, the patient’s head is kept elevated to keep such swelling to a minimum. Many patients who have undergone a craniotomy spend several days in a rehabilitation facility after the procedure.

Additional Resources


Services We Offer

Welcome to the office of neurosurgeon Dr. Vikas Rao, where your health comes first. Below are some of the neurosurgical treatments that we offer in Mission Viejo, CA:


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