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Neurosurgery – Generic cranial neurosurgical procedure

Neurosurgery is a surgical speciality that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of conditions that effect the brain, spine and peripheral nerves.

The service at Addenbrookes provides care to both adults and children with neurosurgical conditions.

Guidance for patients

Generic cranial (brain/skull) neurosurgical procedure

Procedures carried out on the brain or skull generally involve making an opening in the bone to access structures inside that need treatment. The opening in the bone is referred to as a craniotomy.

Craniotomy is performed for many conditions including:

- Problems with the blood vessels (e.g. aneurysm, AVM)

- Removal of growths/tumours (e.g. meningioma, glioma)

- To treat facial pain (e.g. Trigeminal neuralgia)

Other common procedures performed on the brain/skull include

- Insertion/maintenance of shunts (tubes to drain fluid from the brain)

- Widening of the base of the back of the skull (e.g. for Chiari malformation)

What should I do if my health is deteriorating?

You may feel your condition is deteriorating if you have any of the following:

  • Worsening of pain (e.g. headache)
  • Being more drowsy/sleepy
  • Changes in your symptoms (e.g. new headaches with rapid onset)
  • New or worsening weakness of the face, arm or leg
  • Deterioration in your vision or new double vision
  • Any worsening of the symptoms that you first seen your neurosurgeon with

If you feel that your health is deteriorating because of a brain/skull condition that you are awaiting treatment for, you should seek medical attention.

Medical attention can be accessed from via a number of avenues. On your correspondence from your clinic appointments with your neurosurgeon you will have details of their secretary and they can be contacted for non-emergency issues.

However, if you feel your deterioration is an emergency then urgent care can be accessed in your local Accident and Emergency department or walk in centre.

Contact us

The neurosurgical department at Addenbrookes has a number of Clinical Nurse Specialists who are also available for queries related to any deterioration in your condition.

Rebecca Legge (Neurovascular) - 01223 216189

Peony Echavez (Neurovascular) - 01223 256981

Eva Nabbanja (Hydrocephalus [shunts]) - 01223 274492

Giando Basile (Skull base) – 01223 216189

Ingela Oberg, Gemma Bullen & Anna Mannina (Oncology) – 01223 256246

Nicola Owen & Kirsty Grieve (Head injury) – 01223 216127

If you have a general query about when your procedure is likely to be then please contact our admissions coordinator on 01223 217100