AdobeStock 49610950The surgeon creates one or more small holes in the skull, then cuts the skull between these holes to free a section of the bone.  This section, called the bone flap, is removed and stored.  The surgeon carefully opens the thin membrane that covers the brain, called the dura.  Flexible retractors are then used to hold the healthy brain tissue aside.  This exposes the tumor, and the tumor is removed. When the removal is complete, the surgeon closes the dura and replaces the bone flap.  This section of the bone is anchored to the skull with small plates and screws.  The skin flap is folded back and sealed with sutures, staples or a combination of both.

After the procedure, the patient can expect to stay in the hospital for approximately three days.  The patient usually will be able to get out of bed the day after surgery. Full recovery usually takes several weeks, but can take up to two months.  The patient may feel fatigued during this time.