What is a craniotomy? A craniotomy is a kind of brain surgery that involves making an incision in the scalp, followed by a hole in the skull. This procedure can be conducted in order to remove tumours, remove abnormal tissues, remove an aneurysm or drain fluid from an infection. A craniotomy is often conducted when it is necessary to repair one of the following:

Extradural haematoma
An extradural haematoma occurs when the area between the protective layer of the brain and the skull is filled with blood. This causes pressure on the brain, and can affect vision and speech.

Subdural haematoma
A subdural haematoma occurs when brain collects on the brain's surface underneath the skull, often as a result of a head injury. Some common symptoms include seizures, problems with vision and loss of consciousness.

Intracranial haematoma
Intracranial haematoma or intracranial hemorrhages refer to bleeding on the brain. This is a life-threatening condition and can result in seizure and coma. The condition can be treated with surgery which involves drilling a hole in the skull to relieve pressure or, in some cases, remove a blood clot.

Depressed skull fracture
A depressed skull fracture results in an indent in the skull. This kind of fracture can extend to the brain cavity and may be treated with surgery, particularly if the skull injury places pressure on the brain.

CSF leak
CSF leak or spinal fluid leak often occurs after a traumatic injury. It can cause severe headaches, nausea, light sensitivity and neck stiffness. In some cases, surgery may be conducted to repair the leak.

What is a cranioplasty? A cranioplasty is a surgical procedure conducted to repair the skull after a traumatic injury. Often materials such as titanium, synthetic bone and acrylic are used to restore the shape of the skull. After surgery, your doctor may insert a monitor to check your intracranial pressure.


I am a qualified neurosurgeon following my pre- and postgraduate studies at the University of Stellenbosch and currently have private practices at Netcare N1 City, which caters for the northern suburbs of Cape Town and Netcare Blaauwberg Hospital, which caters for the west coast of Cape Town and Western Cape.


Netcare Blaauwberg Hospital
Tel: +27 (0)21 554 0779 / Fax: +27 (0)21 554 2144

Netcare N1 City Hospital
Tel: 021 595 4633 / Fax: 086 684 8004