AWAKE SURGERY

WHEN DOCTOR AND PATIENT COMMUNICATE DURING A BRAIN OPERATION...

If a tumour or other lesion is located in the immediate vicinity of the brain’s speech or memory centres, it may be useful to perform the procedure when the patient is alert. In contrast to movement, sensation and most sensory perceptions (except for the olfactory function), speech and memory cannot be monitored under anaesthesia. Awake surgery is possible because the brain itself does not have its own pain sensation. Surgery in the waking state therefore only requires local anaesthesia of the skin, muscles, skull bone and the hard meninges (dura mater).

 

Patients who have experienced such a procedure usually give very positive feedback, and mention in particular that they never lose control of what is happening.

 

Whether awake surgery is advantageous in an individual case and whether the patient is also suitable for it, will be analysed in detail before the operation. It is important to know that an operation in the waking state can be stopped by the patient at any time and can be continued under general anaesthesia.

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