Awake Craniotomy for Brain Cancer

An awake craniotomy is a type of surgery that can be used to treat cancers of the brain and skull base. As the name implies, a patient remains awake throughout the procedure, and a local anesthetic is used to minimize discomfort. By remaining conscious during an awake craniotomy, a patient can help a surgeon avoid essential gray matter surrounding a tumor by responding to questions and performing a list of simple tasks (such as blinking or moving fingers). This can also help reduce the chance of complications impacting the patient’s sight, speech or movement. An awake procedure leads to easier recovery, with about 75 percent of patients able to go home 24 hours or less after surgery.

Because – like any other type of brain cancer surgery – an awake craniotomy is a highly complex procedure, patients are advised to seek treatment from a surgical oncologist or neurosurgeon who has specific experience in removing cancers from high-risk areas of the brain. At Moffitt Cancer Center, our team of surgeons not only specializes in brain cancer treatment, but also:

  • Has access to the most state-of-the-art surgical tools, including real-time imaging and brain mapping technologies
  • Collaborates with other members of each patient’s treatment team to create individualized, multispecialty treatment plans
  • Participates in weekly tumor board meetings where complex cases can be evaluated in a group setting
  • Routinely evaluates the newest and most precise approaches to brain cancer surgery through our robust clinical trials program

To learn more about your options for brain cancer surgery, call 1-888-663-3488 or submit a new patient registration form online. One of our experienced surgeons can help you determine if you are a good candidate for an awake craniotomy or if another procedure would be more beneficial for meeting your unique needs.