During burr hole surgery, an air-powered drill is used to make a hole in the skull. The covering surrounding the brain is opened as a way to facilitate many different types of procedures.
Many traditional brain incisions are hard to make with a scalpel, but burr hole surgery allows for controlled cuts. During the procedure, the head may be supported with pillows, towels, or head pins. For some procedures, more than one burr hole is needed.
Burr hole surgery may be performed to:
- Start a larger incision
- Drain a blood clot
- Remove a tumor
- Remove a foreign object
- Treat seizures
- Relieve pressure
- Monitor pressure
- Place a medical device (such as a shunt)
Burr hole surgery can be performed with either local or general anesthesia. After the procedure, the scalp is closed with staples or stitches. Small tubes might be left for a few days to help with drainage.