When a child needs surgery to treat a brain abscess, it is most often because the abscess is large. It is creating pressure inside the head and causing symptoms.
There are 2 options for operating on a brain abscess. Both drain the pus, reducing the pressure in your child’s head. Your child’s neurosurgeon will talk with you about which option may be best for your child.
First, we find the exact location of the abscess. Then your child’s neurosurgeon:
- Drills a small hole in the skull.
- Inserts a needle in this burr hole.
- Makes a small prick in the abscess. This drains the pus.
Neurosurgeons may do this operation if they need direct access to your child’s brain. During a craniotomy, neurosurgeons:
- Cut and remove a part of the skull (cranium).
- Cut the tough membrane that protects the brain (dura mater).
- Drain the pus using highly technical equipment.
- Close up the skull. Usually surgeons use the same piece of bone they removed. Sometimes they use hardware such as micro plates, screws and wires to close your child’s skull. If the skull bone is infected, neurosurgeons remove it while the infection is treated. Later, they replace it with an artificial material.