Acta Neurochirurgica

, Volume 159, Issue 1, pp 173–176 | Cite as

How I do it: Awake craniotomy

  • Ciaran Scott HillEmail author
  • Flavio Severgnini
  • Edward McKintosh
How I Do it - Neurosurgical Techniques



Awake craniotomy allows continuous assessment of a patient’s clinical and neurological status during open brain surgery. This facilitates early detection of interference with eloquent cortex, and hence can allow a surgeon to maximize resection margins without compromising neurological function.


Awake craniotomy requires an effective scalp blockade, intraoperative assessment, and a carefully co-ordinated theatre team. A variety of clinical and electrophysiological techniques can be used to assess cortical function.


Effective scalp blockade and awake craniotomy provides the opportunity to intraoperatively assess cortical function in the awake patient, thus providing an important neurosurgical option for lesions near eloquent cortex.


Awake craniotomy Scalp blockade Local anesthesia Neuroanesthesia Tumor 



Thanks to the patient, K. Bedborough, T. Donohoe, R. Pottinger, E. Sillery, L. VicoPardo, M. White, and P. Zolfaghari.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest


Supplementary material


Stages of an awake craniotomy include blockage of the six key scalp nerves with local anesthetic, patient positioning, cranial/dural opening, waking the patient, the intradural operation with clinical/neurophysiological assessment, and closure. (MP4 443439 kb)


(MP4 441842 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ciaran Scott Hill
    • 1
    Email author
  • Flavio Severgnini
    • 1
  • Edward McKintosh
    • 1
  1. 1.The Royal London HospitalLondonUK

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