What are 3 Risks of Brain Surgery?

Dr. Philip Henkin

March 31, 2023

Brain Surgery

Brain surgery is a complex medical procedure that involves making an incision in the scalp and removing a section of the skull to access the brain. While advanced significantly in recent years, it is still a risky and potentially dangerous procedure. In this article, we will discuss three risks associated with brain surgery.


One of the most significant risks of brain surgery is the potential for infection. Whenever the body undergoes an invasive procedure, there is a risk of infection. In, the risk of infection is particularly high due to the proximity of the brain to the incision site. If an infection occurs, it can spread quickly to the brain and cause significant damage. Infections can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi and can lead to fever, headache, nausea, and other symptoms. In some cases, an infection can lead to meningitis, a serious condition that can cause inflammation of the brain and spinal cord.

To reduce the risk of infection, patients undergoing are typically given antibiotics before and after the procedure. The surgical team also takes special precautions to minimize the risk of infection, such as sterilizing all equipment and maintaining a sterile environment in the operating room.

Bleeding and Hematoma

Another risk associated with brain surgery is bleeding and hematoma. During, the surgeon must navigate through delicate tissue and blood vessels to reach the brain. This can lead to bleeding, which can be difficult to control. In some cases, bleeding can lead to the formation of a hematoma, a collection of blood outside of a blood vessel. A hematoma can cause pressure on the brain, leading to headaches, seizures, and other symptoms.

To reduce the risk of bleeding and hematoma, the surgical team takes several precautions. They may use special tools to control bleeding and carefully monitor the patient’s blood pressure during the procedure. In some cases, the surgeon may also use imaging technology to help guide their movements and avoid damaging blood vessels.

Cognitive Changes

Brain surgery can also lead to cognitive changes in some patients. Depending on the location of the surgery, patients may experience changes in their memory, speech, or other cognitive functions. These changes can be temporary or permanent and can significantly impact a patient’s quality of life.

The risk of cognitive changes is particularly high for patients undergoing surgery in the frontal lobes of the brain, which are responsible for executive functions such as decision-making and planning. Surgery in this area can lead to changes in personality, decision-making abilities, and emotional regulation.

To reduce the risk of cognitive changes, surgeons use advanced imaging technology to carefully plan the surgery and minimize damage to surrounding areas of the brain. In some cases, patients may also undergo cognitive testing before and after the procedure to monitor any changes.

In conclusion, brain surgery is a complex and risky procedure that carries several potential risks. Patients undergoing are at risk of infection, bleeding and hematoma, and cognitive changes. To minimize these risks, surgeons take special precautions and use advanced technology to carefully plan and execute the procedure. Patients considering brain surgery should carefully weigh the risks and benefits and discuss any concerns with their healthcare provider. While brain surgery can be a life-saving procedure, it is essential to understand the potential risks and take steps to minimize them.