Anaesthesiologist's Approach to Awake Craniotomy

Turk J Anaesthesiol Reanim. 2018 Aug;46(4):250-256. doi: 10.5152/TJAR.2018.56255. Epub 2018 Aug 1.


Awake craniotomy, which was initially used for the surgical treatment of epilepsy, is performed for the resection of tumours in the vicinity of some eloquent areas of the cerebral cortex which is essential for language and motor functions. It is also performed for stereotactic brain biopsy, ventriculostomy, and supratentorial tumour resections. In some institutions, avoiding risks of general anaesthesia, shortened hospitalization and reduced use of hospital resources may be the other indications for awake craniotomy. Anaesthesiologists aim to provide safe and effective surgical status, maintaining a comfortable and pain-free condition for the patient during surgical procedure and prolonged stationary position and maintaining patient cooperation during intradural interventions. Providing anaesthesia for awake craniotomy require scalp blockage, specific sedation protocols and airway management. Long-acting local anaesthetic agents like bupivacaine or levobupivacaine are preferred. More commonly, propofol, dexmedetomidine and remifentanyl are used as sedative agents. A successful anaesthesia for awake craniotomy depends on the personal experience and detailed planning of the anaesthetic procedure. The aim of this review was to present an anaesthetic technique for awake craniotomy under the light of the literature.

Keywords: Awake craniotomy; anaesthesia; local.

Publication types

  • Review