I heard some people remain awake during brain surgery. Is this true?

 
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In rare instances, we will perform what is called an awake craniotomy. In those cases, at some point during the procedure, the patient will be awoken and different areas of their brain are tested in order to map out function. This way, we can identify certain areas of the brain, such as those responsible for speech function or motor function so they can be preserved during surgery. With advances in non-invasive imaging, such as functional MRIs, often times this type of cortical localization can be performed before surgery, making an awake craniotomy unnecessary. But it still is a procedure in our armamentarium that can be used to treat tumors to the brain.

Andrew Fabiano, MD