This medical animation shows how a part of your skull can be removed in order to relieve pressure in that area when your brain swells. This surgical procedure is usually done after a traumatic brain injury, but also to treat medical conditions that cause your brain to swell or bleed, which can be caused by an aneurysm, brain tumors, or other cancer.
A craniectomy decreases intracranial pressure, intracranial hypertension, and heavy bleeding inside of your skull. If left unaddressed, pressure or bleeding can cause your brain to be compressed and push it onto the brain stem. This can cause permanent brain damage if it is fatal. When there is an immediate risk to the brain and neurological function due to a severe brain injury or stroke, a craniectomy is a very serious procedure.