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Open Brain Surgery with Brachytherapy for Malignant Glioma

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Mar 5, 2023.

Open brain surgery with brachytherapy for malignant glioma is surgery to remove a tumor from your brain.


Before your surgery:

  • Informed consent is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.
  • An IV is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.
  • Anesthesia is medicine to make you comfortable during the surgery. Healthcare providers will work with you to decide which anesthesia is best for you.
    • General anesthesia will keep you asleep and free from pain during surgery. Anesthesia may be given through your IV. You may instead breathe it in through a mask or a tube placed down your throat. The tube may cause you to have a sore throat when you wake up.
    • Local anesthesia is a shot of medicine used to numb the area and dull the pain. You may still feel pressure or pushing during surgery.

During your surgery:

Your surgeon will place your head in a clamp to hold it in position. He or she will make an incision in your scalp and remove a small piece of skull bone. The glioma will be removed, and radiation therapy will be placed in the area where your glioma was. The piece of bone will be replaced. Your surgeon will close the incision with stitches or staples. A bandage may be placed over the incision.

After your surgery:

You will be taken to a room to rest until you are fully awake. You will be monitored closely for any problems. Do not get out of bed until your healthcare provider says it is okay. You will then be able to go home or be taken to your hospital room.

  • A neurologic exam may show how well your brain works after your surgery. Healthcare providers will check your pupils, balance, and hand strength. They may also check your memory and how easily you wake up.
  • You will be helped to walk around after surgery. Movement will help prevent blood clots. You may also be given exercises to do in bed. Do not get out of bed on your own until your healthcare provider says it is okay.
  • Medicines may be given to prevent or treat pain, a bacterial infection, or nausea. Medicines may be needed to get rid of extra fluid in your brain or to control seizures.


You may bleed more than expected or get an infection. Blood vessels or other healthy tissue may be damaged during surgery. The radiation may cause brain swelling, a decrease in brain function, or a stroke. Your tumor may not be completely removed. You may develop a life-threatening blood clot.


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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