Dr Henry Knipe et al.

A craniotomy is a surgical procedure where a piece of calvarial bone is removed to allow intracranial exposure. The bone flap is replaced at the end of the procedure, usually secured with microplates and screws. If the bone flap is not replaced it is either a craniectomy (bone removed) or cranioplasty (non-osseous surgical repair). 


There are different craniotomies depending on which part of the intracranial cavity need to be accessed 1:

  • frontal
  • bifrontal
  • parietal
  • occipital
  • pterional (i.e. frontosphenotemporal)
  • subtemporal
  • anterior parasagittal
  • posterior parasagittal
  • medial suboccipital
  • lateral suboccipital


Share article

Article information

rID: 39624
Section: Gamuts
Tag: cases
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Craniotomies
  • Craniotomy: types

Support Radiopaedia and see fewer ads

Cases and figures

  • Case 1: osteomyelitis post craniotomy
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 2: frontal craniotomy
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Updating… Please wait.

     Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

     Thank you for updating your details.