Cerebral artery bypass surgery

When is the procedure indicated?

Cerebral artery bypass surgery is an extremely demanding microneurosurgical procedure in which blood vessels in the brain are sewn together. The most common diseases requiring this procedure are large or complex cerebral aneurysms, skull-based tumours, and Moyamoya Disease. The goal is to bypass a constricted or obstructed point, or to increase blood flow to a specific area of the brain. Sometimes a bypass is performed as a precautionary measure to avoid cerebral infarction when there is a significant risk of losing an important blood vessel during the removal of a cerebral aneurysm or tumour.

Pros and cons

Cerebral artery bypass surgery seeks to prevent permanent cerebral circulatory disorders. As it is a highly demanding and technically difficult operation, the pros and cons must always be weighed up on a case-by-case basis.

Duration of treatment

The surgery itself takes 5–9 hours and is performed under general anaesthetic. The time spent in hospital may vary greatly depending on which blood vessels are being joined and why. Patients being treated for Moyamoya Disease usually spend about 5–7 days in hospital. Those being treated for aneurysms will often need a longer stay in hospital, including several days in intensive care.
Recovery time

Recovery time depends on why bypass surgery is being performed. Recovery varies from patient to patient and may take from one to several months.

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