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Burr Hole Surgery Information

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Updated May 16, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

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Why Is a Burr Hole Used?
A burr hole is used when there is a problem with the brain that must be treated surgically. In order to access the brain tissue, the cranium (or skull) must be opened to allow access to the brain. In the majority of surgeries, placing a hole in the skull is the best way to treat the injury or illness.

There are many reasons why a surgeon would need to perform brain surgery. Those reasons may include:

  • To relieve pressure on the brain
  • To begin a larger incision, such as a craniotomy
  • To monitor the pressure inside the skull
  • To remove a blood clot
  • To remove a tumor
  • To treat seizures
  • To remove a foreign object
  • To place a medical device, such as a shunt or chemotherapy wafers
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  5. Why a Burr Hole?

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