Cranial Surgery

Cranial surgery, also referred to as “craniotomy” is a surgery to cut a bony opening in the skull. A section of the skull is removed to access the brain underneath. A craniotomy may be small or large depending on the problem. It may be performed to treat brain tumors, hematomas (blood clots), aneurysms or AVMs, traumatic head injury, foreign objects (bullets), swelling of the brain, or infection. The bone flap that was initially removed is usually replaced at the end of the procedure with tiny plates and screws.

A tumor is an abnormal growth of cells. Tumors that start in the pituitary gland are called pituitary tumors. The pituitary is considered the “master control gland” because it makes the hormones that control the levels of hormones made by most of the other endocrine glands in the body. Almost all pituitary tumors are benign (not cancer) glandular tumors called pituitary adenomas. These tumors are called benign because they don’t spread to other parts of the body like cancers can. But even benign pituitary tumors can cause major health problems because they are close to the brain and may invade nearby tissues. Pituitary cancers are very rare.

Microvascular decompression (MVD) is a surgical procedure to relieve facial pain and muscle twitching symptoms caused by abnormal compression of a cranial nerve or artery/vein. This is called trigeminal neuralgia, glossopharyngeal neuralgia, or hemifacial spasm. MVD involves opening the skull (craniotomy) and inserting a sponge between the nerve and offending artery/vein triggering the pain signals. It provides the longest duration of relief from trigeminal neuralgia pain, and the lowest rate of permanent numbness of the face after surgery.

Neurosurgical Conditions Treated:

  • Brain & Pituitary Tumors
  • Microvascular Decompression (MVD)

Meet Our Physicians

Elad I. Levy


Clinical Team

Neuroendovascular & Stroke

Gregory J. Castiglia


Clinical Team

Spine & Skull Base Disorders

Jason M. Davies


Clinical Team

Minimally Invasive Brain Endoscopy

Neuroendovascular & Stroke

John G. Fahrbach


Clinical Team

Spine & Skull Base Disorders

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Publications | August 14, 2020

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The Professional and Personal Impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic on US Neurointerventional Practices: A Nationwide Survey

In the News | January 23, 2017

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Dr. Davies awarded the UB CTSA KL2 grant

The KL2 Research Career Development Program supports state-of-the-art clinical and translational research and provides young investigators with the knowledge and skills necessary to perform high-impact research and succeed in today’s highly competitive research environment.  

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