MarinHealth Medical Center and UCSF Neurosurgery Successfully Perform Marin County’s First Awake Craniotomy

Author: MarinHealth
MarinHealth Medical Center and UCSF Neurosurgery Successfully  Perform Marin County’s First Awake Craniotomy

Dr. Tarun Arora, a neurosurgeon who directs UCSF’s extension neurosurgery at multiple Bay Area community hospitals, successfully performed Marin County’s first awake craniotomy surgery – a neurosurgical technique that allows surgeons to remove brain tumors while patients are awake and alert to avoid potential brain damage.

Awake craniotomy is used to treat a variety of neurological conditions, including brain tumors and epilepsy, and allows surgeons to remove as much diseased tissue as they can while preserving brain function.

During awake craniotomy, the patient remains conscious while their skin and bone of the neck and head are sedated using local anesthetics so the surgeon can open the skull. This allows the surgeon to directly interact with the patient by stimulating the brain and monitoring physical responses and brain activity.

Dr. Arora successfully performed the first awake craniotomy at MarinHealth Medical Center on April 15, 2021.

“UCSF’s neurological surgery department has been a pioneer in researching and performing safe and effective brain tumor surgery techniques in San Francisco for years,” says Dr. Mitchel Berger, Chair of the Neurological Surgery Department at UCSF and Director of UCSF’s Brain Tumor Center. “With a mission to improve patient outcomes, this extension will give more people in the Bay Area access to some of the most innovative treatments our department has to offer.”

Dr. Berger is a nationally recognized neurosurgeon known for his technical expertise in removing brain tumors and for bringing awake brain mapping, first established by George Ojermann for surgical treatment of epilepsy, to the field of brain tumor surgery. He has since refined awake brain mapping, publishing nearly 40 research papers and giving over 150 presentations on the topic around the world.

“We’re excited to offer and provide the highest level of neurosurgery care for patients living in the North Bay,” says Dr. David Klein, CEO of MarinHealth. “The collaboration between MarinHealth and UCSF Health is extremely beneficial for North Bay residents, who now have closer access to awake craniotomy and other innovative treatments for complex brain tumors and epilepsy.”


About MarinHealth

MarinHealth encompasses respected local healthcare resources that have served the Marin County community since 1952. Marin County residents appreciate Marin’s healthy lifestyle and transformative natural environment. In keeping with the values and needs of this unique community, MarinHealth is dedicated to treating the whole patient, mind, body, and spirit. MarinHealth Medical Center, the MarinHealth Medical Network, and their ancillary services all share the same patient-centric philosophy of care.

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