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Does Health Insurance Cover Brain Surgery?

By Juhi Walia
26 August 2022, 1:22 PM

The brain is our body's most complicated organ and is responsible for our memory, speech, emotions, hand-eye coordination, respiration, blood circulation, etc. Any health issue affecting the brain can impact intelligence, body movement, senses, and behaviour. In summary, your brain is in charge of how your body works, and any aberration or injury to it can be fatal. Further, the brain is a fragile organ susceptible to diseases and infections. You may have to undergo brain surgery to recover from brain-related ailments. No surprise, the costs can be high and beyond the reach of most middle class Indian households. However, numerous health insurance plans covering brain surgery is a ray of hope for us to bank upon. All you need to do is select the plan with an adequate sum insured, relatively affordable premiums, minimum sub-limit restrictions, etc. Let’s discuss brain surgery, its variants, cost, and other details.

Understanding Brain Surgery

Brain surgery is a surgical procedure that tries to rectify any physical abnormality in the brain. It entails repairing any structural issues in the brain. These issues may be present at birth or develop as a result of a sickness or accident. Furthermore, brain surgeries are performed to treat medical diseases that may represent a danger of serious health complications.

Brain surgery is a delicate and difficult process. It carries the danger of bleeding, inflammation, coma, memory loss, and other complications. As a result, it is performed with extreme caution by neurosurgeons with the assistance of an anesthesiologist. However, advances in medical technology now allow surgeons to operate on a portion of the brain without creating an incision in or near the patient's head.

When is Brain Surgery Necessary?

Brain surgery may be necessary to address the following diseases or medical disorders that occur within or near the brain:

  • Tumours in the brain
  • Aneurysm
  • Bleeding
  • Clots in the blood
  • Nerve injury or irritation
  • Fracture of the skull
  • Stroke
  • Parkinson's disease (PD)
  • Epilepsy
  • Pressure after a head injury
  • Brain fluid accumulation 
  • Brain fluid accumulation 
  • Dura tissue damage
  • Abscesses

Brain Surgery Variants

Various sorts of brain surgeries are performed to treat medical issues. Doctors choose the brain surgery variant based on your medical condition and the location of your brain. Consider the following forms of brain surgery:

  • Craniotomy
  • Neuroendoscopy
  • Deep Brain Stimulation
  • Biopsy
  • Posterior Fossa Decompression
  • Thrombectomy and Cerebral Aneurysm Repair
  • Endonasal Endoscopic Surgery

The Cost of Brain Surgery

Brain surgery involves using costly equipment. Based on the medical condition and the surgical technique, brain surgery in India might cost more than INR 2-3 lakh. Brain surgery to remove a tumour, for example, may cost between INR 2.5 lakh and INR 7.5 lakh. Furthermore, the cost of surgery may vary depending on the institution and the city. A brain operation in Mumbai, for example, may be more expensive than a surgery done in Pune.

Furthermore, many diagnostic tests and scans, such as CT scans and MRI scans, may be performed before and after the surgery. Needless to say, they can result in high medical costs. Furthermore, the expense of hospitalisation and post-surgery consultations can be exorbitant.

Do Health Insurance Policies Cover Brain Surgery?

Yes. In India, most health insurance plans cover the expense of brain surgery. They pay for hospitalisation fees, ICU charges, pre-hospitalization, ambulance services, and post-hospitalization following brain surgery. You can choose a health insurance plan with a coverage limit of INR 6 crore. However, the coverage and sum covered may differ from one health insurance plan to the next.

Furthermore, because brain surgery is commonly used to treat critical conditions, it is covered by critical illness insurance plans. When diagnosed with a critical disease that necessitates brain surgery, you will receive a lump sum payment under these policies. However, you should verify with your insurance provider to see if the serious disease you have been diagnosed with is covered under your health insurance policy.

Brain Surgery Waiting Period Under Health Insurance

Whether you purchase a conventional health insurance policy or a critical illness insurance policy, all health insurance plans have a waiting period. This implies you will need to wait for a certain period before your health insurance plan will cover brain surgery.

To begin with, all health insurance policies include an initial 30-day waiting period. However, medical illnesses or diseases needing brain surgery may be covered only after a two-year waiting period. 

If you were diagnosed with a medical ailment or catastrophic sickness that required brain surgery prior to purchasing health insurance, your health insurance company will consider it a pre-existing disease. In that instance, the pre-existing disease waiting time will apply. In India, most health insurance plans cover pre-existing disorders after a 2 to 4-year waiting period. As a result, you should purchase a health insurance policy as early in your life as possible.


Brain surgery is both a critical and costly procedure. Instead of depleting all of your resources towards brain surgery, purchase an appropriate health insurance plan that will cover the expenses. You can find the finest health insurance plan for you by comparing different options. Furthermore, before undergoing brain surgery, make sure you prepare yourself mentally and emotionally.

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1. How long will it take you to recover after the brain surgery?

Complete recovery from brain surgery normally takes 4-8 weeks. The initial incisions on your head may be painful for about a week. You may also get slight headaches for about 4-8 weeks.

2. What are the dangers associated with brain surgery?

  • Brain surgery may cause problems with speech, memory, muscle weakness, balance, vision, coordination, and other skills.
  • In the brain, there is a blood clot or haemorrhage.
  • Seizures.
  • Stroke.
  • Coma.
  • Brain infection, wound, or skull fracture.
  • Swelling of the brain.
  • Requirement for repeated surgery.

3. Is it possible to live a regular life following brain surgery?

Some patients recover successfully from brain surgery, but it takes time. Others may be experiencing short or long-term challenges. The issues you may face are determined by the location of the tumour in your brain (or it still is if only a section of the tumour was removed).

4. What should I avoid following brain surgery?

The below tips can assist you in remaining healthy after a brain injury:

  • Reduce your salt intake. Salt has been linked to an increase in blood pressure and an increased risk of stroke.
  • Avoid sugary foods and beverages.
  • Avoid caffeinated beverages.
  • Reduce your consumption of processed and fatty foods.
  • Take supplements with caution.

5. After brain surgery, what happens to the skull?

An operation called a craniotomy involves cutting and momentarily removing a bone flap from the skull to gain access to the brain. Following brain surgery, a tiny metal plate and screws are used to restore the bone flap to the skull at its original location. The skull heals like any other shattered bone over time.

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