WVU Medicine neurosurgeon performs first awake craniotomy at Berkeley Medical Center

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. – Jonathan H. Sherman, M.D., F.A.A.N.S., F.A.C.S, board certified neurosurgeon with the WVU Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute in Martinsburg, recently performed the first awake craniotomy at WVU Medicine Berkeley Medical Center.

Awake craniotomy is a form of brain surgery that is performed while the patient is awake and alert. It is used to treat neurological conditions, including brain tumors and epilepsy, and allows surgeons to remove as much of the tumor as possible without damaging healthy tissue.

During awake craniotomy, the patient is sedated while the surgeon opens the skull, but is brought out of sedation to full consciousness as the surgeon performs the procedure. This allows the surgeon to directly interact with the patient by stimulating the brain and monitoring physical responses and brain activity. Awake craniotomy lowers the risk of damage to eloquent areas of the brain that could affect movement, sensation, speech or cognition.

Dr. Sherman successfully performed the first awake craniotomy at Berkeley Medical Center in March.

“In this case, the tumor was located just behind the sensory area of the brain, making this patient the perfect candidate for this procedure,” Sherman said. “We were able to stimulate the sensory area and have the patient indicate that he could feel things with his left hand. This allowed us to protect that area of the brain during tumor removal.”

Sherman, who serves as director of surgical neuro-oncology at WVU Medicine East, believes this new procedure will benefit patients by allowing them to receive treatment for complex brain tumors closer to home.

“The ability to perform awake craniotomy allows us to effectively remove the most complex of brain tumors while minimizing the morbidity of surgery,” Sherman said. “We’re excited to offer this innovative procedure and provide the highest level of care for our patients.”



For more information:

Chelsie Davis, Communications Specialist, 304-596-6327,




CED: 4-16-21