Neurosurgery is a medical specialty that focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, and management of conditions affecting the nervous system, including the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves. Neurosurgeons are specialized surgeons who perform surgical procedures to treat neurological disorders.
Endovascular neurosurgery, also known as interventional neuroradiology or neurointerventional surgery, is a subspecialty within neurosurgery. It involves using minimally invasive techniques, such as catheters and wires, to diagnose and treat conditions impacting the blood vessels of the brain and spinal cord, such as aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), and strokes.
The most common surgery performed in neurosurgery is spinal surgery. This includes procedures such as discectomy (removal of herniated discs), laminectomy (removal of part of the vertebral bone to relieve pressure on the spinal cord or nerves), and spinal fusion (joining two or more vertebrae together to stabilize the spine).
You should consider seeing a neurosurgeon if you experience symptoms or have been diagnosed with a condition related to the brain, spine, or peripheral nerves. These symptoms may include severe or chronic headaches, neck or back pain, weakness, or numbness in the extremities, balance problems, seizures, or changes in vision or cognition. It is best to consult with your primary care physician or a referral from another specialist to determine if a neurosurgeon's evaluation is appropriate.
Neurosurgery, like any surgical procedure, carries certain risks and potential complications. These can include infection, bleeding, adverse reactions to anesthesia, blood clots, damage to surrounding structures, neurological deficits, and even the possibility of the surgery not achieving the desired outcome. The specific risks vary depending on the type of procedure and individual patient factors. Your neurosurgeon will discuss the potential risks and benefits with you before any surgery.
Minimally invasive neurosurgery refers to surgical techniques that involve smaller incisions and specialized instruments to access and treat neurological conditions. These techniques often use endoscopes, microscopes, or specialized guidance systems to enhance visualization and precision. Minimally invasive procedures can result in shorter hospital stays, reduced post-operative pain, and faster recovery compared to traditional open surgery.
Selecting a neurosurgeon is an important decision. Here are a few factors to consider:
The most common reasons for neurosurgery include: