Neurosurgery or neurological surgery, commonly known as brain surgery, is the medical branch that focuses on the surgical treatment of disorders which affect any part of the central nervous system, including the brain and the spinal cord, and the peripheral nervous system.
A neurosurgeon is a medical doctor specially trained to diagnose and treat conditions that affect your nervous system. Neurosurgeons perform surgery on your nervous system, and they also provide nonsurgical treatments.
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Neurosurgeons treat various painful conditions, such as low back pain, epilepsy, stroke, sciatica, pinched nerves and chronic pain. These conditions may present in one place but appear in another. For example, carpal tunnel symptoms may be associated with spinal disc problems in the neck.
While neurologists are interested in treating neurological disorders such as epilepsy, Alzheimer's disease, and peripheral nerve disorders, neurosurgeons, on the other hand, deal with brain injuries, tumour removal, and carpal tunnel syndrome.
Common Neurosurgery Procedures in Private Hospital
There is a range of procedures a neurosurgeon may recommend, and some of the common ones include anterior cervical discectomy, epilepsy neurosurgery, craniotomy, lumbar puncture, and laminectomy.
Other types of neurosurgery procedures are:
- Cerebrovascular - aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) and stroke
- Neuro-oncology (brain tumours)
- Spinal neurosurgery
- Functional and epilepsy neurosurgery
- General neurosurgery
- Trigeminal neuralgia and nerve compression syndromes
- Peripheral nerve injury
If there is suspicion of a problem or if patients would like to ask questions about their conditions, they are going to be referred to neurosurgery.
During your visit to our neurosurgeon, you will be seen by our specialist doctor, who will ask about your medical history and your symptoms. Our doctor will then perform a focused neurological examination. After reviewing your medical history and diagnostic tests, you will be presented with a number of treatment options.
During your consultation, our neurosurgeon will determine whether the benefits of the surgery will outweigh the possible risks and complications. Other details that will be discussed are the type of anaesthesia to be used, the recovery period, how the surgery is performed, and other relevant subjects.
Neurosurgeon: More Than Just a Brain Surgeon
A common myth is that neurosurgeons are just brain surgeons but according to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), they frequently spend a lot more time on spine conditions and procedures than brain conditions and procedures.
While both neurologists and neurosurgeons diagnose and treat conditions that involve the nervous system, neurologists do not perform surgery. Neurologists are more focused on seeing specifically diagnosed neurological disorders that can be treated through medications or other therapies and require close monitoring.
What a Neurologist Does Before Escalating to Neurosurgery
In general, you can expect to see a neurologist who performs tests to diagnose your condition and plan a course of treatment, and that can include a referral to a neurosurgeon if required.
At SJMC, our neurosurgeons are skilled in several surgical techniques, including:
- open surgery
- minimally invasive surgery
- endoscopic surgery
- endovascular surgery
- chronic pain intervention procedures
Nowadays, other than orthopaedic surgeons, our neurosurgeons also perform several spine procedures. Conventionally, neurosurgeons provide treatment for brain disorders, and orthopaedic surgeons provide treatment for ailments related to the spinal column and the limbs. Our neurosurgeons can treat back pain due to spine conditions using state-of-the-art treatments that include but are not limited to decompression surgery for back pain due to lumbar spinal stenosis.
For comprehensive health screening, detailed diagnosis and treatment evaluation as well as surgery, should the need arise, please contact our neurosurgeons below to set up for a private appointment.