A neurosurgeon is a medical physician who diagnose and treat ailments that affect your nervous system, which comprises of brain, spinal cord and nerves. In spite of the suffix “surgeon”, they offer both nonsurgical and surgical treatments, according to the latest treatment guidelines.
How do you define a neurosurgeon?
A neurosurgeon is an educated medical doctor who diagnose and treat diseases that impact the nervous system which includes, your brain, spinal cord and nerves. Neurosurgeons can perform surgery to treat your nervous system, however, they also offer non-surgical treatments. They generally test non-operative treatments prior such as injecting steroids, medications and physical therapies prior to they recommend surgery.
Neurosurgeons also can diagnose and treat ailments that impact the structures that support your nervous system, such as:
- Your skull.
- Spinal vertebrae.
- Spinal disc (Intervertebral disc)
- Blood vessels.
- Soft tissues and protective membranes in and around brain, spinal cord & nerves.
Other medical professionals frequently seek out neurosurgeons due to their extensive education in their nervous system.
What's the main difference between neurologist and neurosurgeon?
A neurologist is a medical professional who diagnoses conditions, treats, and manages them that affect the nervous system (brain as well as spinal cord nerves). A neurologist doesn’t perform surgery.
A neurosurgeon can diagnose and treat disorders of the nervous system through both nonsurgical and surgical treatments.
If you suffer from an injury or medical condition that has an impact on your nervous system, you should consult a neurologist to assess and diagnose. If your neurologist believes your medical condition warrants or might be improved by surgery, you’ll consult with an expert in neurosurgery for additional consultation and treatment.
What is a neurosurgeon's job?
A neurosurgeon evaluates the condition, diagnose and treat ailments involving the nervous system which includes your spinal cord, brain and the spinal column, as well as the rest of your nerves that originate out from the spinal cord.
Although neurosurgeons are able to perform complicated surgeries on your spine and brain, they usually recommend the use of conservative or nonsurgical treatments first. For instance, if you are suffering from back pain for a long time your neurosurgeon could suggest anti-inflammatory medications or physical therapy. If your pain does not respond to these therapies the neurosurgeon could recommend surgery, if that’s required.
A neurosurgeon is proficient in doing various surgical procedures, including:
- Open surgery.
- Minimally invasive surgical procedure.
- Endoscopic surgery.
- Endovascular surgery.
They also receive extensive education in the tests required to determine and treat neurological disorders. They are skilled in using and analyzing these tests:
- CT (computed tomography) scan
- MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan
- PET (positron emission tomography) scan
- f-MRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging)
- Electroencephalograms (EEG).
What are the conditions neurosurgeons treat?
The most frequent neurologic issues that a neurosurgeon treats are:
- Brain tumours.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak.
- Chronic discomfort in your neck or back.
- Congenital brain disorders (these include Chiari malformations and Arachnoid cysts)
- Spinal column disorders that are congenital including spina-bifida and tethered spinal cord.
- Herniated discs.
- The intracranial aneurysms.
- Parkinson’s disease (which are not treated by medicines)
- Nerves pinched.
- Seizure disorders, like epilepsy.
- The spine bones spurs (osteophytes).
- Stenosis of the spine.
- The spine is a fracture..
- Tissues in the spinal cord.
- Deformities of the spine, like the spondylolisthesis.
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Traumatic spine injuries of neck, upper and lower back neck
What kinds of surgeries can neurosurgeons perform?
Neurosurgeons are able to perform various kinds of surgeries and procedures based on the components of the nervous system as well as supporting structures and tissues which are affected.
The types of brain surgery are:
- Removal of blood clots.
- Aneurysm repair.
- Removal of a tumor.
- Brain bleeding (haemorrhage) stoppage.
- Trauma repair.
- Insertion of a Shunt.
The types of surgery on the peripheral nerve include:
- Release of the carpal tunnel
- Ulnar nerve release
- Vagus nerve stimulation
Spine surgery types comprise:
What is the reason I should visit a neurosurgeon?
In the majority of cases your primary healthcare doctor will recommend you see a neurosurgeon in the event that you suffer from a condition that needs or could require a thorough examination.
Neurosurgeons have a vast understanding of the brain, central nervous system as well as the peripheral nervous system and spinal cord, as well as ailments that may affect them.
If your doctor suggests you visit a neurosurgeon does not necessarily mean surgery.
In reality, you’ll be given a comprehensive neurologic exam, a detailed examination of your symptoms, medical history, as well as diagnostic imaging to discover the root of your symptoms. After that your neurosurgeon and , in certain instances specialists -will discuss with you the best treatment options available to you, whether it’s surgical procedure, nonsurgical treatment or the combination of both.
What questions should I ask my neurosurgeon?
It is possible asking your surgeon following questions at the time of your appointment:
- How have you found it to perform this kind of surgery?
- What is the earliest time I should undergo surgery?
- What are the dangers of this procedure?
- What are the advantages of this procedure?
- What are the procedures that will be performed?
- Do I need to get an additional opinion?
- What other specialists will be members of the surgical team?
- Who else will make up the rest of my team after my surgery?
- What is the length of time I will remain in the hospital? And how will I get home?
- How fast and how fully can I be fully recovered?
- What do I have to do in order to prepare for surgery?
What can I expect to see during an appointment with the neurosurgeon?
To make the most of your visit with your neurosurgeon, you need to be prepared.
Strategies to prepare for your appointment include:
- Make a list of the most important topics you’d like for your surgeon to address with you.
- Examine any changes in your general health.
- Discuss any new symptoms you have or any changes to your existing or previous symptoms.
- Bring copies of the test results, as well as images, and lab tests requested by other healthcare professionals outside of the neurosurgeon’s network.
- Make a list of all your current medicines and supplements you are taking. Include prescription and over-the-counter medicines; as well as supplements, vitamins and herbal supplements.
- Include a list of known allergies.
- Bring a family member or friend accompany you to your appointment to note down notes and provide another pair of eyes and ears. They can assist in reviewing your neurosurgeon’s comments or ask questions. They will also remind you of scheduling appointments and tests.
- Request another appointment to discuss issues.