Neurosurgery (or neurological surgery) is the medical specialty concerned with the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of disorders which affect any portion of the nervous system including the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerves, and extra-cranial cerebrovascular system.
Neuroradiology methods are used in modern neurosurgical diagnosis and treatment, including computer assisted imaging computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET), magnetoencephalography (MEG), and the stereotactic surgery. Some neurosurgical procedures involve the use of MRI and functional MRI intraoperatively.
Microsurgery is utilized in many aspects of neurological surgery. Microvascular anastomosis are required when EC-IC surgery is performed. The clipping of aneurysms is performed using a microscope. Minimally invasive spine surgery utilizes these techniques. Procedures such as microdiscectomy, laminectomy, and artificial discs rely on microsurgery.
Minimally invasive endoscopic surgery is utilized by neurosurgeons. Techniques such as endoscopic endonasal surgery is used for pituitary tumors, craniopharyngiomas, chordomas, and the repair of cerebrospinal fluid leaks. Ventricular endoscopy is used for colloid cysts and neurocysticercosis. Endoscopic techniques can be used to assist in the evaculation of hematomas and trigeminal neuralgia. Repair of craniofacial disorders and disturbance of cerebrospinal fluid circulation is done by neurosurgeons, and depending on the situation, maxillofacial and plastic surgeons. Conditions such as chiari malformation, craniosynostosis, and syringomyelia are treated. This is called cranioplasty.
Neurosurgeons are involved in Stereotactic Radiosurgery along with Radiation Oncologists for tumor and AVM treatment. Radiosurgical methods such as Gamma knife, Cyberknife and Novalis Shaped Beam Surgery are used.
Neurosurgeons have begun to utilize endovascular image guided procedures for the treatment of aneurysms, AVMs, carotid stenosis, strokes, and spinal malformations, and vasospasms. Also, nonvascular procedures such as Vertoplasty and Kyphoplasty are used by neurosurgeons. Techniques such as angioplasty, stenting, clot retrieval, embolization, and diagnostic angiography are utilized.
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