A neurosurgeon is a highly skilled doctor who is an expert in diagnosing and treating conditions affecting the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerves, and cerebrovascular system. Despite its name, a neurosurgeon or neurological surgeon can offer both surgical and nonsurgical treatments.
It is important to keep in mind that unlike a neurologist (a doctor who diagnoses and treats nervous system disorders), a neurosurgeon can perform surgery.
To become fully board-certified, a neurosurgeon has to complete 14 to 16 years of education. Some neurosurgeons do additional fellowship training to specialize in a specific area of neurosurgery.
Now, let’s explore some expertise and specialties of a neurosurgeon.
Expertise of a Neurosurgeon
A neurological surgeon has exceptional manual dexterity skills and technical expertise that help him or her offer excellent surgical outcomes. They use the following radiology tools to diagnose and treat neurological disorders:
- Computed tomography (CT) scan
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Positron emission tomography (PET)
- Magnetoencephalography (MEG)
The procedural expertise of a neurosurgeon includes performing:
Conventional Open Surgery
In conventional open surgery, a neurosurgeon opens the skull to treat traumatic brain injuries. Your surgeon may also use specialized tools to remove a small section of bone (bone flap) which they replace later when surgery is complete. This technique of removing bone flap is called a craniotomy.
In this surgery, your neurosurgeon makes a hole in the skull and sends an endoscope, a small tube-like instrument, to view deep inside of the brain. The live image helps neurosurgeons send surgical tools through additional holes to treat cerebrospinal fluid leaks, intracranial bleeding, hydrocephalus (water on the brain), and tumors, to name a few.
The neurosurgeon uses a targeted beam of radiation to locate brain tumors and other problems. Stereotactic radiosurgery is performed under the guidance of cameras and electromagnetic fields.
To treat tumors or arteriovenous malformations, stereotactic radiosurgery is also used in combination with radiation therapy.
This surgery involves the use of high-powered magnification eyewear to treat aneurysms and clear plaque from the carotid artery that nourishes the brain. An operating room microscope with images projected on a monitor can also be used.
In addition, your surgeon may decompress spine vertebrae or replace the herniated disc with microsurgery.
Your neurosurgeon may use this type of surgery to treat conditions affecting the neck, as well as the middle and lower spine. By using power drills and special instruments, a neurosurgeon can treat spondylosis (involves bone spur and disc degeneration), spine arthritis, and correct spine compression caused by trauma.
The compression problem of the spine is treated with the help of power drills and other special instruments, while spinal rongeurs remove the herniated disc.
This surgery aims to treat psychiatric disorders that don’t respond to conventional treatments. Major depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder can be treated with psychiatry surgery that focuses on deep brain stimulation.
This surgery treats brain disorders such as stroke, aneurysm, and brain tumors from inside the blood vessels. For this procedure, your neurosurgeon inserts special surgical tools through an opening in the femoral artery of the leg.
During surgery, the CT scan, MRI, or high-resolution angiogram survey the blood circulation route while surgery is guided by X-rays.
Specialties of Neurosurgeon
The practice of neurosurgery is not just limited to some areas of the nervous system. Common neurological subspecialties a neurological surgeon may opt for include:
- Pediatric neurosurgery
- Neurovascular surgery
- Peripheral nerve surgery
- Spinal neurosurgery
- Epilepsy surgery
- Cerebrovascular surgery
- Skull base neurosurgery (to treat benign or cancerous growths underneath the skull and upper vertebra)
- Functional neurosurgery (to treat movement disorders)
- Neuro-oncology (to treat brain tumors and cancer)
Neurosurgeon In Lone Tree, CO
If you or your loved one suffer from any neurological and spinal disorder and seek a solution, visit us at Front Range Spine and Neurosurgery. Our board-certified and fellowship-trained neurosurgeons have extensive experience in treating all cranial and spine conditions using treatments that range from nonsurgical methods to surgeries.
To schedule an appointment with one of our skilled neurosurgeons in Lone Tree, call us today at (303) 790-1800 or use our convenient online appointment request form.
We look forward to having you!