Neurosurgery is a delicate and complex field of medicine that requires a high level of skill and knowledge. It also necessitates access to the latest and most advanced imaging technologies. Neurosurgeons need to be careful when operating on patients, as even a tiny mistake can cause severe damage or death. Imaging technologies help them see inside the brain and body to determine the best way to operate.
Here are the some of the technologies they use:
Neurosurgeons use several imaging technologies, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. The most common imaging technology they order is computed tomography (CT) scans. CT scans use X-rays to create detailed images of the brain. The test is quick and easy to administer and provides a good overview of the brain. However, CT scans do not provide as much detail as other imaging technologies.
Neurosurgeons use CT scans to create three-dimensional (3D) models of the brain, locate tumors, and plan surgeries. The technology also reveals brain structures, but it does not show how well those structures are functioning.
Another imaging technology neurosurgeons use is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). MRIs use magnetic fields and radio waves to create detailed brain images. They take longer to administer than CT scans, but they provide more detailed information. Neurosurgeons use MRI scans to detect tumors, diagnose stroke, and evaluate head injuries. They also use this technology to help them map out surgical procedures.
An MRI can create a 3D model of your brain and show how well your different brain parts function. It can also reveal the size and location of tumors and brain damage. Aside from that, neurosurgeons use MRIs to monitor the progress of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Your provider might not recommend an MRI scan if you have certain metal implants, such as a pacemaker.
Positron emission tomography (PET) scans are another imaging technology that neurosurgeons use. PET scans use radioactive tracers to create images of the brain. The tracers are injected into the patient’s bloodstream and bind to specific brain areas. The PET scanner then detects the tracers and creates an image. Side effects of this scan can include nausea, vomiting, and dizziness because of the injected tracers.
PET scans are not as common as CT or MRI scans. However, they can provide valuable information about how different brain parts function. In addition, PET scans can help detect tumors that might not be visible on other scans. Neurosurgeons use PET scans to create plans for surgery and monitor brain diseases’ progress.
Single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) scans are similar to PET scans, but they use a different type of tracer. SPECT scans are also not as common as PET or CT scans, but they provide additional information on brain activity. Your provider will inject the tracer for SPECT scans into your bloodstream. The tracer then binds to specific brain areas, which the scanner detects and illustrates.
SPECT scans use less radiation than PET scans, so they are a good option for people who cannot have a PET scan. Neurosurgeons also use this technology for surgical procedures and monitoring certain diseases.
Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) is a type of MRI used to create images of the blood vessels in the brain. MRA can be used to detect blockages or narrowing of the arteries. Neurosurgeons use this scan to detect stroke risk factors and plan surgeries.
MRA is safe for most people, but providers do not recommend it for people with certain metal implants, like pacemakers.
Doctors may combine different types of imaging to get a complete picture of the brain. For example, your neurosurgeon might order a CT scan and an MRI to be done together. Your provider will inform you of the risks and benefits associated with each scan.
Neurosurgeon In Aurora, CO
Neurosurgery requires imaging technologies to see inside the brain and body. Each procedure is complex and delicate, and imaging allows surgeons to see what they’re working on and understand each condition. The different types of scans give surgeons different kinds of information. It is up to the neurosurgeon to decide which scan will be best for each patient. They may use CT, MRI, PET, SPECT, MRA scans, or a combination.
You can rely on Front Range Spine and Neurosurgery if you’re looking for a neurosurgeon in Aurora, CO. We have board-certified providers like Dr. Michael Rauzzinoon our team who can give you compassionate and comprehensive care. You can call our friendly staff at (303) 790-1800 if you have any questions. You can use our secure online appointment request form to book a consultation.