What is a Neurosurgeon?
A neurosurgeon is a surgeon who specializes in the brain and neurological system. They diagnose and treat disorders of the central and peripheral nervous system. They work closely with neurologists and other medical professionals to provide the best medical care possible to their patients. Some neurosurgeons also specialize in other areas or in specific health problems, diseases, or disorders.
How does a doctor become a Neurosurgeon?
To become a neurosurgeon, a person must first complete an accredited undergraduate program. Next, the person must attend at least four years of medical school. After medical school, the doctor must complete a year of residency in general surgery. Then, the doctor must complete five to seven years in a neurosurgery residency program. Many neurosurgeons complete a fellowship after residency to specialize in a particular area. Most neurosurgeons also continue their education by attending annual meetings and conferences that apply to neurosurgery.
What types of diseases do Neurosurgeons treat?
Neurosurgeons treat a variety of diseases and illnesses. They understand how the neurological system works and how certain disease and disorders affect it. They also know what treatments work best on what diseases. They specialize in disorders of the brain and neuroglial system. Some of these diseases include:
- Acoustic neuroma
- Brain Cyst
- Brain tumors
- Nerve sheath tumors
- Pineal tumors
- Pituitary tumors
- Primary central nervous system lymphoma
- Sports injuries
- Spine tumors and injuries
What types of diagnostic tests are ordered by Neurosurgeons?
Before neurosurgeons can treat a disease, they must be able to diagnose them. They use a variety of diagnostic tests and procedures to help them confirm a proper diagnosis. In some cases, they may perform the tests themselves. In others, they may order them from other hospital departments or specialists. Some of the most common diagnostic tests performed by neurosurgeons include:
- Carotid duplex
- Cerebral angiography
- Computed tomography
- Doppler ultrasound
- Intrathecal contrast-enhanced CAT scan
- Lumbar puncture
- Magnetic resonance imaging
- Nerve conduction study
- Positron emission tomography (PET) scan
- Selective nerve root block
- Somatosensory evoked response test
What are the different types of Neurosurgeons?
While neurosurgery itself is a specialty, some neurosurgeons specialize in other areas, as well. These are called sub-specialties. Some common types of sub-specialties include:
- Cerebrovascular and skull base surgery
- Neuro-trauma and neurological critical care
- Neuro-oncology and interventional neuroradiology
- Pediatric neurosurgery