The decision to seek out the services of a neurosurgeon varies from one patient to another and usually depends on the disease or the condition of the patient since not all spinal or brain injuries need the attention of a neurosurgeon. The training of a neurosurgeon is very rigorous and engaging spreading over a long period of time. Neurosurgeons complete four years of accredited medical school and a residency program running for the duration of about six to seven years where they perform hundreds of procedures. The resident program is long and challenging due to the extreme complexity of the entire nervous system and advanced techniques applied in neurological operational procedures. Many patients choose neurosurgeons for the extra measure of safety due to their thorough training programs. In most cases, patients get a referral to a neurosurgeon by their primary care physician or chiropractor depending on their presenting condition. Alternatively, patients can choose their preferred neurosurgeon from the neurosurgeon’s list in their medical plan.
Who is a neurosurgeon?
Neurosurgeons are health specialists trained to evaluate, diagnose, treat, prevent and perform surgery on both the central and peripheral nervous system which comprise of the brain, spinal cord and the spinal column and innervations to hands, legs, arms, and face. As such, they play a significant role in the outcome of a patient with a neurologically-related condition.
Neurosurgeons are experts treating conditions related to the entire nervous system. Neurosurgeons stabilize the brain and skull in cases of brain injury or a skull fracture. A neurosurgeon can perform surgery of micro-vessels involving removal of large clots or a small brain aneurysm or removal of clogged blood in neck arteries which may cause strokes. They also specialize in removing malignant and benign brain tumors.
With regards to the spinal cord, neurosurgeons relieve spinal cord compression, stabilize the vertebrae, repair and restore a feeling of areas innervated by traumatized peripheral nerves. Neurosurgeons also remove the spine and spinal cord tumors and treat infections to any part of the nervous system. Due to their extensive training in the diagnosis of all neurological disease, neurologists, internists, emergency room doctors, family practitioners and osteopaths seek them out for consultations.
How Neurosurgeons can help patients
Neurosurgeons help patients through performing surgery to help in relieving severe pain, impending death, and physical disabilities. The complicated procedures performed by neurosurgeons entail procedures such as fixing carpal tunnel syndrome, removing brain tumors, removing damaged areas of the brain associated with epilepsy and even repairing gunshot wounds. Neurosurgeons also participate in cutting-edge research which assists in expanding the medical knowledge of illness and medical conditions for which currently no cure exists.
Patients with neurological conditions can lose their hearing or balance; eyesight impairs their dexterity and function of their limbs. The brain and nervous system can have far-reaching and subtle effects which might have problems with perception and behavior in some patients, and debilitating pain or mobility issues in others. Correction of these conditions by a qualified board-certified neurosurgeon often has a dramatic and an immediate impacts on the patient’s quality of life.