Neurosurgery is the practice of medicine which deals with diseases of the nervous system, including the spine and spinal cord, brain and peripheral nerves. The surgical treatment of these diseases requires the skill and expertise of a surgeon who is specially trained - hence the term neurosurgeon. A neurosurgeon is not just a "brain surgeon", but treats patients with many different illnesses. We perform brain tumor surgery and lumbar, thoracic and cervical spine surgery among many other surgical procedures. The majority of the patients treated by neurosurgeons include those with: back or leg pain; neck or arm pain; strokes; tumors of the brain, spine or spinal cord; trauma to the brain, spine or spinal cord; abnormalities of blood vessels within the brain, spine or spinal cord; and abnormalities of nerves throughout the body. Although neurosurgery is by nature a surgical field, many patients with neurological illnesses which do not require surgery often seek the opinion of a neurosurgeon to discuss non-surgical or minimally invasive treatments for their problems. Some of these minimally invasive and non-surgical treatments include: endoscopic spine and brain surgery, computer assisted stereotactic surgery, stereotactic radiosurgery (i.e., using radiation therapy to treat lesions of the nervous system), and interventional radiology (i.e., treating lesions in the blood vessels of the nervous system). We tailor our recommendations to the patients condition, life-style, preference and other medical issues. The patient is encouraged to ask questions
In order to treat complex neurological illnesses, neurosurgeons often work in conjunction with other medical specialists.
These include neurologists, neuroradiologists, electrophysiologists, ophthalmologists, otolaryngologists, radiation oncologists, rehabilitation physicians, and orthopedic surgeons. This "team approach" assures the delivery of "state-of-the-art" care, while allowing the neurosurgeon to focus on the neurological problem and to therefore determine the best treatment options for each patient.
BIf you and your physician decide together that surgery is the best option for you, then you will need to know how to prepare for your surgery. Our office staff will work with you to find the most mutually convenient time to schedule your surgery. This may be done either when you are in the office or over the phone. Elective surgeries will be scheduled after pre-authorization for the insurance company has been established.
You will need to have preoperative medical clearance. This is a process whereby your primary care physician (generally an internist, cardiologist, or other primary care physician) checks some blood and urine tests, an electrocardiogram (if needed), and a chest x-ray (if needed). This to ensure you are medically/healthy to have an recovery from surgery. For example, your blood pressure should be well-controlled, as should your blood sugar. If testing is done at your primary care doctor’s office, we will notify them of what is required. Pre-operative testing should be done at least 7-10 days prior to your surgery. Some patients may require additional testing before medical clearance is granted. For example, those with a history of heart disease may require a echocardiogram or a stress test in addition to the standard electrocardiogram.
Patients are asked to hold on to their own imaging studies after each office visit. It is important to bring the necessary films to surgery. Some imaging studies are so crucial that the surgery cannot be performed without them.
The evening before your surgery, the hospital will notify you of your time of surgery, and what time you should arrive at the hospital.
To the right are some general postoperative instructions for your surgical procedure in general. "Lumbar" instructions are for any low back surgery. Cervical spine or neck surgery postoperative information is found be clicking the "Cervical Disk" button. "NeuroStim" is for patients that have undergone spinal cord stimulation and "DBS info" is for patients who have had Deep Brain Stimulation. Patients with pituitary tumors please select the "Transphenoidal" button and other cranial procedures use the "Craniotomy" button.
Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before surgery. Please check with our office or your medical doctor if you have any questions about discontinuing medications prior to surgery.
STOP ALL NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) 7 DAYS PRIOR TO SURGERY: i.e., Motrin, Advil, Ibuprofen, Aleve, Voltaren, Indocin, Naprosyn, Celebrex, Arthrotec, Mobic. ALL Blood Thinners need to be stopped 5-10 days prior to surgery. If you take any form of blood thinner (Warfarin/Coumadin) or anti-platelet drug (Plavix, Pradaxa, Xarelto, etc) please check with your prescribing doctor to see when you should stop this medication prior to surgery. Report to the main lobby of the hospital (Admissions Department) the day of your surgery at the time designated by our office. Please bring your insurance cards.
If you have your films (MRI, CT, Myelogram, XRAYS), please bring them to the hospital.
Our office will call your insurance carrier to pre-authorize your surgery, and request a referral from your primary care physician (if HMO).
If you have any questions, please contact our surgical coordinator at 301-718-9611.