Neurosurgery, WakeMed Health & Hospitals, Raleigh & Wake County, NC

The neurosurgeon is a specialist who performs surgery on the brain, backbone and nerves. It takes care of a very large number of pathologies: neurovascular pathologies (aneurysm, vascular malformation, etc.); cancerous tumors (meningioma, glioblastoma, metastasis, etc.); pathologies of the spine (herniated disc, vertebral instability or fracture, degenerative scoliosis, etc.); neurological pathologies that may benefit from surgical treatment (Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, severe obsessive disorders, etc.); trauma (head trauma, multiple trauma, etc.); malformations (hydrocephalus, Chiari malformation, etc.). Given the highly technical side of this specialty, some neurosurgeons specialize in a specific field. Among these fields, we can find vascular neurosurgery, neuro-oncology, pediatric neurosurgery, neurotraumatology, spinal neurosurgery, functional neurosurgery, epilepsy neurosurgery, etc. Usually, the patient who sees a neurosurgeon has been advised by their GP, neurologist or other specialist. The pathologies treated by the neurosurgeon are often common to neurologists, rheumatologists and orthopedists. Before any operation, the neurosurgeon asks the patient to perform various preliminary examinations (MRI and scanner, functional magnetic resonance, PET-scan, etc.). Depending on the results and after consultation with other health professionals (neurologist, radiotherapist, oncologist, anesthesiologist, etc.), he decides on the mode of intervention in agreement with his patient. He must be able to clearly explain the choice of the operation, the risks, the difficulties and the procedures for the intervention: pain, possible sequelae, hospitalization time, rehabilitation needs, etc. After the operation, the neurosurgeon may prescribe medication, postoperative care, rehabilitation and assess the results of the operation.