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Neurosurgery

What is neurosurgery?

We are here to help you and your loved ones receive the best possible help for conditions such as brain tumors, spine deformities and back problems. Our neurosurgical team offers a full range of specialized services, with experts dedicated to providing comprehensive care.

Neurosurgery treatments, services and procedures

Because tumors can grow in and around vital structures in the brain, careful evaluation is needed to decide how to treat them. Surgery enables a definitive diagnosis to be made, and removes as much of the tumor as possible, helping to relieve intracranial pressure. For low-grade or slow-growing tumors, surgery may be the only intervention necessary. Our neurosurgeons use advanced imaging technologies such as MRI to remove more of the tumor while preserving as much healthy tissue as possible.

Our neurosurgeons focus on cancers of the brain such as glioblastoma, tumors and glioma. We determine your unique medical condition and respond with an individual treatment plan and surgery.

Nearly everyone experiences some degeneration of the intervertebral discs or spinal joints by the age of 40. Non-surgical treatments are often highly effective as an initial approach, but if not, surgical options are possible. Cervical disc replacement surgery involves removing a diseased cervical disc and replacing it with an artificial one.

A spine affected by scoliosis is curved, giving the appearance that the person is leaning to one side. Scoliosis is often first diagnosed in children (and early intervention yields the best results), but treatment and monitoring may be lifelong. Common signs of scoliosis include a difference in shoulder height, a head that is not centered with the rest of the body, or a difference in hip height or position. Bracing is a common treatment, but in severe cases surgery may be required.

Microvascular decompression surgery is the most long-lasting treatment for trigeminal neuralgia – a chronic pain disorder that can cause severe, sudden, shock-like pain in one side of the face. It involves the removal of a small piece of the skull to gain access to the nerve and blood vessels, and the placing of a cushion of insulation around the blood vessel so that it no longer compresses or rubs against the nerve. Recovery usually takes four to six weeks.

If your baby or child needs surgery for a congenital brain or spine malformation, our dedicated and compassionate team are here to provide comprehensive care and support for your entire family. We provide surgical expertise in craniofacial syndromes, which happen when the soft plates of a baby’s skull close too soon or in an unusual way.

Find out more about our pediatric services

The pituitary is a small gland in the brain, located behind the back of the nose. It makes hormones that affect many other glands and many functions in your body. Most pituitary tumors are benign (not cancerous) and won’t spread to other parts of your body. But they can cause the pituitary to make too few or too many hormones, causing problems in the body. Treatment may include surgery, radiation therapy or medication.

Mild cases of stenosis – a narrowing of the bone channel occupied by the spinal nerves or the spinal cord – can be treated without surgery through a combination of exercise, lifestyle changes, hot and cold treatments, injections and oral medication. For advanced stenosis, your doctor may recommend surgery, which may include removal of a small section of bone to relieve pressure (laminectomy). Sometimes, large areas of bone are removed and metal hardware is inserted to provide strength and support for the spine (spinal fusion).

Some tumors cannot be removed surgically. Our experts may suggest stabilizing and isolating the tumor, to prevent collateral damage to other parts of the brain.

What to expect from neurosurgery

Our neurosurgery specialists will help you every step of the way – from giving advice at your first consultation, through to offering ongoing support after your treatment.

Your first visit to the neurosurgeon will take place in the outpatient clinic. After an initial assessment, your condition will be evaluated by one of our consultants. Further testing or a biopsy may be required before surgery. These additional tests will be reviewed by the surgeon.

If surgery is needed, our scheduling team will set up pre-operative appointments to help you prepare. These will involve a complete physical and cardio evaluation.  

A few weeks before surgery, you will be scheduled for a preadmission visit to assess your condition and talk through what will happen before, during and after surgery. This visit will last about 60 minutes. Feel free to ask questions and request any information. If needed, you will also be invited to meet with the anesthesiologist, who will perform a further assessment. 

You will receive a call from the pre-operation nursing team 24 hours before your surgery, to assess your health and confirm surgery. If you need to cancel surgery, please inform the pre-operation nurse as soon as possible, to give others a chance to receive treatment in your slot.  

If you are staying at the hospital, here are some important points to consider:

Security – at admission, you will be given a wristband to wear at all times during your stay at the hospital. Keeping it on is important to make sure you receive the right treatment.

Your healthcare team – this team of technicians, nurses, doctors, dieticians, etc., will be responsible for your care and are happy to talk to if you have any questions.

Meals – food is an important part of your treatment and wellbeing. Your diet is ordered by your physician based on your medical condition and nutrition status.

Find out more about being an inpatient at JHAH   

Following your care, and depending on your specific treatment, you may have follow-up appointments and additional/recurring sessions with our team. You may also be given specific rehabilitation exercises to do at home before your next or last session, to help you recover as quickly as possible.

Find out more about our rehabilitation services 

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