Everyone has been there. You or someone you know has needed to have some kind of surgery to fix a medical problem. But what if someone has a problem with their brain or spinal cord?

If someone has a problem with any part of the nervous system, they may need neurosurgery to fix it. But what does a neurosurgeon do?

Keep reading to find out what neurosurgery is and what kinds of problems it can fix.

What Is Neurosurgery?

The prefix neuro- comes from the Greek word neura, meaning nerve. It can mean anything related to nerves or the nervous system. The word surgery comes from an Indo-European root meaning to work with the hand.

Putting this together, neurosurgery is a type of medical operation in which a doctor physically works on the nervous system, usually the brain or spinal cord.

The brain and nervous system work by sending electrical signals and chemicals called neurotransmitters to different parts of the brain and body. But sometimes the pathways they use can become damaged.

When this happens, it is sometimes necessary to have surgery to fix the damage.

Because it deals with the brain, neurosurgery is one of the most complicated types of surgery. So much so in fact that it has almost become a joke.

You may hear someone say “it’s not brain surgery” to describe something that should be straightforward or simple. This is because brain surgeons have to be nearly perfect so they don’t damage something important.

If this is the neurosurgery meaning, what different types of brain surgery are there?

Types of Neurosurgery

There are several different types of surgeries that involve the nervous system. It is not only the brain but also other parts of the body that have large bundles of nerves like the neck and back or spine.

Vascular neurosurgery has to do with the blood vessels around the brain and spinal cord. It can be used when someone has an aneurism or a problem with the blood vessels.

Stereotactic, or functional, neurosurgery is a type that has to do with removing parts of the brain or severing connections within the brain.

Disorders like epilepsy can cause pathways in the brain that shouldn’t be there, so one traditional treatment was to sever the corpus callosum which connects the two hemispheres of the brain to each other.

Another type of neurosurgery is oncological neurosurgery. It deals with removing cancerous tumors that have formed close to the nervous system.

Skull base surgery deals with issues near the base of the skull, where it connects to the spinal cord. Spinal neurosurgery deals with the spinal cord itself.

Peripheral nerve surgery deals with parts of the nervous system that are not close to the brain or spinal cord like nerves elsewhere in the body.

Is This Right for You?

Now that we’ve looked at what neurosurgery procedures are, and some of the problems they can fix, feel free to do some more research on your own to find out if this procedure is right for you.

If you think you may need a neurosurgery operation, please contact us to find out how we can help you.