Parkinson surgery.jpg
Activity sectors Surgery
Education required Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (U.S. Only), Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery

Neurosurgery (or neurological surgery) is the medical specialty concerned with the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of disorders which affect any portion of the nervous system including the brain, spine, spinal cord, peripheral nerves, and extra-cranial cerebrovascular system.[1][2]


Education and training

In the US

In the United States, a neurosurgeon must generally complete four years of college, four years of medical school, a year-long internship (PGY-1) that is usually affiliated with their residency program, and five to six years of neurosurgery residency (PGY-2-7).[3] Most, but not all, residency programs have some component of basic science or clinical research. Neurosurgeons may pursue an additional training in a fellowship, after residency or in some cases, as a senior resident. These fellowships include pediatric neurosurgery, trauma/neurocritical care, functional and stereotactic surgery, surgical neuro-oncology, radiosurgery, neurovascular surgery, Interventional neuroradiology, peripheral nerve, spine surgery and skull base surgery.[4] Neurosurgeons can also pursue fellowship training in neuropathology and neuro-ophthalmology.

In the UK

In the UK students must earn A*- C Grades at GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education), then they must also achieve A*- C at A levels in Chemistry with at least one other Science or Maths. Also a UKCAT (UK Clinical Aptitude Test) or BMAT (BioMedical Admissions Test) can be used to gain access into some Medical Schools. Students have to study medicine for 5 years and achieve an MBBS qualification (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery). Then the student must perform Foundation training lasting normally 2 years, this is a paid training job in a hospital or clinical situation setting covers a range of Medical specialties including Surgery. Then students enter the neurosurgical pathway. Unlike other surgical specialties it currently has its own independent training pathway which takes around 8 years (ST1-8) before being able to sit consultant exams.[5]

Neurosurgical methods

ICD-10-PCS 00-01
ICD-9-CM 0105
MeSH D019635
OPS-301 code: 5-01...5-05

Neuroradiology methods are used in modern neurosurgical diagnosis and treatment, including computer assisted imaging computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET), magnetoencephalography (MEG), and the stereotactic surgery. Some neurosurgical procedures involve the use of MRI and functional MRI intraoperatively.

Microsurgery is utilized in many aspects of neurological surgery. Microvascular anastomosis are required when EC-IC surgery is performed. The clipping of aneurysms is performed using a microscope. Minimally invasive spine surgery utilizes these techniques. Procedures such as microdiscectomy, laminectomy, and artificial discs rely on microsurgery.[6]

Minimally invasive endoscopic surgery is utilized by neurosurgeons. Techniques such as endoscopic endonasal surgery is used for pituitary tumors, craniopharyngiomas, chordomas, and the repair of cerebrospinal fluid leaks. Ventricular endoscopy is used for colloid cysts and neurocysticercosis. Endoscopic techniques can be used to assist in the evaculation of hematomas and trigeminal neuralgia. Repair of craniofacial disorders and disturbance of cerebrospinal fluid circulation is done by neurosurgeons, and depending on the situation, plastic surgeons. Conditions such as chiari malformation, craniosynostosis, and syringomyelia are treated. This is called cranioplasty.

Neurosurgeons are involved in Stereotactic Radiosurgery along with Radiation Oncologists for tumor and AVM[disambiguation needed ] treatment. Radiosurgical methods such as Gamma knife, Cyberknife and Novalis Shaped Beam Surgery are used.[7]

Neurosurgeons have begun to utilize endovascular image guided procedures for the treatment of aneurysms, AVMs, carotid stenosis, strokes, and spinal malformations, and vasospasms. Also, nonvascular procedures such as Vertoplasty and Kyphoplasty are used by neurosurgeons. Techniques such as angioplasty, stenting, clot retrieval, embolization, and diagnostic angiography are utilized.[8]


Other conditions treated by neurosurgeons include:

See also


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • neurosurgery — ► NOUN ▪ surgery performed on the nervous system. DERIVATIVES neurosurgeon noun neurosurgical adjective …   English terms dictionary

  • neurosurgery — [noor΄ō sʉr′jər ē, nyoor΄ō sʉr′jər ē] n. the branch of surgery involving some part of the nervous system, including the brain and the spinal cord neurosurgeon n. neurosurgical adj …   English World dictionary

  • neurosurgery — n. the surgical or operative treatment of diseases of the brain and spinal cord. This includes the management of head injuries, the relief of raised intracranial pressure and compression of the spinal cord, the eradication of infection (e.g.… …   The new mediacal dictionary

  • Neurosurgery (journal) — Neurosurgery   Abbreviated title (ISO) Neurosurgery Discipline Neurosurgery …   Wikipedia

  • neurosurgery — noun Date: 1904 surgery of nervous structures (as nerves, the brain, or the spinal cord) • neurosurgeon noun • neurosurgical adjective …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • neurosurgery — neurosurgeon /noor oh serr jeuhn, nyoor /, n. neurosurgical, adj. /noor oh serr jeuh ree, nyoor /, n. surgery of the brain or other nerve tissue. [1900 05; NEURO + SURGERY] * * * …   Universalium

  • neurosurgery — noun a) The surgical discipline focused on treating those central and peripheral nervous system diseases. b) Any surgical procedure performed on the brain; brain surgery …   Wiktionary

  • neurosurgery — Surgery of the nervous system. functional n. destruction or chronic excitation of a part of the brain to treat disordered behavior or function. * * * neu·ro·sur·gery sərj …   Medical dictionary

  • neurosurgery — n. surgery on the brain or any part of the nervous system (Medicine) nÊŠrÉ™ sÉœrdÊ’É™rɪ / njÊŠÉ™rəʊ sɜːd …   English contemporary dictionary

  • neurosurgery — noun surgery performed on the nervous system. Derivatives neurosurgeon noun neurosurgical adjective …   English new terms dictionary

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