Frequently Asked Questions


What is Neurosurgery?

Neurosurgery is the surgical care of the brain and spinal cord. When patients hear the word neurosurgery, they usually think of brain surgery. While brain surgery is an important aspect of neurosurgery, it is only a portion of it. Neurosurgery is the medical specialty which encompasses the entire nervous system, consisting of the brain, spinal cord, spinal column as well as the nerves in the extremities.

What is a Neurosurgeon?

A neurosurgeon is a physician who has undergone rigorous education which includes 4 years of college, 4 years of medical school, one year of general surgery internship, and 6 to seven years as a neurosurgical resident. During the residency program, the resident is involved in neurosurgery, neuroradiology, neurology, neuropathology, and research.

What types of surgery do Neurosurgeons perform?

Neurosurgeons treat patients for brain tumors, brain hemorrhages, cerebrovascular conditions, trauma to the brain and spine, spine tumors, neck pain and low back pain due to degenerative processes, tumors, infection, trauma, and others.

Do Neurosurgeons provide non-surgical care?

Yes. They evaluate the patients and then decide the appropriate treatment. For the spine, that often includes medication, physical therapy, pain management, and others. Surgery is often necessary for only a small number of spine pain patients.

Neurosurgeon or Orthopedic Surgeon: What is the difference?

Neurosurgeons are taught non-surgical and surgical treatment of spine disorders during a six or seven year residency. By the time they finish with the program, all neurosurgeons have performed and assisted in hundreds of spine procedures. By contrast, only some orthopedic programs have a spine volume comparable to the neurosurgical programs. In addition, only neurosurgeons are trained during their program to perform certain spine operations. These include those abnormalities inside the lining of the spinal canal, called the dura. Therefore spinal cord tumors, arachnoid cysts, tumors at the base of the skull and upper cervical spine, nerve root tumors, and congenital lesions. are in the province of the Neurosurgeon. Neurosurgeons take this skill and experience and apply it to other spinal disorders, such as herniated discs and stenosis.

Community Hospital or University Hospital. What is the difference?

Our Community Hospitals normally provide more personal and intimate care while still utilizing state-of-art medicine. The primary surgeon is a University-trained, board-certified neurosurgeon and is usually assisted by a University-trained, board-certified neurosurgeon. There are no residents-in-training or medical students coordinating your care. Nor are our patients subjected to research or experimental care. Finally, all follow-up care can be performed in the community. If, at any time, conventional treatment is not fully effective, or if unusual situations are present, then referrals to the University setting can be initiated.