What is Neurosurgery
Neurosurgery, also known as neurological surgery, refers to the treatment, management, prevention, and rehabilitation of disorders and diseases of the nervous system. It often includes the surgical management of spine-related disorders.
Apart from the spinal cord, the nervous system includes the brain, cerebrovascular system, and peripheral nerves. For the same reasons, neurosurgery is sometimes also referred to as brain surgery.
The most common conditions treated under general neurosurgery include those related to neuro-trauma and neuro-emergency. Treatment facilities for such conditions are offered at all leading hospitals for neurosurgery in India.
Over the period of last few years, several specialized branches of neurosurgery have emerged that cater to the needs of patients with advanced, difficult, or special conditions. These specialized branches are practised at more sophisticated and advanced hospitals by some of the most experienced and skilled neurosurgeons in India. These hospitals are equipped with the latest state-of-art medical technology and have neurosurgeons with advanced training experience leading these sub-specialities.
Some of the specialized branches of general neurosurgery include the following:
· Endovascular neurosurgery: This branch deals with the diagnosis and treatment of disorders related to the central nervous system, which including the brain and the spinal cord.
· Skull base surgery: This is a specialized branch that makes use of minimally invasive technology to treat cancerous or non-cancerous growths at the base of the skull or on the upper side of the spinal column.
· Spinal neurosurgery: This deals with the diagnosis and treatment of disorders related to any part of the vertebral column.
· Pediatric neurosurgery: This branch of neurosurgery focuses on the treatment of neurological conditions (stroke, congenital disorders, cancer, bleeding, and seizures) in children and infants.
· Peripheral nerve surgery: This deals with the management of disorders and diseases affecting the peripheral nervous system, which includes the nerves and the ganglia located outside the brain and the spinal cord.
· Oncological neurosurgery: This deals with the treatment of cancerous and non-cancerous tumors affecting the central or peripheral nervous system in both children and adults.
· Epilepsy surgery: This branch of neurosurgery deals with surgical removal of small divisions of the brain to stop or lessen the spread and activity of seizures.
Common Conditions Treated in Neurosurgery
The top doctors for neurosurgery in India specialize in the treatment of the following disorders, in addition to other neurological conditions:
· Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: This is a common neurological disorder characterized by numbness, weakness, or a tingling sensation in the hand because of excessive pressure on the medical nerve located on the wrist.
· Pinched Nerves: Nerve compression is also known as pinched nerves. It may lead to pain and numbness. Nerves may get pinched because of a number of reasons and are relieved through surgical decompression and physical therapy.
· Spinal Stenosis and Instability: Spinal stenosis refers to the narrowing of intervertebral discs, which may put an excessive pressure on the spinal cord and other nerves. It commonly affects the lower back and neck. Spinal instability, on the other hand, refers to the inappropriate movement of the vertebrae due to disc degeneration. It may lead to bulging. Both these conditions can affect any part of the vertebral column – cervical, lumbar, or thoracic.
· Brain or Spinal Infection: An infection in the bone, tissues, or fluid surrounding the brain or the spine is a serious condition that must be treated immediately.
· Herniated, Slipped, or Ruptured Disc: The vertebral discs may rupture or move from its original position (slipped disc), thus making the soft central part to bulge into the outer casing (herniation). This may put an excessive pressure on the spinal cord, leading to severe pain and immobility.
· Brain Tumors: A cancerous or non-cancerous growth may take place in any part of the brain tissue or spine.
· Stroke: It is a medical emergency characterized by the stoppage of blood flow to the brain. It may result because of a presence of a blockage or a blood clot in the artery that supplies blood to the brain.
· Hydrocephalus: The accumulation of cerobrospinal fluid (CSF) in the brain is known as hydrocephalus. It may create an excessive pressure inside the brain and eventually cause brain damage.
· Cerebral Aneurysm: A weakness in the walls of the cerebral artery or vein, resulting in a bulge, is also known as a cerebral aneurysm.
Popular Treatment Options
The best neurosurgery hospitals in India conduct all types of procedures that come under this specialty. For the simplest to the most complex procedures, the top neurosurgeons in India are thoroughly trained and skilled in conducting all types of surgeries related to the brain, spinal cord, and other parts of the nervous system.
The following are some of the most common and popular neurosurgery procedure conducted across all major neurosurgery hospitals in India:
· Discectomy: A discectomy is conducted to remove the herniated disc material compressing the spinal cord. It helps eliminate pain and immobility resulting due to spinal decompressions resulting due to herniation.
· Laminectomy: It is also known as decompression surgery. During this procedure, the surgeon removes the lamina, which the posterior part of the vertebra that covers the spinal cord. It helps create space between the vertebrae and thus, relieves pain due to spinal stenosis.
· Spinal Fusion: The fusion of two or more vertebrae is known as spinal fusion. This is done to restrict the movement of vertebrae and prevent back pain. The fused bones eventually heal and form a single long bone.
· Debridement: The surgical removal of infected, dead, or damaged tissue is known as debridement.
· VP Shunt: Ventriculoperitoneal shunt, also known as VP shunt or CSF shunt, placement is surgically conducted to relieve the pressure on the brain resulting due to an accumulation of excessive CSF fluid.
· Brain or Spinal Tumor Resection: This is a surgical technique used to excise benign or cancerous tumors around the spinal cord and the brain. The complete tumor is dissected and a sample is sent for further pathological examination.
· Craniotomy: It is a special procedure wherein the flap of the brain is temporarily opened to access the inner tissues. It is mostly conducted for the treatment of traumatic brain injury and lesions or to implant a device for deep brain stimulation treatment in the case of Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy.
Advances in Neurosurgery
· Gamma Knife Surgery: This advanced technique is a type of stereotactic brain surgery (neurosurgery) that lets radiation oncologists target powerful Gamma beams to precisely destroy targeted areas of the brain, including those affected by cancer or lesions. It is a minimally invasive technique that eliminated the need to breach the skull to access the affected tissue.
· Microsurgical Technique: A majority of neurosurgical procedures, including craniotomy and discectomy, are now performed with the help of microsurgical techniques. Gone are the days when surgeons had to open the skull and lower back of the patients to access the affected parts of the brain or spine. The use of microsurgical technique now allows the surgeons to conduct minimally invasive surgery, which ensures quick healing time, minimal discomfort, and faster recovery.
· Minimally invasive Spinal and Intracranial Surgery: A majority of spine and brain surgeries can now be conducted in a minimally invasive manner. It involves the use of small incisions and a series of guided tools that let the surgeons perform the job from the outside. It results in less tissue damage, fewer complications, minimal recovery times, and quick healing.
The Status of Neurosurgery in India
The best hospitals in India are globally renowned for their state-of-the-art infrastructure and advanced facilities. There is no technology that is not available in the Indian hospitals for the management of the simplest to the most complex cases.
The top hospitals for neurosurgery in India are no different. From the most advanced Gamma Knife Radiosurgery system to the deep brain stimulation treatment, all types of advanced surgical technology is available at the renowned neurosurgery hospitals in India.
All types of neurosurgery procedures are performed in well-equipped operation theatres with the advanced monitoring system and computers. The neurosurgeons in India are well-trained and experienced in the use of the most advanced technology that helps them all the way from surgical planning to making clinical decisions regarding the best treatment approach.
The following are some of the most advanced neurosurgical technologies available at the best hospitals in India:
· CyberKnife treatment
· Stereotactic radiosurgery
· Neuro-intensive care for neurosurgery patients
· Robotic neurorehabilitation like locomat
· Stereotactic biopsy and aspiration
· Gamma Knife technology
· Deep brain stimulation