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BCM - Baylor College of Medicine

Giving life to possible

Neurosurgery

Frequently Asked Questions

What is neurosurgery?

Neurosurgery is the surgical care of the brain and spinal cord. This includes many diseases and injuries of the brain, spinal cord, and nerves such as:

  • Cerebral hemorrhages
  • Cerebrovascular conditions including aneurysms and vascular malformations
  • Brain and spinal cord tumors
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal surgeries including laminectomies and fusions

What is a neurosurgeon?

A neurosurgeon is a physician who has met rigorous educational requirements including four hears of college, four years of medical school, a one-year general surgical internship, and six to seven years as a neurosurgical resident. The resident spends time in research, basic sciences, neurology, neuroradiology, neuropathology and neurosurgery.

This specialist:

  • Diagnoses and treats surgical disorders or injuries of the nervous system
  • Performs a detailed examination of the neurological structure of the body
  • Performs surgery on the brain, spinal cord, and nerves
  • Performs radiosurgery which is a way of treating brain abnormalities, tumors or other functional disorders with a precise delivery of a single high dose of radiation in a one-day session

Who sees a neurosurgeon?

You may need to see a neurosurgeon if you have been examined by a primary care physician and told that your symptoms are neurological in nature and require surgery. Your primary care physician will consult a neurosurgeon and schedule an appointment for an exam and possible tests. Once your exam and tests are completed, the neurosurgeon will work with you to determine the plan of care and schedule surgery if necessary.

What does neuroscience care involve?

Care for the neuroscience patient requires a multidisciplinary team approach. The neurosurgeon works as the team leader to provide the very latest in neurological care. The neuroscience team also includes:

Neuroscience registered nurses

Case management

Social workers

Chaplains

Respiratory therapists

Physical therapists

Occupational therapists

Speech pathologists

Neuroradiologists

Neurodiagnostic technicians

Physiatrist (rehabilitation physician)

Neuropsychologists

Where is the neuroscience patient cared for?

Neuroscience patients are cared for in both the inpatient and outpatient settings.

Inpatient Settings

  • Trauma 5 (emergency department)
  • Critical care (ICUs and neuro acute/stroke units)
  • General neuroscience unit
  • Acute rehabilitation

Outpatient Settings

  • Outpatient therapies
  • Outpatient clinics
  • Neuroscience specialty clinics
  • Support groups