For most serious neurological conditions, every minute matters. You need treatment right away from a team of highly trained neurology experts. You’ll find it at Baystate Medical Center, home to the region’s only neurointerventional suite.
What Is Neurointerventional Surgery?
Neurointerventional surgery is a type of minimally invasive surgery for certain types of brain and spine conditions. Minimally invasive procedures use much smaller incisions than traditional open surgery. For procedures in the brain, a catheter (a long, thin tube), is inserted through a small incision in the groin and threaded up through the blood vessels to the problem area in the brain. For spinal problems, a small incision is made at the site of the problem. Using small tubes, the doctors can deliver medication or carry out treatment using small medical devices.
Neurointerventional surgery is performed by subspecialists from several medical fields – neurology, neurosurgery, or radiology – who have an additional two years of training in vascular neurology or neuroradiology.
Neurointerventional surgeons use sophisticated medical imaging to guide their surgical instruments. Some of the advanced medical imaging tests our team uses:
- CT (computed tomography) scans
- MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans
Neurointerventional procedures may be performed on an emergency basis, as in the case with a stroke, or they may be scheduled for less urgent conditions.
Benefits of Neurointerventional Surgery
Because neurointerventional procedures don’t require the large incisions necessary for traditional surgery, you’ll experience:
- Faster recovery
- Generally shorter hospital stay
- Less pain after surgery
- Less scarring
However, not everyone is a candidate for neurointerventional surgery. Your care team will consider the location, size, and anatomy of your vessels before deciding what type of procedure will be the better option.
Conditions We Treat with Neurointerventional Surgery
Our team can treat many neurological conditions with neurointerventional surgery, such as:
- Arteriovenous malformation (AVM) and arteriovenous fistula (abnormal connections between arteries and veins)
- Brain bleeding
- Carotid stenosis (a narrowing of the carotid artery, which carries blood to your brain)
- Cerebral aneurysm
- Head and neck tumors
- Intracranial atherosclerosis (narrowing or blockage of the arteries that supply your brain with blood)