Neurosurgery is a type of surgery that prevents, treats and manages disorders or diseases that affect the brain, spine, spinal cord, surrounding anatomy and peripheral nerves throughout the body. It may be performed on both adults and children.
Neurosurgery is performed by a neurosurgeon. A neurosurgeon is a doctor who diagnoses, treats and manages neurological conditions (conditions of the brain, spine, spinal cord and nerves). They may advise surgical or nonsurgical treatment and management, or both. They also help people to recover and rehabilitate from neurological conditions.
Spine surgery includes:
Brain surgery includes:
Nerve surgery includes:
Not all brain, spine or nerve conditions need neurosurgery. Nonsurgical treatment may involve resting, losing weight, physiotherapy, doing more exercise, radiotherapy, chemotherapy or neurosurgery. It may also be a combination of these. A neurosurgeon recommends treatment based on a person’s medical history and how a condition presents in their body.
When should I see a neurosurgeon?
You should see a neurosurgeon when your general practitioner advises you to.
If your neurosurgeon advises to treat your condition with surgery, they will help you prepare for it. They will also help you to recover and rehabilitate afterwards.
Sometimes, other specialised surgeons (such as plastic and reconstructive surgeons) and allied healthcare workers (such as occupational therapists and physiotherapists) may care for you too.
- Neurological Society of Australasia, Patient information.