Neurosurgery as such is a branch of surgery which treats diseases & conditions of brain & the entire nervous system associated with it. Radiology basically is a medical specialty which helps in diagnosing & treating diseases & conditions by utilizing various radiology techniques. Endovascular neurosurgery forms a subspecialty within neurosurgery which uses radiology & catheters so as to diagnose & treat various diseases & conditions pertaining to the central nervous system. Central nervous system embodies the brain along with the spinal cord. Endovascular neurosurgery medical specialty is also known as Neurointerventional Surgery. Interventional Neuroradiology happens to be a subspecialty within radiology which involves radiology & catheters for diagnosis & treatment of neurological diseases & conditions.
The basic term ‘endovascular’ literally means “inside a blood vessel”. Endovascular neurosurgery utilizes tools which pass through blood vessels in order to diagnose & treat various conditions & diseases rather than using the open surgery method. Surgeons often use radiology images during endovascular neurosurgery so as to help them see parts of the body which are involved in the treatment procedure. Surgeons within this specialty also diagnose & treat various conditions of spinal cord utilizing similar techniques, but may not perform them through a blood vessel. These type of procedures are known as ‘minimally invasive’ simply because they normally require just a tiny incision for operation instead of larger incisions which are necessarily required in open surgery procedures.
Doctors specializing in endovascular neurosurgery require specific training in both radiology & neurosurgery. Therefore, after completion of a neurosurgery residency they will have to undergo a fellowship program in endovascular neurosurgery in order to qualify. Neurosurgeons may also be board certified in neurosurgery depending if there is a board certified specialty in endovascular neurosurgery within the country they are practicing. Doctors specializing in interventional neuroradiology also require to be trained in both, radiology & neurosurgery or neurology. Therefore, after a successful radiology residency they will be required to complete a fellowship in interventional neuroradiology in order to qualify as an endovascular neurosurgeon. Radiologists may also be board certified in neuroradiology through the board of radiology which is available within the country they practice.
Common endovascular neurosurgical procedures performed by endovascular neurosurgery & interventional neuroradiology include the following.
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