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Skull Base Surgery
Skull Base Surgery The skull is composed of bones and cartilage that form the face and the cranium, which surrounds the brain. You can feel the bones of the cranium on top of the skull. The five bones that form the bottom, or base, of the cranium also form the eye socket, roof of the nasal cavity, some of the sinuses, and the bones that surround the inner ear. The skull base is a crowded and complicated area with openings that the spinal cord, many blood vessels, and nerves all pass through. Skull base ...
Endoscopic Pituitary Surgery
Endoscopic Pituitary Surgery Endoscopic pituitary surgery, also called transsphenoidal endoscopic surgery, is the most common surgery used to remove pituitary tumors. The pituitary gland is located at the bottom of your brain and above the inside of your nose. It is responsible for regulating most of your body's hormones, the chemical messengers that travel through your blood. Endoscopic pituitary surgery is done with an instrument called an endoscope. An endoscope is a thin, rigid tube that has a micro...
Electromyography (EMG)
Electromyography (EMG) (Myogram) Procedure overview What is EMG? Electromyography (EMG) measures muscle response or electrical activity in response to a nerve’s stimulation of the muscle. The test is used to help detect neuromuscular abnormalities. During the test, one or more small needles (also called electrodes) are inserted through the skin into the muscle. The electrical activity picked up by the electrodes is then displayed on an oscilloscope (a monitor that displays electrical activity in the for...
Electronystagmography (ENG)
Electronystagmography (ENG) (Electrooculography) Procedure overview What is electronystagmography? Electronystagmography (ENG) is used to evaluate people with vertigo (a false sense of spinning or motion that can cause dizziness) and certain other disorders that affect hearing and vision. Electrodes are placed at locations above and below the eye to record electrical activity. By measuring the changes in the electrical field within the eye, ENG can detect nystagmus (involuntary rapid eye movement) in re...
Evoked Potentials Studies
Evoked Potentials Studies (Evoked Brain Potentials, Evoked Responses, Visual Evoked Response [VER], Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response [BAER], Auditory Brainstem Evoked Potentials [ABEP] or alternatively termed Brainstem Auditory Evoked Potentials [BAEP], Somatosensory Evoked Response [SER or SSEP]) Procedure overview What is an evoked potentials study? Evoked potentials studies measure electrical activity in the brain in response to stimulation of sight, sound, or touch. Stimuli delivered to the brain ...
Lumbar Puncture (LP)
Lumbar Puncture (LP) (Spinal Tap, Spinal Puncture, CSF Collection) Procedure overview What is a lumbar puncture? A lumbar puncture (LP), also known as a spinal tap, is a diagnostic and/or therapeutic procedure performed by a doctor. The procedure is performed by inserting a hollow needle into the subarachnoid space in the lumbar area (lower back) of the spinal column. The subarachnoid space is the canal in the spinal column that carries cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) between the brain and the spinal cord. CS...
Nerve Conduction Velocity (NCV)
Nerve Conduction Velocity (NCV) (Electroneurography, EneG, Nerve Conduction Studies) Procedure overview What is nerve conduction velocity? Nerve conduction velocity (NCV) test--also called a nerve conduction study (NCS)--is a measurement of the speed of conduction of an electrical impulse through a nerve. NCV can determine nerve damage and destruction. During the test, the nerve is stimulated, usually with surface electrode patches attached to the skin. Two electrodes are placed on the skin over the ner...
Electroencephalogram (EEG)
Electroencephalogram (EEG) (Electroencephalography, Brain Wave Test) Procedure overview What is an EEG? An electroencephalogram detects abnormalities in the brain waves or electrical activity of the brain. During the procedure, electrodes consisting of small metal discs with thin wires are pasted on the scalp. The electrodes detect tiny electrical charges that result from the activity of the brain cells. The charges are amplified and appear as a graph on a computer screen or as a recording that may be p...
Sympathectomy
Sympathectomy (Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy, ETS, thoracodorsal sympathectomy) Procedure overview Deep inside your chest, a structure called the sympathetic nerve chain runs up and down along your spine. During a sympathectomy, a surgeon cuts or clamps this nerve chain. This keeps nerve signals from passing through it. Reasons for the procedure This procedure is used to treat a condition called hyperhidrosis or heavy sweating in the palms of the hands, the face, the underarms, and sometimes the fee...
Craniotomy
Craniotomy Procedure overview What is a craniotomy? A craniotomy is the surgical removal of part of the bone from the skull to expose the brain. Specialized tools are used to remove the section of bone called the bone flap . The bone flap is temporarily removed, then replaced after the brain surgery has been performed. Some craniotomy procedures may utilize the guidance of computers and imaging (magnetic resonance imaging [MRI] or computerized tomography [CT] scans) to reach the precise location within ...
Deep Brain Stimulation
Deep Brain Stimulation What is deep brain stimulation? Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a type of therapy that uses electrical stimulation to treat Parkinson’s disease (PD), essential tremor, multiple sclerosis, and certain other neurological conditions. DBS can be effective in treating movement problems such as tremors, stiffness, difficulty in walking, and slowed movement. Doctors may use DBS when medications have become less effective and/or when side effects of the medications interfere with daily ac...
Endovascular Neurosurgery and Interventional Neuroradiology
Endovascular Neurosurgery and Interventional Neuroradiology Neurosurgery is a branch of surgery that treats conditions and diseases of the brain and nervous system. Radiology is a medical specialty that helps diagnose and treat conditions and diseases using various radiology techniques. Endovascular neurosurgery is a subspecialty within neurosurgery that uses catheters and radiology to diagnose and treat various conditions and diseases of the central nervous system. The central nervous system is made up...
Cervical Disk Replacement Surgery
Cervical Disk Replacement Surgery (Artificial Cervical Disk Replacement) Procedure overview Your cervical spine is made up of the seven bones, called cervical vertebrae, stacked on top of each other in your neck area. The cervical disks are the cushions that lie between the cervical vertebrae and act as shock absorbers to allow your neck to move freely. Your cervical spine also forms a protective tunnel for the upper part of your spinal cord to pass through. As your spinal cord passes through this tunne...
Endovascular Coiling
Endovascular Coiling (Coiling, Coil Embolization, Detachable Coil Embolization, Endovascular Embolization, Intracranial Aneurysm Repair) Procedure overview What is endovascular coiling? Endovascular coiling, also called coiling or endovascular embolization, is a procedure performed to block blood flow into an aneurysm (a weakened area in the wall of an artery). An aneurysm in the brain may be called a cerebral aneurysm, a brain aneurysm, or an intracranial aneurysm. Click Image to Enlarge Preventing blo...
Gamma Knife
Gamma Knife (Stereotactic radiosurgery, Gamma Knife surgery) Procedure overview What is Gamma Knife radiosurgery? Gamma Knife radiosurgery, also called stereotactic radiosurgery, is a very precise form of therapeutic radiology. Even though it is called surgery, a Gamma Knife procedure does not involve actual surgery, nor is the Gamma Knife really a knife at all. It uses beams of highly focused gamma rays to treat small- to medium-sized lesions, usually in the brain. Many beams of gamma radiation join to...
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Wound Healing
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Wound Healing (Hyperbaric Medicine, Hyperbarics) Hyperbaric oxygen therapy involves exposing the body to 100 percent oxygen at a pressure that is greater than what you normally experience. Wounds need oxygen to heal properly, and exposing a wound to 100 percent oxygen can, in many cases, speed the healing process. Procedure overview Hyperbaric oxygenated therapy can be done in a number of ways. It can be given in a special type of room called a hyperbaric oxygen chamber and...
X-rays of the Spine, Neck, or Back
X-rays of the Spine, Neck, or Back (Cervical, Thoracic, Lumbar, Sacral, or Coccygeal X-ray Studies) Procedure overview What are X-rays of the spine, neck, or back? X-rays use invisible electromagnetic energy beams to produce images of internal tissues, bones, and organs on film. Standard X-rays are performed for many reasons, including diagnosing tumors or bone injuries. X-rays are made by using external radiation to produce images of the body, its organs, and other internal structures for diagnostic pu...
X-rays of the Skull
X-rays of the Skull (Skull X-ray Studies) Procedure overview What are X-rays of the skull? X-rays use invisible electromagnetic energy beams to produce images of internal tissues, bones, and organs on film. Standard X-rays are performed for many reasons, including diagnosing tumors or bone injuries. X-rays are made by using external radiation to produce images of the body, its organs, and other internal structures for diagnostic purposes. X-rays pass through body tissues onto specially treated plates (s...
Myelogram
Myelogram (Myelography) Procedure overview What is a myelogram? A myelogram, also known as myelography, is a diagnostic imaging procedure performed by a radiologist. It combines the use of a contrast substance with X-rays or computed tomography (CT) to evaluate abnormalities of the spinal canal, including the spinal cord, nerve roots, and other tissues. The contrast "dye" is injected into the spinal column before the procedure. This substance, or dye, causes the tissue under study to be visible. After t...
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the Spine and Brain
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the Spine and Brain (MRI Scan of the Spine, MRI Scan of the Brain) Procedure overview What is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)? Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a diagnostic procedure that uses a combination of a large magnet, radiofrequencies, and a computer to produce detailed images of organs and structures within the body. How does an MRI scan work? The MRI machine is a large, cylindrical (tube-shaped) machine that creates a strong magnetic field around the pat...
Positron Emission Tomography (PET Scan)
Positron Emission Tomography (PET Scan) (PET Imaging) Procedure overview What is PET? Positron emission tomography (PET) is a specialized radiology procedure used to examine various body tissues to identify certain conditions. PET may also be used to follow the progress of the treatment of certain conditions. While PET is most commonly used in the fields of neurology, oncology, and cardiology, applications in other fields are currently being studied. PET is a type of nuclear medicine procedure. This mea...
Computed Tomography (CT or CAT) Scan of the Spine
Computed Tomography (CT or CAT) Scan of the Spine (Spinal CT Scan, CT of the Spine or Back) Procedure overview What is a CT or CAT scan of the spine? Computed tomography (CT or CAT scan) is a noninvasive diagnostic imaging procedure that uses a combination of X-rays and computer technology to produce horizontal, or axial, images (often called slices) of the body. A CT scan shows detailed images of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, fat, and organs. CT scans are more detailed than standa...
Computed Tomography (CT or CAT) Scan of the Brain
Computed Tomography (CT or CAT) Scan of the Brain (Head CT Scan, Intracranial CT Scan) Procedure overview What is a CT or CAT scan of the brain? Computed tomography (CT or CAT scan) is a noninvasive diagnostic imaging procedure that uses a combination of X-rays and computer technology to produce horizontal, or axial, images (often called slices) of the body. A CT scan shows detailed images of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, fat, and organs. CT scans are more detailed than standard X-...
Cerebral Arteriogram
Cerebral Arteriogram (Cerebral Angiography, Cerebral Angiogram) Procedure overview What is a cerebral arteriogram? An arteriogram, also called an angiogram, is an X-ray image of the blood vessels. It is performed to evaluate various vascular conditions, such as an aneurysm (ballooning of a blood vessel), stenosis (narrowing of a blood vessel), or blockages. A cerebral arteriogram is an arteriogram of the blood vessels of the brain. How is an arteriogram performed? An arteriogram involves inserting an ar...
Lumbar Disk Replacement
Lumbar Disk Replacement (Artificial Disk Replacement in the Lumbar Spine) Procedure overview A lumbar disk replacement is a type of back surgery. It involves replacing a worn or degenerated disk in the lower part of your spine with an artificial replacement made of medical-grade metal or a combination of medical-grade metal and medical-grade plastic. Lumbar disk replacement is a relatively new procedure to relieve back pain. It gained FDA approval in 2004. It is generally seen as an alternative to the m...
Carotid Artery Duplex Scan
Carotid Artery Duplex Scan (Carotid Ultrasound, Vascular Ultrasound Study, Carotid Artery Doppler Sonography) Procedure overview A carotid artery duplex scan is a type of vascular ultrasound study done to assess the blood flow of the arteries that supply blood from the heart through the neck to the brain. There are six carotid arteries--the right and left common carotid arteries, which divide and form the right and left internal carotid arteries and the right and left external carotid arteries. One pair...