Neurosurgeons in Guatemala perform surgical treatment including education, prevention, diagnosis, evaluation, treatment, intensive care and rehabilitation, for diseases affecting the nervous system. This mainly covers the area of the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerve disorders. The latter is formed by the nerve ganglia and nerves, which extend outside the central nervous system and the vegetative nervous system, which is responsible for regulating the internal activity of our body automatically.

 

What conditions do neurosurgeons treat?

4 of the most common conditions treated by neurosurgeons are:

 

  • Back pain
  • Herniated Disks
  • Head trauma
  • Brain Tumor

 

 

Back pain is extremely common and can create chronic disability. Low back and back pain is one of the main causes of sick leave. A small number of patients with low back, neck or back pain will benefit from a surgical procedure. These cases will not respond favourably to other types of treatment and it is essential to be able to identify them. The neurosurgeon can perform minimally invasive practices on patients who are not candidates for surgery or as an adjunct to surgery. These are methods such as root block or facet block, a procedure performed through needles to improve pain control and to anesthetize specific areas of the spine.

Herniated disks are a problem of the disks, cartilage cushions, which are located between the vertebrae, which form the spine. Inside the spinal disc is a soft, gelatinous core, encapsulated in a rubbery, harder exterior. Also called ruptured or slipped discs, herniated discs are caused when a portion of the nucleus is pushed outward through a tear in the ring. It is the ring that encapsulates the nucleus. A herniated disk can occur anywhere in the spine and irritate a nearby nerve. Depending on the location of the herniated disk, it can cause weakness in the arms or legs, numbness, or a lot of pain. Some people may not have symptoms of a herniated disk. 

Head trauma is mainly caused by a violent impact or blow to the body or head. If an object enters the brain tissue, such as a piece of broken skull or a bullet, it can also cause a traumatic brain injury. Mild head trauma can temporarily affect brain cells. Severe traumatic brain injury can result in torn tissue, bruising, bleeding, and other physical contusions in the brain. These injuries can result in death or long-term complications.

A brain tumor is the development of abnormal cells located in brain tissue. Tumors can be noncancerous or fast-growing cancers. They may be primary, meaning they begin growing in the brain, or metastatic, meaning they originated elsewhere in the body and reached the brain through the blood. Brain tumors may have several symptoms, including: nausea and vomiting, changes in the ability to speak, hear, or see, problems with balance or walking, problems with thinking or memory, and seizures. Treatment may include neurosurgery, chemotherapy, radiation and targeted therapy. Most people receive a combination of these.

 

What treatments and procedures exist in neurosurgery?

3 of the most common treatments and procedures performed by neurosurgeons are:

 

  • Neurosurgery
  • Microsurgery
  • Interventional Neuroradiology

 

 

Neurosurgery involves both surgical and non-surgical practice, which allows entry into deep areas of the brain through a biopsy needle. Using this needle, brain samples and brain lesions are taken or liquid contents are removed with extreme precision. Neurosurgery is practiced on pediatric and adult patients with certain conditions of the nervous system, both of the meninges, membranes of connective tissue that cover the entire central nervous system; and of the brain, blood vessels, the base of the skull, in addition to endovascular treatment of abnormal processes of intracranial and extracranial vessels that supply the spinal cord and brain; certain spinal cord injuries and disorders of the spinal and cranial nerves.

Microsurgery is the surgical practice performed with a microscope or magnifying glass to increase the surgeons’ range of vision in parts of the body that require it and to be able to repair or operate on them with greater guarantees. This technique is particularly important in the reconstruction of tissues, since it allows for the joining of nerves and blood vessels after a transplant has been performed. It also allows us to solve diseases and problems in the most delicate organs, such as the brain or the eyes. Additionally, microsurgery has made it possible to access incredible advances in the area of oncology, since most tumors must be removed by practicing these techniques.

Interventional neuroradiology, or image-guided therapy, is the use of imaging techniques to guide physicians in treating problems in the lymph vessels and blood vessels. Interventional neuroradiology is used in patients who have a vascular abnormality or tumor that needs to be treated through image-guided therapy in addition to traditional surgical treatment. It is also used in situations of aneurysms or narrowing in the blood vessels. If a patient has an accumulation of pus or fluid, this technique can be used to safely place drainage tubes. Interventional neuroradiology can guide the performance of biopsies when an unknown tumor mass is detected. These treatments are minimally aggressive, as they only require making small cuts, as well as being less painful than traditional surgery. The recovery time of the treated persons is usually short, and the practice does not leave scars or they are very small. Usually, the treatment of interventional neuroradiology does not require hospitalization.