What is a Neurosurgeon? Why You As a Patient Should Know

Did you know that there are only about 3,689 neurosurgeons in the U.S.? That means that there are only that many neurosurgeons available for 311 million people. Or in other terms, there’s only 1 neurosurgeon for every 84,300 people in the country.

As a patient, it’s important to know what a neurosurgeon does and how they can help you. We will provide an overview of what neurosurgeons do and explain why you should consult with one if you experience any neurological symptoms.

When it comes to surgery, most people don’t want to think about it until they absolutely have to. But if you do find yourself in need of surgery, it’s important to know what kind of doctor you’ll be seeing.

So, what is a neurosurgeon? Keep reading to learn more.

What Is A Neurosurgeon?

A neurosurgeon is a specialist who performs surgeries on the nervous system. This involves the surgical treatment of disorders that affect the brain, spine, and peripheral nerves. So, what does a neurosurgeon do? They focus on treating patients with trauma or other issues involving the nervous system.

There are also various sub-specialties within neurology from immunology and infectious diseases to oncology, behavior, and more. If you need to see a neurosurgeon it could be for a variety of things such as:

  • Spinal cord issues
  • Tumors
  • Blocked arteries
  • Aneurysms

Is There A Difference Between A Neurologist and A Neurosurgeon?

Unlike a neurologist, who is a general physician for disorders of the nervous system, a neurosurgeon has specialized training in surgery. When you’re thinking of, neurosurgeon vs neurologist, the main difference is that a Neurosurgeon operates, and neurologists don’t. Neurologists are trained in evaluating and developing a diagnosis.

So, both specialist roles are capable of diagnosing and treating conditions specific to the nervous system, but a neurosurgeon is the only one out of the two that can operate.

Is There Only One Type of Neurosurgeon?

No, actually there are multiple types of neurosurgeons. The type of neurosurgeon that you see will depend on the specific condition that is being treated.

You may be wondering, what does a neurosurgeon treat? For example, a pediatric neurosurgeon treats conditions that are specific to children, while a spinal neurosurgeon specializes in surgeries of the spine.

They could work within:

  • Pediatric neurosurgery
  • Neuro-oncology (tumors of the brain and spine)
  • Spinal surgery
  • Vascular Neurology (stroke, aneurysms, etc.)
  • Trauma surgery (head and spine injuries)
  • Epilepsy surgery
  • Functional neurosurgery

Neurosurgeons are highly trained and skilled professionals who undergo many years of rigorous education and training. They must be able to effectively communicate with patients and their families to ensure that they understand the risks and benefits of any proposed treatment.

Neurosurgeons work in close collaboration with other specialists such as a neurologist. They also work with oncologists, radiation therapists, and other professionals to provide the best possible care for their patients.

Stay Prepared

Now that we know the differences involved with, neurosurgeon vs neurologist, you should have a better idea of what to expect from either specialist. If you find yourself experiencing any neurological symptoms, it’s important to consult with a neurosurgeon as soon as possible.

They will be able to perform a physical examination and order any necessary tests to determine the cause of your symptoms.

If surgery is deemed necessary, the neurosurgeon will discuss all of your treatment options with you and help you make an informed decision about what’s best for you. Found this to be interesting? Continue reading more of our content.