What is a neurosurgeon?

A neurosurgeon is a physician who specializes in the diagnosis and surgical treatment of disorders of the central and peripheral nervous system.

The neurosurgeon intervenes to treat pathologies related to the brain, spinal cord, nerves and spine, i.e., he operates to treat congenital anomalies, trauma, tumors, brain infections, vascular or spinal disorders, strokes or degenerative diseases of the spine.

In the course of his career, the neurosurgeon is required to perform incredibly complex and risky surgeries on the brain, which explains why, in addition to long and complex studies, manual dexterity and perfect coordination between the eye and the hand are essential pre-requisites to become a neurosurgeon.

What does the neurosurgeon do?

The area of intervention of a neurosurgeon is quite large. For problems related to back pain or trauma to the spine or brain, the neurosurgeon operates for cases of:

This list is not exhaustive and only concerns pathologies of the spine or cervical spine.

The neurosurgeon also treats trauma to the brain and peripheral nervous system.

Wikipedia provides a complete list of conditions treated by a neurosurgeon.

By going through this list, there is really something to wonder how an organism as complex as the human being could have been created, and by whom!

Neurosurgeon: how many years of study?

Between basic studies, specialized studies, the type of specialization chosen & hospital internships, it will take a minimum of 11 to 12 years of study to become a neurosurgeon.

As neurosurgery is a discipline that uses advanced technology, the training of the neurosurgeon continues virtually throughout his career.

Neurosurgeon: or neurologist?

For back problems, it’s the neurosurgeon you should see, but for a problem in the brain? Which one to consult?

Both treat patients with nervous system disorders or injuries, but what is the difference and where do they overlap?

The neurologist does not operate and provides drug treatments.
For the first consultation and unless it is an emergency, the neurologist should be consulted.

The neurologist is able to prescribe an MRI and follow up on the results.

If the MRI shows a brain tumor or a problem that requires surgery, the patient is usually referred to a neurosurgeon.

Neurosurgeon: a vocation more than a profession

Apart from the undeniably fascinating side, the job of a neurosurgeon is an extremely demanding, trying, stressful job, on several levels.

A day that starts at 5 a.m., during which an operation to remove a brain tumour, a disc prosthesis or a consultation is planned, is likely to be disrupted by one or another sudden emergency: a patient to be treated urgently for a stroke or a ruptured aneurysm and who needs to be attended to immediately.

In addition to operations, consultations and diagnoses, the neurosurgeon’s day also includes meetings with the other doctors in his unit.
It is not uncommon for other departments in the hospital to call on his knowledge to give an opinion on a particular case.

One of the daily tasks of the neurosurgeon is to meet with the patient’s family and friends to keep them informed of the results of the operation and the progress of the situation.

It is not uncommon for a neurosurgeon’s day to end at “noon“.

In addition to outstanding dexterity and perfect hand-eye coordination, the neurosurgeon is someone who possesses great resistance to pressure, stress, and the ability to make important decisions quickly.

More than a profession, neurosurgery is often considered a vocation.