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Neurosciences and Behavioral Health Center

Neurovascular Surgery

Heather got back on the horse after healing from her chiari malformation
The chiari malformation in Heather's brain took
her off her horse. Find out how UVA's treatment
helped get her back on the horse again

Damaged, injured or malformed blood vessels can cause bleeding or circulation problems that can result in strokes, headaches and other symptoms. Neurovascular surgery uses open or minimally invasive surgical techniques to treat problems with the blood vessels of the brain or spine and spinal cord.

Conditions that neurovascular surgery evaluates and treats include:

Types of Neurovascular Surgery

Our neurovascular surgeons are dual-trained, or hybrid neurosurgeons. This means that they perform both endovascular (minimally invasive) and open neurosurgical procedures.

Endovascular Neurosurgery

Sometimes called neurointerventional neurosurgery or interventional neuroradiology, endovascular neurosurgery is a subset of neurovascular surgery that relies on minimally invasive procedures coupled with advanced imaging techniques to deliver care to the nervous system. Typically catheter-based, these procedures treat aneurysms, stroke and other blood vessel conditions in the head, neck and spine.

This minimally invasive approach often offers faster recovery times and less stress for your body when compared to open surgery, but it is only appropriate for some conditions.

Endovascular neurosurgery procedures include:

Open Neurovascular Surgery

Some diseases, including some aneurysms or vascular malformations, require an open surgical approach that allows the surgeon to directly repair the problem. In these cases, open surgery is a safer and more effective method compared to the minimally invasive alternative.

Common conditions treated with open neurovascular surgery include:

  • Aneurysm clipping
  • AVM or fistula resection
  • Cavernoma resection
  • EC-IC bypass surgery
  • Microvascular decompression
  • Moyamoya
  • Open thrombectomy
  • Cerebral revascularization for tumors

Hybrid Surgery & Advanced Technology

Some complex lesions require advanced technologies, such as hybrid surgery. In these cases, our dual-trained neurovascular surgeons can use a combination of surgery and endovascular techniques to treat your disease.  Our dual-trained surgeons are able to perform microsurgery (including bypass surgery) and intervention, and can combine these techniques to address challenging diseases.

At UVA, we have a hybrid neurovascular operating room where we can perform both endovascular and open surgical procedures. This room features an intraoperative MRI that allows for real-time MR imaging during surgery, as well as an angiography suite where the surgeon can visualize blood vessels while performing microsurgery. 

Collaboration Across the Neurosciences

Neurovascular surgeons work with expert teams in: