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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. Sometimes, endovascular techniques rely on image-guided placement of small needles to treat lesions as well.

This minimally invasive approach often offers faster recovery times and less stress for your body when compared to open surgery.

Endovascular neurosurgery procedures include:

Open Neurovascular Surgery

Some diseases 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.

Hybrid Surgery & Advanced Technology

If a difficult or complex lesion requires, our dual-trained neurovascular surgeons can create a hybrid method that combines the two types of surgery.

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.

Common conditions treated with open neurovascular surgery include:

  • Aneurysm clipping
  • AVM resection
  • Cavernoma resection
  • EC-IC bypass surgery
  • Microvascular decompression
  • Moyamoya
  • Open thrombectomy

Collaboration Across the Neurosciences

Neurovascular surgeons work with expert teams in:

Articles, Videos, Podcasts

In the News

As reported in the Washington Post, Kenneth Liu, MD, saved a little boy whose symptoms mystified his parents and eluded doctors. Once diagnosed with pseudotumor cerebri, the boy underwent surgery at UVA; Liu inserted a stent to relieve the pressure in his brain. 
Read this dramatic story of one of our neurovascular surgeons at work.