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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:
- Arteriovenous malformations of the brain and spine
- Atherosclerotic disease of the blood vessels of the neck and brain
- Brain hemorrhage
- Carotid dissection
- Carotid stenosis
- Cavernous vascular malformations (cavernomas)
- Cerebral aneurysm
- Chiari malformation
- Dural arteriovenous fistulae
- Idiopathic intracranial hypertension
- Intracerebral hemorrhage
- Pseudotumor cerebri
- Spinal aneurysm
- Subarachnoid hemorrhage
- Vertebral compression fracture
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.
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:
- Balloon angioplasty
- Balloon kyphoplasty
- Carotid stenting with angioplasty
- Coiling and/or stenting for cerebral aneurysms
- Flow diversion
- Endovascular embolization (also embolization of vascular feeders, spinal, percutaneous sac)
- Thrombectomy for blood clots
- Vasospasm medication infusion
- WADA (single hemisphere angiogram)
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
- Open thrombectomy
Collaboration Across the Neurosciences
Neurovascular surgeons work with expert teams in: