What are the Most Challenging Aspects of Neurosurgery?

About 22.6 million patients suffer from neurological disorders or injuries each year that warrant the help of a neurosurgeon. Of those, 13.8 million will require surgery.

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What are the Most Challenging Aspects of Neurosurgery?
2 Min Read July 1st, 2022

Neurosurgery is one of the most complex medical fields and is often compared to astrophysics or rocket science. The main reason behind neurosurgery’s difficulty is that it is necessary to have an interdisciplinary combination of neurology, biochemistry, biology, and physiology when working with a patient suffering from a neurological disorder. 

According to the Miami Neurosurgery Ceda Orthopedic Group, neurosurgery requires a heightened level of precision, skill, confidence, talent, and leadership, which can be demanding compared to other medical specialties. Here are some additional reasons why neurosurgery can be challenging. 

The Complexity of Neurosurgical Diseases

Every type of neurological disorder is unique and based on the patient’s medical history, there may be additional complications that can make a disease more difficult to treat. Neurosurgery can be as straightforward as replacing or reconstructing a nerve or as delicate and intricate as removing a malignant tumor. Neurosurgery can be risky, as some operations may require longer periods to operate and an even longer time for the patient to recover. The operation may not be a success in the long term, depending on the patient’s etiology. 

Giving Bad News

The neurosurgeon needs to have nerves of steel and is often on-demand at all times, making it difficult for them to bond with patients. However, when the patient is in a difficult position, the doctor needs to be able to communicate the circumstances to the patient and their family. 

It can be heart-wrenching to announce bad news to the family or explain to a patient that they have a terminal disease. However, this is part of being a doctor who deals with complex neurological disorders. 

Complicated Operations

Neurosurgeons have to perform extremely complex surgeries to fix medical disorders. These disorders include congenital malformations, benign and cancerous tumors, vascular disorders, traumatic injuries, degenerative spinal issues, intractable pain, central nervous system infections, treatment-resistant psychiatric disorders, epilepsy, movement disorders, and more. They must be able to perform delicate incisions and incredibly accurate operations on their patients to help them live a longer and healthier life. 

Pressure To Succeed

Because a neurosurgeon must be at the operation table for several hours, they must be able to prepare for the operation. Neurosurgeons must communicate with their team, have all the tools and medical equipment in place, and be in the right state of mind. 

Neurosurgery is high-intensity work and must be performed in a specific time period which can put a lot of pressure on the neurosurgeon. Taking too long can result in the patient’s blood pressure dropping or increase the risk of exposure to contaminants and infection. 

Length Of Training

Neurosurgeons must undergo rigorous training for much longer than most other medical practitioners. In addition to four years of undergraduate schooling and four years of medical school, a neurosurgeon must undergo six to seven years of fellowship training in their specialty. This can include additional training if a new technique is introduced to the medical field. 

Learn More About What Neurosurgeons Experience

The best way to learn about neurosurgery is by speaking to a neurosurgeon. Find out about a procedure or a neurosurgeon’s experience through a consultation. If you have a particular disorder you believe may require a skilled surgeon, you can discover more about the different treatments available.

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