A Good Neurosurgeon Knows When “NOT TO OPERATE”
Choosing a Neurosurgeon
Neurosurgery is one of the most complex and challenging branch. A neurosurgeon deals with your nervous system whether it is brain or spine. Both these body parts are responsible for making sure that you think, move and act correctly. When talking about brain the most common surgeries are brain tumour and aneurysms surgeries. Most of the neurosurgeons would be able to operate upon tumours that are on frontal or temporal areas of the brain. Let me be clear that no brain tumour surgery is simple or easy because even minutest of damage to brain tissue can lead to some problem in body. However these tumours are less complex to operate as compared to brain stem gliomas or aneurysms.
Challenges in Brain Surgeries
The most challenging cases in neurosurgery are those of tumours like brain stem tumours or glioblastoma. As per the American Cancer Society the 5 year survival rate for the brain stem glioblastoma ranges between 19% to 5%. 19% success rate is highest which is in young people however the rates goes down with the increasing age. In elderly people aged above 55 years the survival rate is as low as 5%. In simple language only 5% of people operated above 55 years for brain stem glioblastoma will survive for 5 years. Hence it becomes imperative to choose the right neurosurgeon who is having experience in treating patients with such complicated tumours. In India Dr Rana Patir and Dr V S Mehta are two neurosurgeons who are best in treating patients with brain stem tumours. They are best not only because they have highest success rates in such brain tumours but they know when “NOT TO OPERATE” a patient with brain stem tumour. They know the survival rate of the patient without surgery and with surgery.
The other complex surgery that needs really good hands is brain or cerebral aneurysm. An aneurysm can be life threatening if it ruptures. There are two ways to operate upon an aneurysm i.e. clipping and coiling. The choice of surgery depends upon the size of aneurysm. When it comes to clipping surgery Dr V S Mehta is one of the best names while Dr Rana Patir is at the top in case of coiling surgery for aneurysm.
Spine Surgeries and Complexities
Spine surgery is very common and mostly it is the the decompression surgery. The surgery is done in patients with complain of sciatica nerve compression. The common symptoms are lower back pain, pain radiating to legs and discomfort in standing for long period of time. This is the nerve that supplies blood to the lower extremities and when it gets compressed the supply to legs get restricted leading to weakness. The best neurosurgeon for spine surgeries in India are Dr Sandeep Vaishya and Dr Vikas Kathuria. They are great exponents of endoscopic or key hole surgery for spine and have terrific results. However they are again considered as great surgeons because they know till what condition patient can improve with medicine and physiotherapy. Please understand that not all patients with compression may need surgery they may easily improve with persistent physiotherapy plan and medications.
Most of the patients who go to neurosurgeons have at the back of mind that the neurosurgeon will advise surgery since he is the surgeon. This is not the case if you make the right choice of brain or spine surgeon.