What is the Most Common Neurosurgery Procedure

Dr. Philip Henkin

September 12, 2022

Dr. Philip Henkin

When you think of neurosurgery procedure, you probably imagine brain tumors. However, this procedure can also treat other conditions, like epilepsy. Here’s how it works: During the process, a neurosurgeon stimulates the area surrounding the tumor with small electrodes. They then ask the patient to perform different tasks. This helps them create a map of the functional regions in brain. Finally, the surgeon removes as much of the tumor as possible while sparing other brain regions.

Anterior cervical discectomy

An anterior cervical discectomy is one of the most common neurosurgery procedures to relieve back pain caused by a herniated disc. This procedure is usually performed under general anesthesia and involves removing the damaged disc and bone spurs. The operation is often accomplished using an operating microscope.

An anterior cervical discectomy and fusion is the most common neurosurgery procedure for the cervical spine. It involves removing a herniated or degenerative disc and fusing the vertebrae above and below the disc. It is a relatively painless procedure, and patients go home the same day.

Although ACDF is a popular neurosurgical procedure, it does have certain risks. Reoperation rates for multilevel ACDF are higher than for single-level fusions, and patients should be advised about the risks before the procedure.

MRI-guided laser ablation

MRI-guided laser ablation is a neurosurgery technique that destroys tumors in the brain with laser energy. It is less invasive than traditional neurosurgery and can help manage many types of brain tumors, including glioblastoma, a life-threatening and aggressive glioma tumor. The procedure involves using general anesthesia and creating a small hole in the skull for the laser to be inserted.

MRI-guided laser ablation has been used for decades to treat brain lesions. However, in the last few years, technology has advanced significantly. Its high-resolution imaging capabilities allow doctors to target lesions more precisely. In addition, it is more accurate and less invasive than open surgery.

The procedure can also be used to treat other types of tumors. Using interstitial laser ablation, the tumor is targeted to specific brain tissue regions. In one study, patients with glioblastoma underwent this procedure. The patient’s preoperative MRI revealed a tumor mass with an artifact from a needle biopsy. After the process, the patient’s postoperative MRI shows only slight tumor expansion and surrounding edema. The median follow-up was 9.5 months, while the most extended follow-up was 25.5 months. The median progression-free survival was 5.9 months, and the median overall survival was 11.4 months.


A craniotomy is one of the most common neurosurgery procedures performed today. It involves removing a piece of bone from the bottom of the skull to get to the problem area. This surgery alleviates pressure on the brain and the spinal cord and allows the brain to grow normally.

Before this procedure, the patient is given several medications. These medications are offered through the bloodstream or an oral solution. However, not all types of brain tumors respond to this treatment. Moreover, several diagnostic tests are typically performed before the surgery. Some of these tests can reveal the underlying problem but may not be able to pinpoint the exact location. A brain MRI is another useful diagnostic tool as it provides much more detailed information than a CT scan and helps detect smaller tumors and vascular malformations.

A craniotomy can be performed for several reasons, including treating a brain tumor, aneurysm, arteriovenous malformation, hematoma, and many other conditions. It may also be performed to remove abnormal tissue or implant medical devices.

Epilepsy surgery

Epilepsy surgery involves the removal of part of the brain that’s causing seizures. While there are risks, the surgery is generally safe and effective, and patients typically experience good results. Surgical options for treating epilepsy include laminectomy, which removes a lesion and adjacent epileptogenic cortex, and multilobar resection.

Another surgical option is hemispherectomy, a minimally invasive surgery performed on younger patients. The procedure involves a small hole in the skull and a focused laser that destroys misfiring nerve cells in the epileptic area. In addition, MRI scans help neurosurgeons pinpoint the exact location of epileptic seizures.

Patients with clear evidence of bilateral habitual seizures and those with psychiatric or medical comorbidities are generally not candidates for this surgery. In addition, patients with rapidly progressing CNS disease and those with primary generalized epilepsy are also not appropriate for this surgery.