Pediatric neurosurgery is an area of medicine devoted to the surgical treatment of neural disorders in children. Neural disorders include conditions of the brain, neck, spinal cord, and nerves. These conditions may vary in severity in children and frequently require surgical intervention by a pediatric neurosurgeon.
Pediatric neurosurgeons perform neurosurgery on children with conditions such as:
Pediatric neurosurgeons may diagnose neural disorders by assessing CT or MRI imaging scans, which can reveal structures within the head and neck. They may collaborate with other specialists and physicians to evaluate patients' neural conditions. Pediatric neurosurgeons assess the severity of a patient's condition, and may develop a treatment timeline dependent upon the patient's response to traditional, non-surgical treatments.
Minimally invasive techniques that pediatric neurosurgeons might use include endoscopic surgery and keyhole craniotomy, which use small incisions and thread an endoscope (tiny camera) into the brain to more accurately navigate through the procedure. Some tumor and lesion patients may be candidates for gamma knife or CyberKnife radiosurgery, which use a robotic arm to send doses of radiation into the body. Other treatments may include:
Pediatric neurosurgeons may collaborate with pediatric neurologists, pediatric rehabilitation medicine therapists, neuro-oncologists, pediatric orthopedic surgeons, and child-life specialists, among many others.