It’s okay to be afraid of surgery — especially if that surgery has to do with your nervous system. Back and brain surgery may seem to be an incredibly rare, terrifying prospect; however, these types of surgeries are more common than you might think. Brain surgery, or for that matter surgery on any part of your nervous system, shouldn’t be undertaken lightly. It’s important to find the best neurosurgeon possible to work on your case, and for that matter to ensure that surgery is the best option for you. But if you are advised to undergo neurosurgery, it’s best not to worry. For that matter, many types of spinal surgery, and even brain surgery, are actually relatively simple and straightforward. With that being said, we’re looking to demystify some of the issues surrounding neurosurgery, including why people turn to it in the first place. You may be surprised to discover that some choose to undergo brain surgery or spinal surgery electively. Could it be the right choice for you?
Back Surgery For Chronic Pain: It’s More Common Than You Might Think
It’s estimated that 1.5 billion people live with chronic pain. In turn, back pain is perhaps one of the most common types of chronic pain, and lower back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide. It’s believed that 80% of people will suffer from lower back pain at some point in their lives, and the fact is that many of us start suffering from back pain at quite young ages. Back pain can be incredibly difficult to deal with, and often medical just isn’t enough to properly manage it. Perhaps some of the most common types of neurosurgical operations are meant to manage chronic back pain, or even eradicate it entirely. For example, spinal cord stimulation has been shown to be remarkably successful in reducing pain, allowing patients to take fewer medications. Procedures like these are particularly relevant in this day and age, when many people are becoming dependent on opioids to manage their pain. Of course, spinal cord stimulation isn’t the only type of neurosurgery meant to treat lower back pain. Spinal surgery can also be used to treat bulging discs. Degenerative disc disease is not unusual, and can result in back pain anywhere, but particular in the lower back. Luckily, this can be corrected through spinal surgery. Although these surgeries are somewhat invasive and do require recovery periods, the issues that come with spine disorders can easily interefere with everyday life. Therefore, it makes much more sense, most often, for patients to have them corrected through surgery.
Brain Surgery: The Spectrum
Again, many of us associate brain surgery with intensely invasive procedures. However, brain surgery can be used to treat more minor medical issues, and can even be elective. Benign brain tumors are usually treated through surgery. Although these types of tumors can, under certain circumstances, be life-threatening, they often aren’t, at least not immediately. Rather, depending on their placements, benign brain tumors often cause irritating systems, like headaches or blurry vision, or other sensory issues. Therefore, they are usually removed if possible, resulting in a much higher quality of life. Elective brain surgery can also be used to treat epilepsy in some cases. For patients with specific medical conditions, brain surgery can also be used to stimulate certain parts of the brain, similar to the above mentioned spinal cord stimulation.
Choosing A Surgeon: It Takes Time
When it comes to spinal and brain surgery, there are many different options on the table, and choosing your surgeon won’t be easy. It shouldn’t be. Be sure to choose your surgeon not based on his or her proximity, but their credentials, and their understanding of the results you want and need. Choose a surgeon who has specialized in your condition, if possible. With that being said, keep in mind that you’ll probably have more options on the table than you would imagine. But ultimately, if you’re careful, you will find the surgeon who is right for you!