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Endovascular Neurosurgery (Interventional Neuroradiology)

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Endovascular neurosurgery is a specialized subset of Interventional Neuroradiology (INR) that uses tiny catheters to perform minimally invasive vascular procedures in the brain and spine. These advanced procedures are taking the place of older techniques that once required open brain or spine surgery. Now, starting with just a small needle stick in an artery in the leg, our team of experts at the Weill Cornell Medicine Brain and Spine Center can routinely attack complex diseases like aneurysms, AVMs, brain tumors, and strokes.

Endovascular procedures involve shorter hospital stays and faster recovery times, getting patients back to their lives faster. In addition, INR patients typically lose less blood during an endoscopic procedure than they would at a routine check-up by an internist.

As devices and technology have developed at a rapid pace, minimally invasive endovascular neurosurgery has taken on a more critical role in treating neurological diseases.  Just 15 years ago, for example, only 20 percent of brain aneurysms treated here were endovascular, with 80 percent still being surgical cases. Today those percentages are reversed.

The Weill Cornell Medicine Brain and Spine Center is proud of the world-class endovascular surgeons who make up the Interventional Neuroradiology Program, which is one of the few such programs in the world to offer a full team of specialists in this advanced discipline. Last year our physicians performed nearly 1,300 endovascular procedures, making our facility one of the highest volume centers in the country. In addition, our thought leaders continue to devise new ways to apply these minimally invasive techniques for their patients, leading a multitude of clinical trials, some of which are unique to Weill Cornell Medicine.

At the Weill Cornell Brain and Spine Center, our endovascular neurosurgeons and interventional neuroradiologists specialize in:

• Minimally invasive approaches to cerebrovascular conditions such as aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations of the brain and spine, carotid disease, and stroke.

• Pre-operative embolization to improve outcomes of surgery in brain and spinal tumors.

• Intra-arterial chemotherapy of tumors of the eye (retinoblastoma), the brain, and the spine.

• Treatment of superficial vascular malformations of the face and neck.

We also perform vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty for the treatment of painful vertebral body fractures.

Am I a candidate for an INR procedure?
A common question from patients is whether their condition can be treated with an endovascular procedure rather than open surgery. Although for many patients the answer is yes, this decision is always made on a case-by-case basis. Every individual’s anatomy is unique, and certain patients may have variations in their anatomy that make minimally invasive procedures more difficult than traditional surgery. Every patient is treated by our team as an individual, and we will always recommend the approach that is best for that individual patient.

The concept of individualized, team-based care is one that we hold sacred. When it comes to complex cerebrovascular disease, we have multiple specialists evaluate each case. Our cerebrovascular specialists meet weekly in a dedicated conference specifically designed for discussion of our patients’ cases. These doctors’ experience and expertise are combined to offer the patient the safest and most efficient form of treatment — every time.  

If you are interested in finding out if you are a candidate for an INR procedure, or if you would like a second opinion on your diagnosis from our team of cerebrovascular and endovascular specialists, we would be happy to talk to you. Click here to upload your records and request a second opinion, and click here to request an appointment at our office.