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Endovascular surgical neuroradiology is also known as both neuro-interventional surgery and interventional neuroradiology. This highly specific branch of surgery encompasses those procedures used to diagnose cerebrovascular disorders – disorders of the blood vessels in/supplying the brain – from the inside of the blood vessels themselves.

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Hospitals and clinics that treat cerebrovascular disorders through the use of endovascular surgical neuroradiology are located throughout the country even though these procedures are extremely specialized and require specially trained physicians to carry them out. In order to provide education opportunities to surgeons who are interested in specializing in this field, at least one chain of clinics has established an endovascular surgical neuroradiology fellowship, which has significantly furthered research into endovascular surgical neuroradiology in Florida, Ohio, Canada and even as far away as Abu Dhabi.

Physicians who enter the endovascular surgical neuroradiology (ESN) fellowship will receive training in not only the clinical diagnosis of endovascular disorders through the interpretation of x-ray imaging but also in the level and type of care needed for patients who exhibit endovascular symptoms. They will also learn how to interpret their test results and plan their treatments in conjunction with other, related, departments including neuropathology, ophthalmology, and otolaryngology.

ESN has only been around for a fairly short time and was pioneered by Russian surgeon, FedorSerbinenko, in 1979 during his research into how to diagnose and treat brain aneurysms. This branch of surgery has, however, made great strides in a relatively short amount of time and now uses cutting edge microcatheter technology to navigate, explore and map the body’s blood vessels in order to determine the cause of whatever cerebrovascular disorder or disease a patient is experiencing.

ESN is used to diagnose a number of different cranial cerebrovascular conditions including, among others, brain aneurysms, brain arteriovenous malformations, brain artery blockages caused by intracranial atherosclerosis and brain tumors. Further disorders that benefit from the use of ESN techniques, which see physicians insert microcatheters into blood vessels in the groin to explore the vessels leading to the brain with the help of the latest x-ray technology, include dural arteriovenous fistulae, malformations of the Vein of Galen, carotid artery disease and even the simple nosebleed.

Once a patient’s blood vessels have been completely mapped and the nature and extent of any relevant cerebrovascular condition determined, a plan of action – including, for instance, further surgery or increased medication levels – can be formulated and put into practice, and it is in this way that the extremely precise diagnostic tool that is ESN really comes into its own.

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