What is the role of neurosurgeons in the current management of intracranial aneurysm in France?

Neurochirurgie 68 (2022) 16–20 

Study Design. – Retrospective observational survey-based study.

Introduction. – In France, intracranial aneurysm (IA) patients are managed by neurosurgeons and by interventional neuroradiologists. The growth of endovascular treatment led us to reflect on the role of neurosurgeons in the management of patients with IA. The present study aimed to highlight the current organization of IA management in France.

Method. – A 60-question survey was sent to the neurosurgeons in 34 hospitals managing IA patients. Thirty-three questions dealt with standards of care, follow-up procedures and the involvement of thespecific specialist.

Results. – Twenty-seven centers (79.4%) responded to the survey. A Vascular Multidisciplinary DiscussionTeam was organized, including both surgeons and neuroradiologists, in 92% of responding centers. There were department protocols in 66% of centers, a local registry in 33% and clinical trials in IA in 60%. Patients with unruptured IA were first seen by a neurosurgeon or by an interventional neuroradiologist, with different practices. For ruptured IA, the neurosurgeons were contacted first in 93% of cases, and were systematically involved in initial intensive care unit management. The patients were hospitalized in the neurosurgery department in 89% of the centers. The neurosurgeons took care of initial follow-up in 85%of the centers, and of lifetime follow-up in 36%. In most centers, radiological monitoring of IA was based on MRI angiography for patients who were embolized or under surveillance, and on CT angiography after microsurgery.

Conclusion. – Despite the growth of endovascular treatments, the present survey and the literature highlight a major role of neurosurgeons in treatment, follow-up and care coordination

Neurosurgical Coverage for Emergency and Trauma Call

Neurosurgery, Volume 84, Issue 4, April 2019, Pages 977–984

Traditionally, neurosurgeons have responded to calls to treat new patients or address emergent, acute neurosurgical pathology in the hospitals they staff as part of their duty to the medical profession and community. Due to increasing financial pressures placed upon neurosurgical practice from hospitals and regulatory mandates, remuneration for neurosurgeon availability to serve on trauma call has become more frequent and is increasingly seen as essential.

In this study, we present the first peer-review published survey of neurosurgical emergency and trauma call coverage patterns, scope, schedules, compensation, liability exposure, and call cessation. We surveyed all practicing neurosurgeon members of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and Congress of Neurological Surgeons with a 24% response rate. The vast majority of respondents (86%), through their practice, provide 24/7/365 trauma coverage at their primary hospital site. About a third (29%) of respondents have been sued by a patient seen in the emergency department. Twenty percent of respondents anticipate retiring within the next 2 yr.

Understanding trauma call coverage, remuneration, and the barriers to taking call provide needed transparency to neurosurgeons who are providing emergency, life-saving services for patients across the country. An understanding of supply and demand forces governing call coverage also assists the field in necessary workforce planning and innovation in providing access to needed, timely acute neurosurgical care.

Management of lumbar spinal stenosis: a survey among Dutch spine surgeons

lumbar stenosis

Acta Neurochir (2014) 156:2139–2145

Various surgical and non-surgical treatments for lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) are widely adopted in clinical practice, but high quality randomised controlled trials to support these are often lacking, especially in terms of their relative benefit and risk compared with other treatment options. Therefore, an evaluation of agreement among clinicians regarding the indications and the choice for particular treatments seems appropriate.

Methods One hundred and six Dutch neurosurgeons and orthopaedic spine surgeons completed a questionnaire, which evaluated treatment options for LSS and expectations regarding the effectiveness of surgical and non-surgical treatments.

Results Responders accounted for 6,971 decompression operations and 831 spinal fusion procedures for LSS annually. Typical neurogenic claudication, severe pain/disability, and a pronounced constriction of the spinal canal were considered the most important indications for surgical treatment by the majority of responders. Non-surgical treatment was generally regarded as ineffective and believed to be less effective than surgical treatment. Interlaminar decompression was the preferred technique by 68 % of neurosurgeons and 52 % orthopaedic surgeons for the treatment of LSS. Concomitant fusion was applied in 12% of all surgery for LSS. Most surgeons considered spondylolisthesis as an indication and spinal instability as a definite indication for additional fusion.

Conclusions The current survey demonstrates a wide variety of preferred treatments of symptomatic LSS by Dutch spine surgeons. To minimise variety, national and international protocols based on high-quality randomised controlled trials and systematic reviews are necessary to give surgeons more tools to support everyday decision-making.