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The Endovascular Neurosurgery Center/Interventional Neuroradiology is a specialized group of clinical and academic surgeons and radiologists who conduct research in improving endovascular treatment techniques.
Endovascular surgical neuroradiology, also known as endovascular neurosurgery, has undergone rapid evolution since it first emerged as a specialty. Minimally invasive techniques, developed by radiologists and neurosurgeons, are used to treat patients for whom conventional surgical techniques are not successful or for patients in need of treatment when no good conventional surgical options exist.
Doctors who perform endovascular surgery must have an excellent command of two different specialties: neurosurgery and radiology. Depending on their backgrounds, doctors who perform endovascular neurosurgery are called either endovascular neurosurgeons, interventional neuroradiologists, or interventional neurologists. Endovascular neurosurgeons trained originally as neurosurgeons and then received specialized training in radiology. Interventional neuroradiologists trained originally as radiologists and then received specialized training in neurosurgery. Interventional neurologists trained originally in neurology followed by training in endovascular neurosurgery.
Endovascular specialists use x-ray fluoroscopy, ultrasound, computed tomography (CT), and even magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to guide their way through the body and visualize operative procedures without making a conventional skin incision. The tools used to perform these procedures (for example, microcatheters measuring less than one millimeter in diameter) have improved dramatically in the last decade. There are very few places in the body that cannot be investigated using such tools, and technological advances continue to expand the reach of endovascular techniques. As a result, the spectrum of neurological disease amenable to endovascular treatment—and in many cases endovascular cures—increases steadily.
In fact, endovascular neurosurgery itself goes by an array of names: neuroendovascular surgery, neurointerventional surgery, interventional neuroradiology, and endovascular surgical neuroradiology, for example. The field is developing rapidly as new technology becomes available, and its terminology seems to be developing just as quickly.