Pediatric neurosurgery is a unique specialty. Child neurosurgeons have the opportunity to intervene in a developing nervous system and repair injuries that will improve in the future the patients’ quality of life.
Object of study
The field of Pediatric Neurosurgery is characterized by the presence of certain diseases of the nervous system in a patient whose mental capacities are in development; therefore, the objective of the pediatric neurosurgeon is to treat these conditions and for the pediatric patient to continue with adequate psychomotor development.
The type of conditions can be:
Those that appear from birth where we can find:
- Congenital bone malformations known as craniosynostosis, with a frequency of 3 to 5 patients in 10,000 births and are characterized by a deformity in the skull which does not allow the brain to grow properly.
- Brain malformations such as hydrocephalus a disease where there is an alteration in the production, absorption or distribution of cerebrospinal fluid and occurs in 1 to 2 patients in 1,000 births.
- Alterations in the development of the spinal cord, known as dysraphisms with an incidence of 2 to 3 per 1000 live births, which may present neuroinfection or subsequent alteration in mobility or ambulation.
Sudden and unexpected conditions can also occur such as:
- Blows or falls that lead to head trauma of varying intensity. Head trauma is the main cause of admission of pediatric patients to the emergency room and the main cause of mortality between 6 and 14 years of age. The treatment is focused on preserving life, later on neurological function and that the patient continues with adequate psychomotor development; for this purpose, a team of professionals specialized in handling the child is required.
- Strokes that are characterized by the presence of bleeding or cerebral infarction, with a frequency of 6 in 100,000 pediatric patients, and that sometimes due to their low frequency are not diagnosed and which have a 10% mortality and a recurrence of up to 20%.
- Other conditions classified as chronic and disabling are difficult-to-control epilepsy , which occurs in patients who, despite having adequate pharmacological treatment, do not respond in 15% of the cases and require some surgical intervention.Other conditions classified as chronic and disabling are difficult-to-control epilepsy, which occurs in patients who, despite having adequate pharmacological treatment, do not respond in 15% of the cases and require some surgical intervention.
- Last but not least, there are tumors or neoplasms of the central nervous system, which in children represent the second cause of cancer, only preceded by leukemia. These represent real challenges for our team of specialists (neurosurgeon, oncologist, radiotherapist, psychologist, and rehabilitator), where cure is sought or, where appropriate, disease control with an adequate quality of life and psychomotor development.
Minimally invasive surgery
The purpose of surgery in the pediatric patient is to perform the planned procedure, with minimal damage to healthy neighboring tissue and with the least possible bleeding. For this purpose, we use the most advanced technology in order to improve the result of the procedure and reduce the risks and complications that such procedure entails with minimal invasion.
Minimal invasion consists of performing the appropriate surgery with the least damage to the surrounding healthy tissue, for this purpose in the first place we use microsurgery in most of our surgery, which consists of the use of surgical microscopes that allow an expansion of the surgical field and help us to respect healthy neighboring tissues.
Also, we have the neuronavigator for this purpose, which allows us to work on images such as magnetic resonance imaging in a computer prior to surgery and transfer the information to an infrared system that during the procedure will allow us to locate the lesion in the patient.
In cases where the lesions are smaller or depth electrodes are inserted, we have the stereotaxic arch, a system attached to the patient’s skull that through a Cartesian system allows us to accurately locate the place where we want to take a biopsy with a needle or place an electrode.
The neuroendoscopy equipment allows us, through a camera and transmitting to a monitor, to navigate inside the brain and solve conditions such as hydrocephalus without the need to place a valve; or if it is necessary to take biopsies of lesions with diagnostic doubts.
We must not forget the use of intraoperative electrophysology that allows us to register an irritative focus on a patient with epilepsy or to assess the functional integrity of the nervous system during cranial or spinal surgery.
Characteristics of the medical group that
attends the specialty or clinic.
The medical group is made up of specialists who performed neurosurgery and later a subspecialty in pediatric neurosurgery with university recognition in reference centers for pediatric patients with central nervous system disease. Our members are active members of the Pediatric Neurosurgery Section of the Neurological Surgery Society.
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