Childhood is a crucial phase because physical and psychological development during young age impacts overall life of an individual. Serious neurological impairments in children can limit their physical as well as mental growth and make them dependent on others for performing self-care tasks. Pediatric neurosurgery is a medical intervention which is used for treating nervous system, brain and spine disorders in children. It aims at providing relief to children struggling with various neurological conditions and improving their quality of life.
Conditions Which Can Be Treated with Pediatric Neurosurgery
can prove beneficial for treating the following neurological conditions in children. Parents must keep a check on their children in terms of their health and development. They should not delay in seeking a medical assistance on observing the following neurological problems in children.
- Arteriovenous Malformations (AVMs) - Arteriovenous malformations refer to a condition which occurs when blood vessels that supply blood to brain get tangled in an abnormal way. It may lead to frequent headaches and seizures in children and degrade their life.
- Brain Tumors - Brain tumors in children can result in a large range of health complications such as speech difficulties, loss of sensation and behavioral changes. Such tumors appear when abnormal mass of tissues and cells begin to accumulate in brain region.
- Cerebral Palsy - Cerebral palsy can damage healthy brain cells and negatively affect motor function in children. It mainly occurs due to serious brain injury or trauma in early childhood.
- Craniosynostosis - It is a birth defect which results due to abnormal closing of child’s skull. Children suffering from craniosynostosis mostly have an abnormally shaped head.
- Cerebral Aneurysms - Cerebral aneurysms in children may occur when blood vessels in their brain get swollen. Children suffering from cerebral aneurysms may encounter neck pain and headaches at regular intervals of time.
- Hydrocephalus - This neurological condition emerges when cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) begins to create pressure on spinal cord and brain. Exact cause behind excessive accumulation of CSF is not known. But it may lead to bladder control issues, eyesight problems and personality changes in children.
- Dystonia - Tremor is a primary indication of dystonia. Dystonia basically refers to several movement disorders that cause unusual posture and muscle spasms in children.
- Down Syndrome - It is a genetic neurological condition that results in physical as well as mental disability in children. Children struggling with this problem may complain of neck pain every now and then.
- Epilepsy - It is a serious nervous system disorder that leads to recurrent seizures and headaches in children. Intensity of seizures may vary for different children.
- Spasticity - It can be simply defined as a muscle tone disorder. It may lead to abnormal contractions and stiffness of muscles which can eventually decrease functional ability of children.
- Spina Bifida - It is a birth defect that occurs due to improper development of spinal cord of children. Numbness around legs and abnormal spine curvature are the most prominent symptoms of spina bifida.
- Spinal Cord Tumors - These tumors result from formation and accumulation of abnormal tissues around spine and nearby areas. Such tumors can result in instability of spine and weaken body of children.
Preparing for Pediatric Neurosurgery
Parents must find out a well-qualified and adept pediatric neurosurgeon for ensuring positive results following treatment of their children.
- Initial Appointment - During initial medical appointment, respective neurosurgeons may ask a couple of questions to parents. For instance, they may ask regarding medical history of children and the symptoms which are disturbing them.
- Neurological Evaluation - It involves a complete inspection of functioning of nervous system of children. Neurosurgeons may ask children to perform simple activities like walking, standing, smelling something and so on. It will help them in understanding their sensory and motor functions.
- Imaging Tests - Doctors may recommend certain imaging tests such as computed tomography, positron emission tomography, ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging scan in order to figure out exact underlying condition of brain and entire central nervous system. These tests are helpful in generating high resolution images of brain and underlying structures.
Depending on the results of diagnostic tests, respective neurosurgeons will outline a befitting neurosurgery for children. In addition to this, surgeons may advise parents to make dietary changes prior to the treatment of children.
Pediatric Neurosurgery Procedures
The following points describe some of the most widely performed pediatric neurosurgery procedures.
- Endovascular Embolization - This neurosurgery can be performed for treating arteriovenous malformations. It involves the use of a sophisticated medical instrument known as a ‘catheter’. Catheter has a camera on one end which guides doctors throughout the operation with a high degree of precision. During the surgical procedure, respective surgeons insert the catheter through groin of children for accessing the impaired arteries and blood vessels. After that, they inject a specialized material in these arteries which considerably minimizes the flow of blood through AVM.
- Targeted Radiation Therapy - This procedure can be used for treating spinal cord tumors and brain tumors in children. It is a painless medical intervention that uses high-intensity radiation to destroy the harmful tumor cells. It specifically targets the areas where tumor is present and thus spares the surrounding healthy cells and tissues.
- Corpus Callosotomy - This neurosurgery is particularly designed to treat seizures in children. Corpus callosum is a network of nerve fibers in brain that interlinks the two halves of brain. During a corpus callosotomy, respective doctors remove the skull for reaching out to brain of children. After that, they make a cut in underlying corpus callosum to break the fibrous connection of two regions of brain. It reduces the intensity as well as frequency of seizures in children to a great extent.
- Brain Tumor Surgery - A brain tumor surgery involves making an incision in skull so as to access the brain. Respective doctors carefully inspect the internal areas, remove the tumors and close the incision. They may monitor children for some time in order to ensure their safety.
- Microvascular Clipping - This procedure is performed to treat cerebral aneurysms in children. Surgeons remove a small region of skull for reaching the desired location in brain. They may use a microscope or x-rays to serve the purpose and carefully insert a clip for clamping the trouble-causing arteries or blood vessels. This clipping technique can significantly prevent rupturing of cerebral aneurysms.
- Rhizotomy - Rhizotomy surgery can help in treating neurological conditions like spasticity and cerebral palsy. It involves cutting the nerve fibers that lead to unwanted spasms and contractions. In most instances, doctors use an electrical stimulation for destroying the nerves fibers and eliminating intense nerve pain in children.
- Spinal Fusion - It can provide relief from symptoms of Down syndrome such as severe neck pain. It involves fusing or joining two spinal vertebras for stabilizing the painful neck condition in children. Doctors mostly use rods and metal plates to hold the bone in proper position until it fuses completely.
- Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) - It can be performed to treat conditions such as tremors, epilepsy and dystonia. DBS involves insertion of medical instruments known as electrodes in child’s brain. Surgeons interconnects these electrodes with a battery which is implanted near chest of children. This battery generates electrical impulses for controlling the symptoms of dystonia or tremors in children.
- Shunt Placement Surgery - This procedure is highly beneficial for children suffering from hydrocephalus and seizures. It involves making a small incision in skull as well as near ear of children. Surgeons use two catheters during the operation. One catheter is inserted through an opening near ear that extends to chest and abdomen and other is inserted into an opening in skull. They connect a small pump to these catheters for extracting excessive amount of cerebrospinal fluid. Whenever CSF level increases and creates pressure in brain or spinal cord, the pump gets activated and routes the CSF to abdominal cavity of children.
Risks and Complications Associated with Pediatric Neurosurgery
The following list elaborates some general risks and complications which may occur during postoperative period.
- Infection - A serious infection may occur around incision site. Parents must seek a prompt medical assistance for controlling this issue.
- Swelling - Children may encounter pain and swelling around the operated brain area.
- Bleeding - In rare instances, heavy bleeding may occur in brain of children.
- Additional Issues - Some children may face coordination difficulties, vision problems and trouble speaking clearly. In such instances, doctors may refer the children to an occupational therapist.
Parents must ask regarding the possible measures that can reduce the risks of such complications prior to pediatric neurosurgery. It will significantly raise the chances of successful results in future.
Recovery Following Pediatric Neurosurgery
Hospital stay and recovery process will vary according to the type of pediatric neurosurgery and general health of children. Initially, children may experience pain and slight discomfort. Respective surgeons are likely to provide some medicines to help children cope with the uneasiness. They may order them to follow a basic exercising regime and eat a balanced diet comprising healthy food items. It will definitely increase their body strength and accelerate speedy and smooth recovery. Apart from this, parents should take their children for follow-up care sessions at regular time intervals.
Avail Best Pediatric Neurosurgery in India with Travcure
Travcure Medical Tourism
is one of the renowned healthcare facilitators across the world. Medical experts at Travcure are associated with a large network of accredited clinical centers and top pediatric neurosurgeons in India that cater high-quality pediatric neurosurgery and other medical treatments to international patients. Pediatric neurosurgery cost in India is quite affordable as compared to western nations such as United States and Norway. Travcure offers a free online medical consultation to international patients for understanding their current health status and designs highly customized and cost-effective treatment packages for them. In addition to this, they assist global patients in obtaining medical visas and take care of them throughout their medical journey as well as during recovery period even when they fly back to their home countries. Travcure makes every possible effort for maximizing patient’s quality of life. Therefore, international patients looking for finest pediatric neurosurgery in India
can count on Travcure Medical Tourism for availing best beneficial outcomes.