Neurointervention is a word used to describe a treatment approach to conditions that occur within the vessels of the brain or within the spinal cavity. Utilized in place of more invasive procedures which require opening the skull or exposing the spinal column, neurointerventional procedures are minimally invasive, meaning they can be accomplished through tiny incisions no bigger than the size of a nickel.
In the case of conditions affecting the brain, practitioners first insert a catheter, resembling a long tube, into the groin and then thread it up through the vessels to the problem site. Once the catheter is in place, dependent on the condition, physicians can deliver medications or utilize medical devices to accomplish treatment (this is described further under Conditions and Treatments).
For spinal anomalies resulting from compression fractures, tumors of the spine or narrowing of the spinal canal, practitioners insert cannulas, again resembling tubes, directly at the problem site and work through them to alleviate any pressure on the nerve area in order to relieve the patient of pain.
In both cases, what makes it possible for practitioners to utilize this minimally invasive technique is technology which transmits internal images of the brain or the spine on a large screen throughout the procedure allowing them to clearly visualize the problem area.
Because neurointerventional treatments are considered less invasive than more traditional modes of treatment yet yield optimal treatment outcomes, they are often attractive options to patients. Please refer to the section on Conditions and Treatments to better understand the conditions that can be treated using neurointerventional techniques, as well as the way that these treatments work.