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Get cerebrovascular care

Cerebrovascular surgery


What is cerebrovascular surgery?

“Cerebro” refers to the large part of your brain and “vascular” refers to your arteries and veins. Cerebrovascular surgery is a specialized surgery performed by a neurosurgeon on the blood vessels that supply blood to your brain.

Sometimes referred to as “neurovascular surgery” and “cerebrovascular neurosurgery,” it’s a treatment for numerous blood vessel conditions and diseases. From addressing restrictions in blood flow to ruptured blood vessels and clots, a cerebrovascular surgeon can perform procedures to help treat vascular conditions on the brain or spine, including:

  • Aneurysms
  • Hemorrhages
  • Vascular malformation
  • Vascular brain tumors
  • Cavernous malformations
  • Carotid stenosis
  • Cavernous carotid fistulas
  • Strokes

It's crucial to your health that your brain has a clear path for blood to flow to it. When that flow is interrupted, brain cells begin to die within minutes. This can lead to inflammation or brain damage. By receiving a quick diagnosis and treatment for a vascular condition, we can help you avoid serious long-term effects.

Cerebrovascular surgery at Geisinger

Our cerebrovascular surgeons act fast to treat complex cerebrovascular conditions using less-invasive endovascular or open surgical techniques. Whenever possible, our surgeons perform minimally invasive endovascular techniques to make repairs from inside the blood vessel. These techniques use tiny incisions and result in faster recovery and fewer complications.

Our specialists are trained to perform a number of procedures and offer treatment options including:


Depending on your neurovascular condition, your doctor may prescribe medications to manage your symptoms or lower your risk of further complications, including stroke.

Certain medications can reverse the effects of blood thinners, as well as protocols to manage bleeding. Others can help reduce blood clotting or help to lower and manage your blood sugar or cholesterol levels.

This procedure uses a stent or suction to clear away the blood clot that’s blocking the flow of blood to your brain. The blood vessel is then restored, improving your blood flow. A balloon or other medical device may be inserted to help keep your vein open and support healthy blood flow to your brain.
Endovascular coiling

Also known as endovascular embolization, this procedure is an alternative to surgery. A neurosurgeon threads a catheter that holds a spiral piece of wire from the groin to the aneurysm. They release the coil of wire into the aneurysm and the blood begins to clot around the coil. This prevents more blood from entering and stops the aneurysm from rupturing.
Microsurgical clipping

During this procedure, a neurosurgeon makes an incision to access the aneurysm, then places a clip at its base. This cuts off the blood supply to the aneurysm and stops the risk of bleeding and lessens the risk of future complications. The clip remains in place and the aneurysm shrinks over time.

Sometimes, more than one treatment may be necessary to relieve your symptoms. Your doctor will advise you on the technique that’s most appropriate for you.

Cerebrovascular surgery at Geisinger

From brain tumor care to stroke treatment, our neurosurgeons are trained in the latest treatment methods and minimally invasive surgeries. We offer:

  • Treatment for neurosurgery emergencies, 24/7: With a Level I trauma center, four Level II trauma centers and a Level II pediatric trauma center, we’re prepared to treat head, neck and spinal cord injuries — including the most complex ones.
  • Comprehensive Stroke Centers: Geisinger Medical Center and Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center have been designated as Comprehensive Stroke Centers by the Joint Commission and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. This means access to stroke neurologists and neuroendovascular specialists, 24/7.
  • Minimally invasive surgery: Our experienced surgeons are trained in the latest minimally invasive surgery and laser surgery options so you get the best care when you need it most.
  • Life Flight® emergency transportation: Our Life Flight® ground and air transportation team provides lifesaving care and swiftly transports those who need critical care to the appropriate trauma center. Learn about Life Flight.
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