Neurological Surgery is the field of medical endeavor dedicated to the diagnosis, the surgical and non-surgical treatment, and the preventive care of lesions in the central, peripheral, and autonomic nervous systems as well as of the structures that house them. Both adult and pediatric patients are cared for by neurosurgeons. Included in the illnesses seen in neurological surgery are tumors of the brain, the pituitary gland, the nerves, the skull, and of the vertebrae. Vascular problems frequently encountered by neurosurgeons are stroke, cerebral aneurysms, and arteriovenous malformations in the brain and spinal cord. Congenital malformations of the skull and vertebrae, as well as of the brain and spinal cord, frequently require surgical modification to allow for the continuance of life. Traumatic injuries to the nervous system are very common in industrialized societies, and very often demand the attention of the neurosurgeon. Disorders such as epilepsy, parkinsonism and other movement disorders, and some behavioral anomalies can be alleviated with the application of neurosurgical techniques. Intractable chronic pain can be modulated, and frequently relieved, by neurosurgical interventions.
The Section of Neurological Surgery of the Department of Surgery, University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine.
The Section of Neurological Surgery at the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine is part of the Department of Surgery, together with the sections of Orthopedics, Urology, and Otorrhinolaryngology. Residency training programs, as well as the teaching of medical students and other health workers, are the mainstay of the Medical School’s institutional commitment. Medical care services to the community in general are offered through an intramural medical practice clinic at the University’s Medical Sciences Campus, as well as through the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico’s Department of Health facilities, both located at the Puerto Rico Medical Center.
The Section of Neurological Surgery consists of an attending staff of 12 Board Certified neurosurgeons, a house staff of six Board eligible neurosurgical residents, five full – time house officer general physicians, an attending pediatrician, and a critical care specialist. The attending staff is dedicated to the training of neurosurgical residents and the teaching of medical students. Among the attending staff there are those with fellowship training in trauma, epilepsy, spine, pediatric, and endovascular neurosurgery. The Section administration is entirely by the University of Puerto Rico, with the benefit of a dedicated administrator and a seven-member office staff. In the very near future, a health educator and a research nurse clinician will join the group.
Research endeavors of the Section are carried out in collaboration with dedicated neuroscientists at the Institute of Neurobiology of the University of Puerto Rico, as well as with several basic scientists embedded in the University system.
The Section of Neurological Surgery at the Puerto Rico Medical Center
The vast majority of neurosurgical procedures performed on the island of Puerto Rico are performed at the Puerto Rico Medical Center by the members of the Section of Neurological Surgery of the University of Puerto Rico. The Puerto Rico Medical Center is a state-run conglomerate of hospitals, schools, research facilities, rehabilitation clinics, and general service centers located in the capital city of San Juan. Thousands of workers, patients, and students, crowd the facility daily. Patients from the entire Island, from the islands of Vieques and Culebra, as well as from the Virgin Islands, visit the Medical Center for treatment of complex and chronic conditions not treatable elsewhere. The Section of Neurological Surgery responds to consultations from all the components of the Medical Center. Several thousands of patients are seen yearly at the Medical Center, challenging the medical staff with a wide range of diseases to deal with. The medical staff is thus vastly experienced and dedicated to both treating illness and teaching.