Patients undergoing neurosurgery at Penn receive care from a team of individuals that includes:
- the neurosurgeon
- the neuromonitoring team
- the neurocritical care team
Members of the Division of Neuroanesthesia at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania are experts in providing anesthesia for neurosurgical procedures varying from straightforward to complex.
The types of procedures for which we provide anesthesia include brain surgery for:
- blood vessel malformations
- occluded arteries
- complex spinal procedures
Anesthesia is provided in the general neurosurgical operating rooms and in the neurointerventional radiology suites. Patients in all areas also have advanced neuro monitoring available to help the neurosurgeons and neuroanesthesiologists provide a safer level of care.
Neuroanesthesia and neurology faculty at Penn work closely with the neurosurgeons to deliver state-of-the-art neurocritical care. This improves the continuum of acute care for these patients and fosters collaborations that enhance our clinical results while supporting Penn’s educational and research missions.
The neuroanesthesiologist works to ensure optimal operating conditions for the neurosurgeon while ensuring unconsciousness, maintenance of good brain blood flow and oxygen levels, and appropriate pain management during and after the procedure.
In addition, brain or spinal cord monitoring may be needed to assist the surgeon in deciding how to perform the operation. Anesthetics can affect such monitors and sometimes a special anesthetic cocktail needs to be tailored to a specific patient, which will allow the monitors to work while still ensuring that the goals of anesthesia and surgery can be met.
Occasionally, the neurosurgeon may need to have the patient awake and able to follow commands during the procedure. This requires another special mix of sedatives and monitors to allow the operation to proceed successfully. Our neuroanesthesia group is highly experienced in the provision of anesthesia for these and other such challenging situations.