Neurointerventional Surgery

The University of Chicago Medicine neurointerventional surgeons specialize in minimally invasive techniques for the diagnosis and treatment of conditions of the brain, head and neck, spine and spinal cord. Neurointerventional surgical procedures are performed by interventional neuroradiologists — radiologists who have advanced training in image-guided, minimally invasive diagnostic and endovascular surgical techniques. Neurointerventional procedures take place on the medical campus in Hyde Park. 

For patients, the benefits of neurointerventional surgery (also commonly known as interventional neuroradiology) include smaller incisions, less risk, faster recovery and less pain than traditional surgery. Our team provides neurointerventional surgical care for many conditions that previously were untreatable or required more invasive, open surgical techniques.

Advanced Diagnostic Imaging for Neurovascular Disorder

Our interventional neuroradiologists use state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging techniques, including high-resolution MR imaging, 3D vascular imaging and diagnostic cerebral and spinal angiographies.

Diagnostic Cerebral & Spinal Angiography

We perform cerebral and spinal angiograms as needed for diagnostic purposes, pre-surgical planning and post-surgical follow-up. After injecting contrast dye into the blood vessels, our specialists use high-resolution imaging equipment to capture detailed 3D pictures of the arteries and veins. Diagnostic angiograms usually are performed under light sedation on an outpatient basis.

Non-Invasive Imaging Studies

Using state-of-the-art 3T MR imaging machines and 64-slice multidetector CT scanners, specialists at UChicago Medicine provide high-quality, non-invasive neurovascular imaging services. Our interventional neuroradiologists oversee and perform high-resolution 3D vascular imaging, including intracranial arterial wall imaging and physiologic imaging studies, such as cerebral perfusion imaging, vascular wall shear stress imaging and cerebrovascular permeability imaging.

Neurointerventional Surgery Research

At UChicago Medicine, our physicians continually seek new ways to improve the diagnosis and treatment of neurovascular disorders. Our neurointerventional surgery experts are actively investigating acute stroke, advanced MR techniques and clinical outcomes.

Neurointerventional Surgery FAQs

All neurointerventional surgical procedures and diagnostic cerebral angiograms are performed on the Hyde Park campus in Chicago.

All patients who need neurointerventional surgical procedures must have current laboratory tests completed within 30 days before the procedure date. The lab tests necessary for these procedures are:

  • Blood urea nitrogen (BUN)
  • Creatinine (CK) with glomerular filtration rate (GFR), if contrast is being administered
  • Partial thromboplastin time (PTT)
  • Platelet (P) 
  • Prothombin time (PT)

If you are unable to have your tests performed ahead of time, you will be sent to the hospital lab to have your blood drawn the morning of your procedure. If you are allergic to IVP dye or any type of contrast given during any type of imaging study, you will need to be pre-medicated. Please contact our neurointerventional surgery team at 773-702-6514 for detailed instructions on pre-medication requirements.

The neurointerventional team will inform you in advance if anesthesia will be necessary. If your surgical procedure requires anesthesia — or if you specifically want anesthesia — you will be advised to have an anesthesia pre-operative consultation. This consultation and your pre-surgical labs can be performed on the same day.

A member of the neurointerventional nursing team will contact you the night before your procedure. If we do not reach you directly, we will leave a brief message with follow-up contact information. In accordance with HIPAA guidelines on privacy, our voice message will include only a limited amount of information.

It is important that you follow the instructions below on the day of your procedure:

  • Please arrive at the radiology clinic one hour before your scheduled appointment time. From there, a staff member will direct you to the neurointerventional angiography suite. You may need to allow more time if you need to have labs drawn on the day of the procedure.
  • If you are having anesthesia, do not eat or drink anything after midnight. The anesthesia clinic will provide you with additional instructions during your consultation with them.
  • If you are not having anesthesia, we advise you to take any heart, blood pressure, seizure and breathing medications with a sip of water in the morning. All information will be reviewed with you during our confirmation call the night before the procedure.

Following your diagnostic cerebral/spinal angiography:

You will remain in the recovery area for two to six hours. During that time, we will ask you to remain very still and in the same position. After the recovery time is completed, you will be discharged and can go home in the care of a responsible adult.

Following your neurointerventional surgical procedures:

If you receive coiling, stenting or embolization procedures, an inpatient stay will be necessary. The hospitalization may include admission to our neuro-intensive care unit on the day of the surgery and/or another night in our neuro-inpatient unit. Patients generally can be discharged the following morning. The hospital stay is necessary for frequent monitoring by our staff. You should arrange for a responsible adult to take you home and care for you after discharge.