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Neurosurgery: It’s all in the head

education Updated: Jan 04, 2012 11:50 IST
Hindustan Times
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The lowdown
Neurosurgeons operate for problems related to the spine and brain. Spinal surgery is done for slipped discs, dislocations, fractures, tumours, vascular malformation and congenital deformities. The brain is operated upon for tumours, head injuries, brain haemorrhage, brain bypass surgery, aneurysm and vascular malformation. Neurosurgeons also perform various endoscopic (with small incision) surgeries within the ventricles or the skull base. They perform neurological examinations of the nerves of the head and neck; muscle strength and movement; balance, ambulation, and reflexes; and sensation, memory, speech, language, and other cognitive abilities

8.30am: Reach hospital, check patient in operation theatre who is being prepared for anaesthesia, check position of patient on operating table and discuss approach (to surgery) with assistant
9am: Attend academic session
10am: Do a round of the patients wards
11.30am: Return to theatre to complete the operation (surgical time can take anything from one to 12 hours - sometimes more).
5pm: Complete all surgery
5.15pm: See patients in the outpatient’s department (OPD)
8pm: Finish OPD
8.15pm: Answer hospital staff’s queries
9.30pm: Leave for home

The payoff
In the government sector, with the sixth pay commission hikes, you can earn around Rs 60,000 to Rs 1 lakh a month and above Rs 2 lakh in the private sector

* Skilled pair of hands
* Excellent operative knowledge, ability to stay informed about breakthroughs in the field and apply them in day-to-day working
* Ability to stay unflustered in times of crisis

Getting there
Ensure you take up biology in Class 12. Apply for admission to medical college/s after completing Class 12 to study for MBBS. You have follow this up with an MS in general neurosurgery and later an MCh in neurosurgery

Institutes and URLs
* AIIMS Delhi
* GB Pant Hospital Delhi
* PGI Chandigarh

Pros and cons
* Highly respected profession. For some people you are ‘next to God’
* You get to save lives
* An extremely well-paying profession

Of all the surgical specialisations, neurosurgery is the most rewarding and challenging. Those good at medicine can make room at the top Pranav Kumar, sr consultant in neurosurgery, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital New Delhi