Neuroanesthesia and anesthesiology

Blog Post by George A. Mashour MD, PhD, Director, Division of Neuroanesthesiology and Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology and Neurosurgery,  University of Michigan

Neuroanesthesia is a subspecialty of anesthesiology that focuses on the perioperative care of patients undergoing surgery of the brain, spine or peripheral nerves. Because the drugs routinely used for anesthesia have their therapeutic action at all of these sites, anesthesiologists and neurosurgeons must “share” the nervous system during the course of an operation. This becomes particularly important at the end of surgery, when the assessment of neurologic function is a major priority. If, for example, a patient has suffered a stroke or has brain swelling, it needs to be recognized and acted upon rapidly before permanent damage occurs. The effects of anesthetic drugs can sometimes confuse the picture, as they may give the appearance of a true neurologic deficit. Thus, distinguishing the effects of surgery and anesthesia is part of the “art” of caring for neurosurgical patients, especially when they are monitored throughout the case by neurophysiologists. Case Studies in Neuroanesthesia and Neurocritical Care helps fill the gap in the current literature by providing almost 100 real-world case discussions that span from preoperative evaluation to postoperative management in the neurocritical care unit. The careful consideration of everything from routine to complex cases will help the practicing clinician with both the art and science of neuroanesthesia and neurocritical care. This book will serve as an important complement to more traditional textbooks in the field and is an ideal study guide for trainees.

George A. Mashour is co-editor of Case Studies in Neuroanesthesia and Neurocritical Care, published by Cambridge University Press

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