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Brain Surgery Specialist

Portland Neurosurgery

Board Certified Neurosurgeon & Spine Surgeon located in Portland, OR

Learning you need brain surgery is an overwhelming challenge that requires difficult decisions. As you navigate this journey, you can depend on the compassion and expertise of Jeffrey Johnson, MD, at Portland Neurosurgery in Portland, Oregon. Dr. Johnson guides patients before surgery, provides ongoing care after surgery, and uses his exceptional surgical skill to ensure the best possible results. If you’re facing brain surgery, call the office or schedule an appointment online today.

Brain Surgery

When might I need brain surgery?

Some brain conditions pose a life-threatening emergency that requires immediate surgery. In most cases, however, Dr. Johnson performs an extensive evaluation and talks with you about all your treatment options.

Before recommending brain surgery, Dr. Johnson considers your diagnosis and a range of important issues. For example, one vital concern is whether the problem is localized to one area or affects a larger area of your brain. He also will always consider your quality of life when considering a brain procedure. 

He must also determine the best procedure for treating the problem while causing minimal damage to the surrounding tissues.

What conditions may need brain surgery?

Many brain conditions need surgery to diagnose or repair the underlying problem. A few examples include:

  • Hydrocephalus
  • Brain bleeds (hemorrhage)
  • Subdural hematoma
  • Acoustic neuromas
  • Meningiomas
  • Pituitary gland tumors
  • Cerebral aneurysm
  • Arteriovenous malformations

If you have a malignant (cancerous) brain tumor Dr. Johnson will often refer you to a surgeon that specializes in cancer. Benign (non-cancerous) tumors may not need immediate surgery if they’re small, slow growing, and haven’t caused symptoms. If surgery is required for a benign tumor, Dr. Johnson will do this with great care and expertise.

What symptoms indicate I may need brain surgery?

The type of brain condition and its location determine your symptoms. A brain bleed may cause sudden, severe symptoms, while tumors often develop gradually.

One type of benign tumor, an acoustic neuroma, causes hearing loss and balance problems because it affects the nerves carrying signals from your ear to your brain.

The symptoms you may experience include: 

  • Headaches
  • Seizures
  • Fatigue
  • Mood swings
  • Vision or hearing loss
  • Double vision
  • Difficulty with balancing
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Memory loss or confusion
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Numbness or weakness on one side of your body

Headaches are often one of the earliest symptoms of a more serious neurological problem.

How do neurosurgeons perform brain surgery?

Dr. Johnson has years of experience using different surgical techniques to stop bleeding, remove a tumor, free a nerve, and perform other treatments. During most types of brain surgery, he uses an operating microscope, which provides the enhanced image needed to see nerves and blood vessels.

Depending on the underlying condition, Dr. Johnson may perform your surgery through a small opening. These procedures are called burr hole and keyhole surgeries.

For other conditions, he removes a small section of your skull, finishes your surgery, and then replaces the skull or covers the opening with a metal plate. This is called a craniotomy.

If you experience headaches or other symptoms of problems in your brain, you can get the help you need at Portland Neurosurgery. Don’t wait to call the office or schedule an appointment online.