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What is the difference between a neurologist and a neurosurgeon?

A neurologist is a medical doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating conditions of the nervous system, including the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves. They use non-surgical methods such as medication, lifestyle changes, and other therapies to manage neurological disorders. On the other hand, a neurosurgeon is a medical doctor who specializes in surgical interventions for conditions affecting the nervous system. Dr. Kakoulides performs surgeries to treat conditions such as brain tumors, nerve related conditions and complex spinal diagnosis.

When should I see a neurologist?

You should consider seeing a neurologist if you experience symptoms related to the nervous system, including persistent headaches, seizures, dizziness, numbness or tingling, muscle weakness, memory problems, or changes in coordination. Neurologists are experts in diagnosing and managing conditions such as migraines, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and neuropathy.

When should I see a neurosurgeon?

If your condition requires surgical intervention or if non-surgical treatments have not provided satisfactory results, you should consult with a neurosurgeon. Common conditions that may require the expertise of a neurosurgeon include brain tumors, spinal disorders (such as herniated discs or spinal stenosis), spinal cord injuries, nerve compressions (like sciatica), craniotomy and traumatic brain injuries. Dr. Kakoulides is a leader in both minimally invasive and complex spine and brain surgery. He has dedicated his life to the treatment of these complex disorders.

How do I decide whether to see a neurologist or a neurosurgeon?

In general, many patients start by consulting with a neurologist or primary care physician, who can evaluate your symptoms, perform or refer for diagnostic tests, and recommend non-surgical treatment options. If your condition requires surgical intervention, the neurologist or PCP should refer you to a neurosurgeon for further evaluation and potential surgical consultation and treatment. The decision ultimately depends on the nature and severity of your condition, and the expertise required for diagnosis and treatment.

Can a neurologist and a neurosurgeon work together?

Yes, neurologists and neurosurgeons often work together in a collaborative manner to provide comprehensive care for patients with complex neurological conditions. They may consult with each other, share diagnostic findings, and develop treatment plans that combine non-surgical and surgical approaches, ensuring the best possible outcome for the patient. Dr. Kakoulides has spent decades building strong, communal relationships with top area healthcare providers . He is a strong believer that the best patient outcomes happen when specialists work in concert with one another.

Do I need a referral to see a neurologist or neurosurgeon?

In many cases, it is advisable to obtain a referral from your primary care physician before seeing a specialist. However, specific requirements may vary based on your location and health insurance. Check with your healthcare network to understand the referral process and whether it is necessary in your case.


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