AANS Neurosurgical Procedural Statistics Survey Offers Insight into Practice Management World of Neurosurgeons


Newswise — When people hear the word “neurosurgeon,� most think brain surgeon. However, neurosurgeons are medical specialists who diagnose and treat disorders of the entire nervous system. They certainly operate on the brain, but In fact, more than 60 percent of procedures they perform are spine-related, according to the National Neurosurgical Procedural Statistics 2006 Survey from the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS).

“The data obtained in the recent AANS report is the most comprehensive representation of caseloads for board-certified neurosurgeons in the United States currently available,� stated AANS President James R. Bean, MD. With inclusion of the CPT codes and new procedures, it is actually more comprehensive than a similar 1999 AANS survey. However, many side-by-side comparisons are included to capture a glimpse of how the field has changed demographically and procedurally since 1999.

To obtain the most accurate results for the neurosurgical statistics report, a survey was distributed to 3,614 neurosurgeons nationwide in group, academic and solo practices. The data for the report was collected using CPT (current procedural terminology) codes that identify the neurosurgical procedures. Nearly 750 neurosurgeons participated in the survey. The mean was calculated for the sample by each procedure audited. This procedural mean was then multiplied by 3,443, which was the number of neurosurgeons board-certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery at the time of the survey.

Some of the key data from the survey include:

•The total number of procedures performed in 2006 was estimated at 2,171,195.
•Of these, 1,345,167 spine-related were performed, equating to nearly 62 percent of the total.
•The most common spine procedure was lumbar disc laminectomy, with 185,651 performed.
•The second highest category was cranial, with 592,443 procedures performed.
•The most common cranial procedure was supratentorial craniotomy, with 55,578 performed.

Select comparative data from 1999 to 2006 include:

•A decrease of 14 percent in the number of neurosurgeons in private practice
•A decrease of 13 percent in the number of neurosurgeons in solo practice
•An 11 percent increase in the number of neurosurgeons with full-time academic appointments
•A 6 percent increase in the number of female neurosurgeons

Some of the recent advances in neurosurgery are reflected in new procedures from 2006 that were not included in the 1999 report. These include procedures such as kyphoplasty, endoscopic transnasal, and several endovascular procedures including balloon angioplasty and balloon test occlusion.

Members of the media can receive a free copy of the AANS neurosurgical statistics report by contacting Betsy van Die at mailto:bvd@aans.org?subject=Newswise Article: Reporter Follow-up. Companies can purchase a downloadable copy by visiting the AANS Online Marketplace at http://marketplace.aans.org/default.aspx?tabid=100&ProdHeadId=16396.

For information on a wide range of neurosurgical topics, please visit http://www.neurosurgerytoday.org/what/patient_e/condition_treatments.asp.

Founded in 1931 as the Harvey Cushing Society, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) is a scientific and educational association with more than 7,200 members worldwide. The AANS is dedicated to advancing the specialty of neurological surgery in order to provide the highest quality of neurosurgical care to the public. All active members of the AANS are certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons (Neurosurgery) of Canada or the Mexican Council of Neurological Surgery, AC. Neurological surgery is the medical specialty concerned with the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of disorders that affect the entire nervous system, including the spinal column, spinal cord, brain and peripheral nerve

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