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Minimally Invasive + Endoscopic Neurosurgery

When it comes to caring for your nervous system, small incisions can make a big difference. We use the latest minimally invasive and endoscopic (catheter-based) neurosurgery techniques to care for conditions affecting your head, neck and spine.

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Performing neurosurgery with tools thinner than a strand of hair

Neurosurgery is a big deal, but that doesn’t mean the incisions have to be. At Tufts Medicine, our neurosurgeons specialize in using the latest minimally invasive equipment — including catheters, cameras, computer-guided technology and hyper-focused radiation — to treat everything from brain tumors to herniated discs.

What does that mean for you? Less pain, lower risk of infection, and quicker recovery times. When your neurological needs are anything but average, we’re here to over-deliver.

Carl Heilman, MD and Haran Ramachandran, MD in a neurosurgery to remove three benign brain tumors from a patient.
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Minimally invasive and endoscopic neurosurgery is a safe and effective treatment option for all kinds of conditions affecting the head, neck and spine area, including:

Arteriovenous malformation (avm)
Brain aneurysm
Brain tumors
Carotid stenosis
Herniated discs
Pituitary tumors
Spine tumors
Trigeminal neuralgia


Minimally invasive and endoscopic neurosurgery can treat your head, neck and spine while offering several important benefits:

  • Faster recovery time
  • Less blood loss
  • Less risk of infection
  • Smaller incisions

In fact, we can perform brain surgery without making any incisions at all. Talk with your doctor about coiling, endoscopic surgery, Gamma Knife surgery and microsurgery to learn how each procedure may support your wellness goals.


Catheters are thin, flexible tubes that help our doctors access hard-to-reach areas in the brain and spine. We treat 80% of our aneurysm patients using a technique called coiling.

Coiling involves inserting a spring-like device through a catheter to clot blood and close the aneurysm. Here's what to expect during this procedure:

  • We make a small incision in your groin area close to the femoral artery.
  • We insert a catheter into a blood vessel over the femoral artery.
  • We snake the catheter through the bloodstream and into the brain's blood vessels.
  • One by one, the coils are threaded through the catheters and into the aneurysm. 

Coiling helps prevent an aneurysm from bursting by clotting it with a cluster of small spring-like wires. This cluster blocks blood from flowing into the aneurysm.

When an aneurysm has a wider opening, we use a technique called stent-assisted coiling. We place a stent (a tiny mesh tube made of metal) in the blood vessel next to the aneurysm to support the coils.

Endoscopic surgery

An endoscope is like a catheter, but with a camera and light at one end. Endoscopes offer surgeons a clear view of the surgical area, which allows them to operate with greater precision.

Gamma Knife surgery

Gamma Knife surgery is a safe and painless way to perform brain, head and neck surgery without making any incisions. Instead, we focus 192 beams of gamma radiation onto the area in need of care. We’re proud to be among the few health systems in greater Boston to offer this life-changing procedure.


Our neurosurgeons treat cerebrovascular conditions such as narrowed or hardened arteries (atherosclerosis) using microsurgical instruments that are sometimes thinner than a strand of human hair.

Anasuya Gunturi MD, PhD talks with patient at Lowell General Hospital's Women's Wellness Center clinic appointment.
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Family physician Sarwada Tuladhar Jha, MD talking to patient during exam at a clinic appointment and inputting health information at the computer.
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