Alaska Native Medical Center

Neurosurgery

Services Offered

The ANMC Neurosurgery Clinic specializes in providing a full range of neurosurgery services including:

ANMC’s neurosurgical team also treats patients who have brain or spinal cord trauma and are a major component of ANMC’s Level II Trauma designation.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will it take for me to be seen?
Once a complete referral is received from your primary care provider, you’ll generally be called to schedule an initial visit with Neurosurgery and imaging appointments within two weeks.

Is my first visit to set me up for a surgery?
No, even though your primary care provider may feel you need surgery, the neurosurgeons need to conduct a thorough exam and confirm they believe a surgery is needed. The initial visit consists of image reviews and a thorough physical examination.

Do I need an escort for my initial visit?
Unless your mobility is greatly diminished or other extenuating circumstances are present, you will not need an escort for your initial visit with a neurosurgeon.

Where is the Neurosurgery Clinic located?
We are on the first floor of the Alaska Native Medical Center between Cardiology and Radiology. Please do not confuse us with Neurology, which is located in the Healthy Communities Building.

I have back pain. Will Neurosurgery provide me with pain medications?
Neurosurgery only provides pain medication to patients it has completed a surgery on. If you have chronic back pain, you should discuss it with your primary care provider to confirm if pain medications are appropriate.

Why is new imaging needed?
Even if you have recently had imaging (X-rays, MRI, etc.) on your back completed, our neurosurgeons may need updated images for a variety of reasons. Imaging you received may not provide the views the neurosurgeons feel are necessary, or they may want new imaging to see if your degenerative disease has progressed further.

I’ve missed work for my back pain, will Neurosurgery help me complete my Long-Term Disability or Family Medical Leave Act paperwork?
Neurosurgery will assist with paperwork related to surgeries it completes. If you have missed work due to back pain, but have not been scheduled for a surgery, you should consult with your primary care provider.

I have been offered surgery, do I really need to quit smoking?
Yes. Prior to surgeries, Neurosurgery tests for nicotine usage and will not operate on most patients who have not quit smoking as instructed by their neurosurgeon. Tobacco use decreases the success rates of surgeries because it impairs healing and depresses your immune system.

What is the difference between pre-op with neurosurgery and pre-op with my primary care physician?
Your primary care provider will conduct a variety of tests to confirm you are healthy enough to obtain a major surgery, which includes labs, an echocardiogram and a chest X-ray if necessary. Neurosurgery reconfirms you are still healthy enough and educates you more specifically on the surgery, you will be having and obtains your consent to the surgery.

After surgery, will I be completely pain free?
All neurosurgeries are significant and you should expect to have post-operative pain due to the significance of the surgery. After significant recovery time, substantial and lasting improvements in back or leg pain should be expected, but this does not mean you should expect to be completely pain free. Each individual case is different.

Will I need physical therapy or rehabilitation after my surgery?
Physical therapy should be conducted after your surgery to help you heal. If you don’t have physical therapy in your home community, you should expect to see a physical therapist after your surgery to learn about home exercises to help the healing process. In many cases, before surgery is offered, you will be required to attempt physical therapy as a conservative measure.

How long until I can return to work?
We all heal differently so this is all depends on your individual case. Some surgeries require patients to be away from work for three months or longer.

 

Patient Resources

American Association of Neurological Surgeons: http://www.aans.org/Patient%20Information/Conditions%20and%20Treatments.aspx

If your care is too complex for Alaska Native Medical Center, here are a few providers we may request to assist with your care:

Alaska Neurology Center: https://aknc.com/
Orthopedic Physicians of Alaska: http://www.opalaska.com/neck-spine
Swedish Neuroscience Institute: http://www.swedish.org/services/neuroscience-institute

 

Clinic Hours and Contact Information

Hours: 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday
Phone: (907) 729-2525
Location: Alaska Native Medical Center hospital
First floor (southwest hallway between Cardiology and Radiology)