Back Neurosurgery department


The Clínica Universidad de Navarra has the most sophisticated techniques for surgically treating neurological diseases.

We have a multidisciplinary area for brain tumours which works alongside Neuropathologists, Neuroradiologists and specialists in Nuclear Medicine for a precise diagnosis and postoperative care.

Patients with spinal column diseases, who are unable to have a surgical operation, can benefit from the treatments carried out by the Pain Unit at the Clínica.

For deep brain stimulation, the decision as to whether or not a patient should undergo surgery is a vitally important. 


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The options for carrying out surgical treatment are examined on a case by case basis.

Hydrocephalus consists in increasing the quantity of cerebrospinal fluid in the cerebral ventricles, which compresses the normal neurological structures.

The cause of the condition is established with an MRI scan, to determine the most effective surgical technique. If the cause is a brain tumour, the tumour is removed. For other causes, a bypass valve is fitted or an endoscopic ventriculostomy is carried out.

Hydrocephalus in adults is difficult to diagnose with MRI scans.

It could be the cause for dementia or movement disorders in people over 50 years old. The three topical symptoms of this disease are: dementia, urinary incontinence and impaired walking.

Choosing the correct treatment, whether it be an endoscopy, or classic bypass valve (peritoneal ventricle, atrial-ventricular or lumboperitoneal), is decided on a case by case basis. 

Epilepsy is one of the most common chronic neurological diseases.

60% of all types of epilepsy originate in a specific area of the brain cortex. The most common, and the only curable, type of epilepsy is located in the temporal lobe.

Pharmacological treatment controls the condition in 80% of patients with temporal lobe Epilepsy, but the rest don´t respond to antiepileptic treatments. Of these patients, 75% of cases improve after surgery.

Epilepsy surgery requires a multidisciplinary team of specialists: neurologists, neurosurgeons, neurophysiologists and psychiatrics. The most common surgery used is hippocampectomy (the removal of the temporal pole under the first temporal convolution) and the subpial exeresis of hippocampus, entorhinal cortex and amigdala. 

The Clínica has been using deep brain stimulation to treat Parkinson´s, dystonias, essential tremor and other tremors for over two decades.

Movement impairments including diseases with an excess, lack or slowness of movements (rigid-akinetic syndrome).

Surgery for Parkinson´s disease is currently a deep brain stimulation procedure. There is a therapeutic alternative, known as subthalamotomy.

Deep brain stimulation, used in the surgical treatment of Parkinson´s, has now increased possibilities for use in other related diseases with movement impairments, certain psychiatric problems and patients with refractory pain.

Trigeminal neuralgia is a nervous trigeminal condition in the cranial V.

Occasionally, recurrent episodes of paroxysmal pain may occur (intense, acute, superficial, throbbing or electric) which usually last from a few seconds to two minutes and will disturb a patient´s sleep.

Diagnosis is fundamentally based on anamnesis and a physical examination. Although physical examinations and neuroimaging studies are normally used, in the majority of cases, MRI allows specialists to see vascular loops and blood vessel compressions on the trigeminal nerve, which in conventional MRI studies, usually go unnoticed. 

Paediatric Neurosurgery is a subspecialty of Neurosurgery.

It requires prolonged collaboration with the Paediatric Department, and Paediatric Intensive Care Unit.

The advantage of having the same Neurosurgery Department take care of Paediatric cases is that the patient doesn´t have to be transferred to another centre, when they are old enough to receive adult treatments.

The Clínica Universidad de Navarra has a Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, with six beds, directed by Paediatricians who specialise in this field.

They treat conditions affecting the closure of cranial sutures or craniostenosis, congenital changes in the closure of the neural tube, central nervous system tumours, head injuries and vascular disease, epilepsy, hydrocephalus and other changes in cerebrospinal fluid circulation. 

Spinal Column Diseases are treated with the most innovative and beneficial technology for the patient.

Degenerative changes affecting the spinal column often cause people to take time off work. Cervicalgia, cervicobrachialgia, lower back pain or lumbosciatic pain are the most commonly diagnosed conditions caused by this disease and result from vertebral instability, disk deterioration, hernias, radial compression, spondylolisthesis, etc.

Currently, conservative treatment is the first option when the patient has no neurological deficits.

If this fails, surgery offers a variety of solutions depending on the cause of the pain: vertebral arthrodesis, dynamic spinal column stabilisation implants, arthroplasty and discectomy.

Central nervous system (CNS) tumours are located in the skull and spinal column.

The Clínica has created a multidisciplinary Brain Tumours Unit where Neuropathologists, Neurradiologists and Nuclear Medicine specialists work together to carry out precise pre and postoperative diagnoses.

Carrying out successful surgery requires expert and dedicated teams, as well as advanced technology.

> Read more about brain tumours 

Treatment depends on whether or not hormones are being secreted, as well as the size and spread of the tumour.

The tumours being treated are almost always benign, which provoke hormonal changes and can grow, causing loss of vision due to the compression of the optical pathways.

The therapeutic objectives are basically to remove or control the lesion, standardise hormone levels and reduce symptoms.

The current therapeutic options include: pharmacological treatment and hormonal substitution, surgery (transsphenoidal microsurgery or transcraneal endoscopy) and radiotherapy/radiosurgery. It is not uncommon to combine different types of treatment.

For almost a decade now, we have been developing nasal endoscopic surgery to carry out this procedure more safely and increase the rate of complete tumorous removals. 

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