Department of Neurosurgery
Eivenių Str. 2, LT-50009, Kaunas
tel.: (+370 37) 326982 fax.: (+370 37) 331767
Prof. Arimantas Tamasauskas
tel.: (+370 37) 326472 fax.: (+370 37) 331767
The first division of neurosurgery in Lithuania was established in 1951 in the Department of General Surgery in Kaunas Clinics. It had 30 beds. In 1963 a new block with 3 Neurosurgical departments for treatment of brain trauma, neurooncology and spinal neurosurgery was opened. In 1980 new building for Neurosurgery was opened and the Neurosurgery department expanded up to 240 beds with 18 beds of Neurosurgery Intensive care unit. In 1982 Kaunas Neurosurgery department became the National Center of Neurosurgery.
Currently Department of Neurosurgery consists of four divisions:
- Division of neurotraumatology
- Division of spine and peripheral nerves surgery
- Division of pediatric neurosurgery
- Division of brain surgery with 4 subdivisions:
- Vascular surgery
- Functional and stereotactic neurosurgery
- Skull base surgery
Neurosurgery department provides the highest quality service for patients from all regions of Lithuania. Patients who choose our Department benefit from our experience and the most advanced medical care available. Our neurosurgeons are leaders in highly specialised areas as neurooncology, cerebrovascular disorders (aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations), brain and spinal cord tumors, microvascular compression disorders (trigeminal neuralgia, hemifacial spasm), cerebral revascularization , skull base tumors (acoustic neuromas, meningiomas), peripheral nerve surgery and degenerative disorders of the spine, functional and stereotactic neurosurgery. Our pediatric neurosurgery division, which is the only one in Lithuania, offers a range of pediatric care for trauma-related injuries, as well as treatments for complex tumors, arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), hydrocephalus etc. Neurosurgery department is well equipped with modern surgical technology and devices: intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), transportable head CT scan, neuro-navigation systems, neuro-endoscopy, water jet, neuro-echoskopy and intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring systems. Neurosurgeons perform deep brain stimulation (DBS) to treat Parkinson's disease and others movement disorders. Neurosurgeons collaborate with ENT, plastic surgeons, cardiosurgeons, ophthalmologists, maxillofacial surgeons while operating some complicated cases. Part of patients with vascular diseases are treated together with interventional radiologists by endovascular coiling and other endovascular procedures.
Neurosurgery department consists of 131 beds. Health care is delivered according to European standards, evidence-based medicine is provided by highly qualified medical staff. The highest quality of health care is available to patients from all the country and abroad. Regarding competence of our staff, high qualification and selfless work using progressive methods of treatment, the most complicated diseases are diagnosed and cured. Application of new investigation technologies optimizes patient treatment, allows the performance of most complex surgeries. Close to 3500 surgeries annually are performed in the Neurosurgery department.
Students have the unique opportunity to obtain practical skills by having access to the largest neurosurgical clinical base in Lithuania. The activities of the Neurosurgery department encompasses practical and scientific medicine, education of students and residents, continuing professional training of medical specialist. Since 1993 neurosurgeons defended 16 doctoral dissertations and one habilitation work. Most of them were well-rated by neurosurgeons from foreign university clinics (Harvard, West Berlin, Nagoya and others). Neurosurgery department of LUHS was evaluated by Joint Residency Advisory and Accreditation Committee (JRAAC) consisting of European Union of Medical Specialists (UEMS) and European Association of Neurosurgical Societies (EANS) members and granted full accreditation as fulfilling European standards of Excellence in education in Neurosurgery (see Table 1). Fifth grade medical students of Faculty of Medicine of Lithuanian University of Health Sciences (LUHS) have course of Neurosurgery with lectures and practice work. Medical training courses for doctors are led by approved programs of LUHS (see table 2). Residents from other specialities: orthopedic surgeons, surgeons, pediatric surgeons, neurologists, pediatric neurologists, psychiatrists are taught by approved residency program. The modern library which contains a number of medical periodical journals and books was established in the Neurosurgery department. In this specialized library students and residents can get practical work and improve microsurgical skills. Neurosurgical operations can be monitored through an image transmission system ISIS (France).
Neurosurgery department of Lithuanian University of Health Sciences (LUHS) collaborates with Neuroscience Institute and especially with the laboratory of Neurooncology and genetics. Since 2003 the Laboratory of Neurooncology and genetics has been carrying out scientific research on the following issue “Etiopathogenesis and molecular biomarkers of CNS Tumors: the Optimisation of Diagnosing and Treatment”. The main trends of research work are as follows: the analysis of epidemiological factors of CNS tumors and studies of clinical, etiopathogenetic, radiological factors, which play a decisive role in the course of disease. In addition to basic research, clinical trials of brain tumors, traumatic brain injuries, spinal and peripherial nerve injuries are conducted. The ongoing studies are increasingly supported by the genetic and clinical analysis of the brain tumor specimens, which are stored in the extensive Brain tissue biobank. The combination between clinic and scientific units, being unique in Lithuania, meets the organizational structure of the world’s most prominent clinics where neurosurgeons together with scientists develop scientific activities and education of students. This gives an opportunity for close cooperation between international science institutes and universities, thereby reinforcing the significance of Neurosurgery department as an informal neurosurgery center in Lithuania.