Cerebrovascular Disorders

Seniors sitting on a bench

To make an appointment with a cerebrovascular disorder specialist, call 410-328-6034.

The University of Maryland Medical Center Department of Neurosurgery's Stroke and Cerebrovascular Disorders Program includes evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of stroke (which occurs when the brain’s blood supply is interrupted or reduced), and a range of other brain and blood vessel conditions. The program focuses on the individual patient, and the desire to improve future therapies and surgical techniques.

What Sets Us Apart

  • Team approach to care – Our neurosurgeons work around-the-clock with other highly trained specialists, including neurologists, neuro-radiologists, neurointensivists and nurses, to optimize patient care and success. This cohesive effort, combined with surgical expertise, results in outstanding, multidisciplinary care and carefully coordinated treatment plans for each patient.
  • Meet our
    Cerebrovascular
    Disorders Team
  • Highly experienced team – The skilled neurosurgeons specializing in stroke and cerebrovascular disorders are among the most respected in their fields for their focus on patient safety, ability to treat complex conditions and ground-breaking research into the molecular mechanisms of brain diseases. They also partner with the UM Gamma Knife Center – the first center of its kind in the Mid-Atlantic – to bring patients the most advanced, minimally invasive treatments. Gamma Knife radiosurgery is a revolutionary, non-invasive surgery that has proven effective for arteriovenous malformations and certain brain tumors.
  • Access to clinical trials – In addition to performing advanced and complex surgeries, our team of neurosurgeons improves the future of care through local, innovative clinical trials. Through his research, J. Marc Simard, M.D., renowned neurosurgeon and professor of neurosurgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, discovered the molecular mechanism for most of the swelling that occurs after a stroke, traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury. He then led a clinical trial of a medicine designed to reduce this swelling and even death. The medicine, known as CIRARA, is being tested nationwide. Early results are promising, showing swelling and deaths cut in half when the medicine is given intravenously. For more information about ongoing neurosurgical clinical trials, click here.

Conditions We Treat

  • Aneurysms – A weak area in the wall of a blood vessel that causes the blood vessel to bulge or balloon out. When an aneurysm occurs in a blood vessel of the brain, it is known as a cerebral aneurysm.
  • Arteriovenous malformations (AVM) – A cerebral arteriovenous malformation is an abnormal connection between the arteries and veins in the brain that usually forms before birth.
  • Carotid artery disease – Also known as carotid stenosis, carotid artery disease occurs when the carotid arteries become narrowed or blocked.
  • Cavernous malformations – Clusters of abnormal blood vessels filled with blood in the brain or on the spinal cord. 
  • Trigeminal neuralgia – This chronic pain condition affects the fifth cranial nerve – one of the most widely distributed nerves in the head.
University of Maryland Medical Center - brain scans

Advanced Treatment Options

As part of the team approach to care, our neurosurgeons work with neurologists and neuro-radiologists to determine the best course of treatment for each patient. When medical interventions are not effective, the team offers patients a range of advanced interventional and surgical treatments for their neurological care.

Aneurysm

  • Clipping/open brain surgery (craniotomy) – Surgeons perform a craniotomy to create an opening in the skull and gain access to the aneurysm. Then, they place a clip on the aneurysm’s opening to obstruct blood flowing into the aneurysm. 
  • Endovascular repair (using coils/coiling and stents) – A minimally invasive technique using a catheter to reach the aneurysm and then coils to induce clotting and prevent blood flow from entering it. 

Arteriovenous malformations

  • Open brain surgery (craniotomy) – Procedure to remove the abnormal connection through an opening in the skull.
  • Embolization (endovascular treatment) – An alternative to open surgery, the procedure uses a catheter and then a glue-like substance to cut off blood supply. 
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery (Gamma Knife) – During this noninvasive procedure, radiation is aimed at the arteriovenous malformation, causing scarring and shrinkage, and reducing the risk of bleeding.

Carotid stenosis

  • Carotid endarterectomy – Surgery to remove plaque buildup in the arteries. In most cases, surgeons make an incision in a patient’s neck crease, minimizing the appearance of a scar.
  • Carotid angioplasty and stenting – Procedure to open a blocked artery and place a tiny, wire mesh inside to keep it open.

Cavernous malformations (cavernous angioma)

  • Open brain surgery (craniotomy) – Procedure to remove the abnormal connection through an opening in the skull.
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery (Gamma Knife) – During this noninvasive procedure, radiation is aimed at the cavernous angioma, causing scarring and shrinkage, and reducing the risk of bleeding.

Trigeminal neuralgia

  • Microvascular decompression – Surgeons make a small opening through the mastoid bone behind the ear. Then, they move the vessel that is compressing the nerve and place a cushion between it and the nerve.
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery (Gamma Knife) – During this noninvasive procedure, radiation is aimed at the site where the trigeminal nerve leaves the brain. This causes a lesion to form, which then disrupts transmission of sensory signals to the brain.