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Tests & Treatments

The following tests and treatments are some of the most common tests and treatments offered by specialists in this area. These specialists offer many other advanced tests and treatments for a wide range of medical problems. Please call (888) 352-RUSH (7874) if you have questions about specific tests or treatments not listed here.

  • Angiogram

    Angiogram is an X-ray exam of the blood vessels to diagnose blockages, narrowing or other blood vessel problems. Also referred to as angiography, this procedure uses a special dye (or contrast agent) to make the blood vessels visible.
  • In cervical disc replacement surgery, surgeons remove a diseased cervical disc and replace it with an artificial disc.
  • CT Scan

    CT scan (or computed tomography scan) is an imaging procedure that uses a combination of X-rays and computer technology to produce cross-sectional images (often called slices) of the body. A CT scan shows detailed images of any part of the body, including bone, muscle and organs.
  • Deep brain stimulation (DBS) involves implanting a device that delivers electric signals to the brain. This can help control symptoms of movement disorders like Parkinson's disease and dystonia.
  • Discectomy

    Discectomy is surgery to remove all or part of a herniated disc (the cushions that separate the vertebrae in the spinal column). The procedure can be done on its own or as part of a larger surgery that also includes a laminectomy, foraminotomy or spinal fusion. Discectomy may be recommended if a person has severe or persistent symptoms, including pain, numbness and weakness.  
  • Embolization

    Embolization, or endovascular embolization, is a minimally invasive procedure that occludes, or blocks, blood flow to a certain part of the body. During the procedure, a doctor uses a catheter to deliver small plastic particles, glue, metal coils (this is called coil embolization), foam or a balloon to seal off the blood vessel. Embolization can reduce the risk of an aneurysm or arteriovenous malformation rupturing, shrink tumors or fibroids, and prevent or reduce hemorrhaging (abnormal bleeding).
  • Kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty are minimally invasive surgical procedures. They are used to treat painful compression fractures of the thoracic spine (mid- and upper back) or lumbar spine (low back) caused by osteoporosis, cancer or trauma.
  • Laser Interstitial Thermal Therapy (LITT) is a minimally invasive procedure that treats hard-to-reach brain tumors. With this technique, those who receive treatment can often go home that same day or the next day.
  • Lumbar disc replacement surgery involves removing a diseased disc from the lower spine and replacing it with an artificial disc.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

    Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a diagnostic procedure that uses a combination of large magnets, radiofrequencies and a computer to produce detailed images of organs and structures within the body.
  • Radiation therapy is a cancer treatment that uses radiation to kill tumors or keep them from growing. It can also help relieve cancer symptoms.
  • Radiosurgery

    Radiosurgery enables doctors to deliver focused beams of radiation to target and treat specific areas of the body without damaging surrounding healthy tissues. It can be used for many conditions, including brain and spinal cord tumors, trigeminal neuralgia, Parkinson’s disease and arteriovenous malformation. Sometimes, radiosurgery is done using the TrueBeam Stx system. TrueBeam’s advanced computer imaging system can more precisely pinpoint radiation, allowing for more effective targeting of hard-to-reach tumors and pain-causing nerve fibers.
  • RNS System (NeuroPace)

    RNS system (NeuroPace) is a neurostimulator device used for people with treatment-resistant seizures. Implanted underneath the scalp, the device continuously monitors the brain’s electrical activity. When it identifies abnormal activity, it delivers small shocks to suppress seizures before they actually occur. Doctors are able to re-program and customize the device to each patient without performing additional surgeries.
  • Skull base surgery is used to treat sinus and skull base tumors, as well as other abnormalities near the bottom of the skull. It is performed by experienced, highly skilled ENT surgeons and neurosurgeons at the Rush Center for Pituitary and Skull Base Surgery.
  • Spinal Fusion

    Spinal fusion is a surgical procedure in which vertebrae are joined — or fused — together using metal, plastic or bone spacers, eliminating motion between the vertebrae. It is used to relieve pain and other symptoms for a variety of conditions, including tumors, spinal stenosis, fractures, spondylolisthesis, scoliosis and degenerative disc disease. Fusion can sometimes be done using smaller incisions.  
  • Stent Placement

    Stent placement is often done as part of an angioplasty procedure to widen and restore blood flow through blood vessels that have become narrowed, as well as to reduce the risk of brain and abdominal aortic aneurysms rupturing. A stent (a metal mesh or fabric tube) is used to prevent re-narrowing or reinforce a weak area in a blood vessel. After coil embolization to seal off a wide-necked aneurysm, a stent may be needed to create a barrier that keeps the coil in place.