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When a Headache May Have a Serious Underlying Cause

Most headaches are not a cause for serious concern. Many people experience migraines, tension headaches, and cluster headaches regularly that resolve themselves within a few hours.

However, in a few situations, a headache might be caused by a serious underlying medical condition, such as a brain tumor, an aneurysm, a blood clot, an impending stroke, or meningitis.

Indicators that you should see a doctor is if the headache is new, peculiar, or unusually severe. Another sign is if the headache does not subside with over-the-counter pain medications, home remedies, or by changing the environment that may be triggering the headache.

You also should see a doctor if the symptoms do not improve within a couple of weeks, as well as if you experience any of the following, especially at the same time as the headache:

  • Weakness on one side of the body
  • The headache is worse in the morning or when you’re lying down
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Waking up from sleep due to the headache
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Pressure in the back of the head
  • A sensation of the room spinning
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of balance
  • Fever
  • Stiff neck/numbness
  • Seizure or speech problems
  • Hearing problems
  • A painful red eye
  • Tenderness near the temples
  • Cognitive issues or personality changes
Headaches may be symptoms of more serious underlying medical conditions. In this image, a young woman in pain is lying on a couch with her hand on her forehead.

Headaches may be symptoms of serious underlying medical conditions.

Additionally, you should see a doctor for a headache if:

  • It starts suddenly and is severe
  • You have cancer
  • You have liver, heart, or kidney disease
  • You are pregnant
  • You have an immune disorder such as HIV

Treatments and remedies for everyday headaches or headaches that have underlying causes vary depending on the circumstances. You should consult with a physician to thoroughly review your symptoms.

Our neurosurgeons here at Insight can provide you with a treatment plan or surgical options for conditions such as brain tumors, aneurysms, disc herniations, lumbar spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, and trigeminal neuralgia. Contact us for more information about our services.


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For medical emergencies, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.

Living with Chronic Liver Disease: Cirrhosis Causes and Treatment Options

Being diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver can be very scary for the individual and for his or her loved ones. Many questions will come to mind, so discussing the facts and your feelings openly and honestly will help. Having a support system is key to helping the patient feel more comfortable and maintain peace of mind.

Cirrhosis is a type of chronic liver disease that affects more than 4 million people in the United States each year. In Michigan alone, more than 1,300 died of chronic liver disease in 2017.

Although the condition is treatable and oftentimes preventable, it can’t be cured. With treatment and self-care, however, the symptoms can be minimized.

Facts about Cirrhosis

Cirrhosis is when hard tissue replaces soft and healthy tissue, described as the scarring of the liver. As the disease worsens, the liver will have more scarred tissue and less healthy tissue. If left untreated, the liver will no longer be able to work properly.

Cirrhosis is caused by long-term liver disease, but it can take many years for liver damage to lead to cirrhosis. Initial causes of the liver disease include:

  • Chronic alcoholism
  • Hepatitis C (chronic viral hepatitis)
  • Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, which can lead to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis
  • Bile duct disease
  • Genetic disease such as Wilson disease, hemochromatosis, and glycogen storage diseases

Many people do not realize they have liver disease until they experience symptoms of cirrhosis. As cirrhosis only occurs in advanced stages of liver disease, this reinforces the importance of regular physicals with a primary care physician, which can help detect problems earlier.

Symptoms of cirrhosis include yellowing of the eyes, known as jaundice.

Symptoms of cirrhosis include yellowing of the eyes, known as jaundice.

Cirrhosis symptoms include:

  • Bleeding or bruising easily
  • Swelling in the legs or abdomen due to water buildup
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Yellowing of the skin and eyes, known as jaundice
  • Itchy skin
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Blockages of blood vessels leading to your liver
  • Sensitivity to medications
  • Fatigue
  • Joint pain
  • Elevated body temperature
  • Insulin resistance and the development of type 2 diabetes
  • Buildup of toxins in the brain
  • Enlarged spleen

Treatment & Management

Stages of liver damage proceed from healthy liver to fatty liver to liver fibrosis, and then to cirrhosis.The goal of treatment is to minimize symptoms, to keep the disease from getting worse, and to try to stop or slow the damage by protecting the healthy liver tissue.  Treatments include the use of medications and lifestyle changes, including:

  • Maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly
  • Limiting salt intake to prevent or reduce fluid buildup
  • Avoiding raw shellfish
  • Stopping alcohol consumption
  • Talking with your doctor about all of the medications, vitamins, and supplements you take, as well as about hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccinations
  • Practicing safe sex
  • Using clean needles for tattoos or piercings
  • Not sharing needles, razors, toothbrushes, or other personal items with others

Liver transplants may also be required, especially in more advanced cases known as End-Stage Liver Disease. The life expectancy for someone with cirrhosis and no major complications is more than 12 years, but it can be less for individuals in advanced stages or who have complications.

Chronic Liver Disease Treatment at Insight

Here at Insight Surgical Hospital, we specialize in chronic liver disease treatment and many other gastrointestinal health issues. We focus on treating the whole person with a goal of creating a better prognosis.

To learn more or speak with one of our physicians, message us through our website.


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Trigeminal Neuralgia: What It Is and How It May Be Treated

One of the most painful medical conditions known today is a rare condition known as trigeminal neuralgia. Because it’s not as well-known as some other medical concerns, chances are that it’s underdiagnosed. Understanding what trigeminal neuralgia is, however, is the first step in recognizing it in yourself and loved ones.

What is Trigeminal Neuralgia?

Trigeminal neuralgia is characterized by extreme, sporadic, sudden burning or shock-like facial pain in the areas of the face connected to the cranial nerve, also known as the trigeminal nerve. Areas frequently affected include the lips, eyes, nose, scalp, forehead, upper jaw, and lower jaw.

The pain comes on suddenly and can last a few seconds or up to 2 minutes. The pain may also occur repeatedly for as long as two hours.  Over a span of several months or years, the duration between episodes may decrease, leading to a more constant pain.

This more prevalent form of TN is known as TN1. In even rarer instances, some individuals have a form of the disorder characterized by a more constant but less severe pain, which is known as TN2.

Trigeminal neuralgia is characterized by extreme, sporadic, sudden burning or shock-like facial pain in the areas of the face connected to the cranial nerve, also known as the trigeminal nerve.

Trigeminal neuralgia is characterized by extreme, sporadic, sudden burning or shock-like facial pain in the areas of the face connected to the cranial nerve, also known as the trigeminal nerve.


What Causes the Disorder?

While a variety of factors may be involved, researchers believe trigeminal neuralgia is caused by a blood vessel pressing on the trigeminal nerve and also damaging its protective coating.

TN can occur in people of any age, including infants, but is most common in individuals older than 50. About 100,000 new cases are diagnosed every year, which makes it a rare disorder.  By comparison, more than 230,000 new cases of lung cancer were recorded in 2018.

Individuals suffering from this condition may avoid contact with other individuals or attending social events, as the attacks can be triggered by vibration or contact with the cheek. Everyday actions such as brushing teeth, eating, talking, or even being exposed to the wind can bring on an attack. As a result, the condition can lead to emotional and psychological concerns, such as depression. Because a symptom of depression is pain in itself, this factor can worsen the symptoms of TN.

Treatment & Remedies

Today, there is no cure for this disorder, although a crucial aspect of finding a more permanent solution is greater research into the root cause of the pain.

Nevertheless, patients can obtain relief by using medications used to treat trigeminal neuralgia, such as:

  • Anticonvulsant medications (most commonly carbamazepine, known by the brand Tegretol)
  • Antidepressants to treat emotional and physical pain
  • Muscle relaxants

More significant medical procedures may be used in extreme cases, such as microvascular decompression, gamma knife radiosurgery, or radiofrequency lesioning.

1. Microvascular Decompression

This is the most common and most effective procedure, but also the most serious in terms of processes and recovery. It involves drilling a small hole into the skull behind the ear in an effort to move the blood vessel away from the trigeminal nerve and adding padding to prevent it from compressing the nerve.

2. Gamma Knife Radiosurgery

This is a minimally invasive, outpatient remedy wherein radiation beams are aimed at the nerve in an effort to minimize the transmission of pain signals.

3. Radiofrequency Lesioning

With this procedure, an electrode is inserted through the cheek to heat the nerve, also with a goal of selectively damaging it in order to stop pain signals from traveling to the brain.

Ask your doctor or a member of our team for more information about trigeminal neuralgia and minimally invasive treatment options available at Insight. Send us a message online with questions or comments, or call us to learn more.


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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatment and Prevention

The numbness, tingling, and pain in the hands, wrists, and arms may be all too familiar to you if you have carpal tunnel syndrome, and if so, you’re far from alone. More than eight million people are affected by CTS every year.

Fortunately, various forms of carpal tunnel syndrome treatment can help alleviate the associated symptoms. In fact, more than 230,000 carpal tunnel surgeries are performed every year.

If you’re feeling pain in your fingers, wrists, or arms and are wondering if you might have CTS, it will help to understand basic facts about the condition.

CTS Explained

In order to define the syndrome, let’s start with explaining the phrase “carpal tunnel.” It is a space in the wrist where nine tendons and a median nerve pass from the arm into the hand. The bottom and sides of this “tunnel” are formed by small wrist bones called carpal bones. The top, located on the palm side, is a strong band of connective tissue called the transverse carpal ligament.

About an inch wide, the tunnel protects the median nerve and flexor tendons that bend the fingers and thumb.

Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when there is pressure and swelling in this tunnel. Although it’s unclear, possible causes of CTS include:

  • Arthritis
  • Thyroid conditions
  • Pregnancy
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Injury
  • Repetitive use of the wrists without necessary precautions, such as improper use of a computer keyboard, regular use of tools at work, and participating in sports, games, or other hobbies.
Carpal tunnel surgery can help reduce the pain associated with CTS.

Carpal tunnel surgery can help reduce the pain associated with CTS.


Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatment and Prevention

Because it’s difficult to determine the definite cause of CTS, preventing it can be challenging. However, some of the following prevention and self-care tips may help.

  • Use ergonomically designed furniture and computer equipment.
  • Use proper posture when typing.
  • Wear a wrist brace when participating in games and sports that strain your wrists, such as bowling.
  • Wear proper protection and pay attention to your form if you work in manufacturing, automotive, or other industrial industries.
  • Sleep with your wrists straight.
  • Take frequent breaks at work or when participating in hobbies.
  • Stretch your arms over your head and wiggle your fingers to reduce tension.
Laser therapy is used to treat carpal tunnel syndrome.

Carpal tunnel syndrome treatment methods include the use of laser therapy.


In some cases, more significant remedies may be advised. These carpal tunnel syndrome treatment options include:

  • Temporarily splinting the wrist
  • Laser therapy
  • Oral medications
  • Steroid injections
  • Surgery to cut the ligament at the top of the tunnel in order to enlarge it and decrease pressure

Here at Insight, one of the many specialties within our Orthopedic Services unit is minimally invasive, outpatient surgery to treat carpal tunnel syndrome. For more information about this surgical option or our other orthopedic services, call us at (810) 226-0076 or message us through our website.


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Insight Headed for Lincoln Park: Hospital Location to be Used as COVID Treatment Relief Center

Insight is pleased to announce that it has received a $500,000 grant from the Wayne County Commission to buy a former Lincoln Park hospital, which will be used as Insight’s newest location. Temporarily, part of this 128,000 square foot facility on West Outer Drive will be used as a COVID-19 patient overflow center, and it may open as soon as April 17.

Insight’s leadership will use the Community Development Block Grant to buy the now closed Vibra Hospital, which ceased operations in 2018. The facility will be renovated into a space that can care for up to 80 coronavirus patients, but because it has the capacity to care for 440, it could possibly accommodate many more patients if needed.In addition to providing much-needed space, Insight’s staff will provide their services at the Lincoln Park facility.

The grant will come from the share of funding that Wayne County is receiving through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act passed by Congress. Wayne County accounts for nearly half of all the confirmed coronavirus cases in Michigan. As of April 16, Michigan had nearly 30,000 coronavirus cases and more than 2,000 deaths. Of that number, 884 deaths and more than 12,000 cases were in Wayne County.

“We will be taking physicians, mid-level, nurses, nurse aid volunteers as well, as the workforce has already been spread so thin,” said Dr. Jawad Shah, founder of Flint-based Insight. “We would like to be a resource for the community in these trying times rather than sitting back and doing nothing.”

Insight is currently working to get both serology and point-of-care COVID-19 testing machines that can be used at the Lincoln Park outreach site.

Insight is also offering assistance at its Flint, Warren, and Dearborn Heights campuses. On April 2, Insight Surgical Hospital CEO Atif Bawahab reached out to area hospitals and physicians, asking for a collaborative effort to battle against this deadly virus.

“As a Joint Commission hospital, Insight Surgical Hospital is looking to mitigate the systemic effect of this crisis by opening our doors to local hospitals experiencing a surge in the ER and occupied beds from COVID-19 patients,” Bawahab said.  “Although our patient rooms are not equipped with medical gas pipelines to treat ventilator COVID-19 patients, we can admit patients to prevent the spread of the virus and ease the admission burden in the hospital systems in addition to providing block time for post-op, emergent, and urgent surgical cases.”

Eventually, Insight plans to convert the Lincoln Park facility, located on 14 acres, into a 440-bed medical building, extending Insight’s presence in Michigan to the Downriver community. Wayne County and Lincoln Park leaders are touting this purchase as a way to breathe life into this area and spur further investments.

Insight plans to invest $1.5 million in short-term renovations and $20 million over the long-term, as well as create more than 300 jobs here.

Currently, Insight provides multiple services at its state-of-the-art in-patient and out-patient facilities in Flint, Warren, and Dearborn Heights. It aims to lead the way toward more insightful, powerful, and effective standards of care starting with the central nervous system, the neurosciences, and surgical specialties. Having multiple divisions under one roof facilitates Insight’s intended purpose – to provide a comprehensive, collaborative approach to patient care with enhanced communication for optimal results.

Headquartered in Flint, Michigan in a 510,000 square-foot facility and adjacent 60,000 square-foot building, Insight has more than 350 employees, two ambulatory surgery centers, and an 18-bed Neuro & Trauma Rehabilitation Center.  The Warren location, Insight Surgical Hospital, is a 24-hour in-patient concierge hospital equipped to handle post-op cases for several surgical specialties.







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Insight Surgical Hospital Makes Its Mark in Warren

Neurosurgeon Jawad Shah felt acquiring the former Michigan Surgical Hospital in Warren could be a wise investment because it would enhance the services offered at the Insight Institute for Neurosurgery & Neuroscience in Flint while offering lower prices to patients than larger, full-service hospitals, as posted in Crain’s Detroit Business.

Shah said owning a hospital gives him a place to treat patients while maintaining better control of quality and outcomes.

“We have very strong relationships with the big hospitals that I very much enjoy and partner with. That will continue,” Shah said to Crain’s. “The surgical hospital is a new opportunity for us. We can have the most sophisticated surgery equipment in the world for our patients. That’s what we want to do.”

Insight was able to retain the physicians who were there and also brought in its own. Since it has owned the surgical hospital, Insight has increased patient satisfaction scores across the board compared with its previous owner.

Before Insight acquired Michigan Surgical in 2018, the hospital reported an operating loss of $2.86 million on net patient revenue of $16.2 million, according to Medicare cost reports provided by American Hospital Directory.

While financial numbers for 2019 have not been finalized, Insight projects to exceed 2018 revenue numbers and post a profit for 2019, partially due to a change in the type of equipment that is used.

About $5 million was spent on upgrades and new equipment over the past year, according to Atif Bawahab, Insight Surgical Hospital’s CEO.

Insight plans to build out a multi-specialty clinic adjacent to the hospital with about 15-20 examination rooms, pharmacy, laboratory, and physical and occupational therapy services. The $5 million-$10 million project is expected to be completed this summer, Bawahab said.

(See the full story on

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What is a Fluoroscopy?

X-rays provide images. CT scans and MRIs provide multi-dimensional images. Endoscopic procedures provide images of what is inside the body. But there’s another type of imaging technique, and it’s one of the most intriguing. It’s called a fluoroscopy, and it essentially provides an X-ray style video of what is happening inside the body.

Consider it like a combination of an ultrasound video and something straight out of a science fiction movie.

What a Fluoroscopy Is and How It Works

Fluoroscopy is a type of medical imaging that shows a continuous X-ray image on a monitor in incredible detail. During the procedure, an X-ray beam is passed through the body. The real-time image is transmitted to a monitor so the movement of a body part, a surgical instrument in the body, or a contrast agent can be monitored.

What is a fluoroscopy? It's like an X-ray video of what is actively happening inside your body. This single contrast image shows a rectal injection of barium contrast into the colon and rectum, and X-ray films are obtained under fluoroscopic control.

A fluoroscopy is like an X-ray video of what is actively happening inside your body.

A fluoroscopy can be beneficial in assisting in the diagnosis and treatment of a variety of health conditions. They are often used for:

  • Barium X-rays and enemas in order to view the gastrointestinal tract
  • Catheter insertion and manipulation in order to direct the movement of a catheter through blood vessels, bile ducts, or the urinary system
  • Placement of devices, such as stents or pacemakers, into the body
  • Angiograms in order to visualize blood vessels and organs
  • Orthopedic surgery in order to guide joint replacements and for the treatment of fractures

The exam itself typically takes about 20 minutes and does not generally require any preparation on the patient’s part. If a fluoroscopy is done in conjunction with other medical procedures, such as the insertion of a catheter, the duration and details depend on the requirements of the procedure.

A fluoroscopy isn’t painful and does not require any injections, anesthesia, or incisions, although the associated procedure might require these steps. However, if dye is required to enable your medical team to see clearer, this may be given to you intravenously, through an enema, or orally.

Like some other imaging techniques, the downside is exposure to radiation, although that’s typically minimal. Exposure to radiation has been associated with skin burns and some cancers, but the benefits of the imaging technique may outweigh the minimal risks in most cases.

Contact Insight Surgical Hospital for More Information

For more information about what a fluoroscopy is, how it works, how to prepare for it, or what to expect afterward, contact Insight Surgical Hospital’s health care team. We can answer any remaining questions you may have about this imaging technique or your associated surgical procedure.

Send us a message through our website or call (810) 226-0076.


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Managing Back Pain: What a Discogram Is and How It Differs from an MRI

In order to determine the exact cause of your back pain, your physician may recommend a discogram. While most of us are familiar with X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs, a discogram may be a new concept to you. The main difference is that while other types of imaging may be helpful in identifying the possible cause of your back pain, a discogram can confirm it.

What is a Discogram, and What Can I Expect During the Test?

Unlike other imaging techniques, a discogram is an invasive procedure that stimulates a sense of pain in spinal cord discs in order to determine the precise location that is causing pain.

During the test, a special dye is injected into discs to make each one visible on a fluoroscopy monitor, and X-rays are taken as this occurs. If a disc is healthy, you likely will not feel notable pain during the injection. If you do feel pain at a certain point, that particular disc is likely to blame for some or all of your back pain.

Additionally, the dye should remain in the place of injection within each disc, but if the dye spreads, it’s a sign that the disc may be damaged.

Is a Discogram Painful?

If you regularly experience back pain, the pain during the test is similar to what you would feel on a typical day, not much worse. The test lasts up to an hour, and the doctor may give you an antibiotic beforehand to prevent infection. You will be awake during the procedure, but you may be given mild sedatives to help you relax.

You should have someone drive you home after the test, and you may feel some pain for about a day afterward.

What is the Difference Between a Discogram and an MRI?

An MRI, which stands for magnetic resonance imaging, can provide a 3D image of a certain area of the body. Through the MRI, radiologists can obtain a wealth of information, such as pinpointing discs that may be damaged.

If you have been experiencing back pain, an MRI may be all you need to answer questions about the cause of your pain. Additionally, an MRI is a non-invasive imaging procedure, while the discogram is much more involved.

However, a discogram may provide additional information that an MRI cannot. Namely, the discogram can confirm the exact source of the pain through the pain stimulation technique.

An MRI shows the spinal structure of the lower back. The difference between a discogram and an MRI is that a discogram can confirm that cause of back pain.

The difference between a discogram and an MRI, such as the one shown here, is that a discogram can confirm the source of back pain.


Are There Any Risks Associated with a Discogram?

Like many other medical procedures, there are some side effects and typical recovery periods you may expect, as well as some risks you should be aware of beforehand.

Mild side effects include headaches, bruising, and soreness in the area for about 24 hours after the test.

If you experience any of the following more serious issues contact your doctor immediately:

  • Signs of an infection, such as swelling, redness, fever, and skin in the area that is unusually warm to the touch
  • Long-lasting, strong headaches
  • Allergic reaction to the dye

Perhaps the most significant risk associated with a discogram is injury to the nerves or blood vessels around the spine, although the risk of this occurring is extremely low.

For more information about what a discogram is and what you can expect before, during, and after the test, contact Insight Surgical Hospital’s Pain Clinic online or call us at (810) 226-0076.


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Rotator Cuff Injuries: What They Are and the Treatment Options

The shoulder is the most flexible joint in the human body, so it’s no wonder that shoulder pain due to rotator cuff injuries is so common.

The rotator cuff consists of four muscles whose tendons come together to form a covering around the head of the upper arm bone (humerus) and top of the shoulder. It stabilizes your shoulder, enables you to “rotate” it, and makes it possible for you to lift your arm.

Over time, it undergoes tremendous wear and tear, which can be reversed or at least alleviated with physical therapy or surgery. Injuries also may lead to the need for rotator cuff repair.

Common Causes of Rotator Cuff Injuries

The rotator cuff consists of four muscles whose tendons come together to form a covering around the head of the upper arm bone (humerus) and top of the shoulder. Rotatory cuff injuries or wear-and-tear can be caused by a variety of issues. They include:

  • Inflammation due to tendonitis or arthritis
  • Repetitive use for work, athletic activities, games, or hobbies, such as playing baseball or playing the violin
  • Sudden injury, such as those that may be caused by a fall
  • Heavy lifting

If your pain is due to an injury, immediate self-care may help. Depending on the type of injury you experience and the advice of your physician, these include resting, applying ice to the area, and applying pressure to the area.

You should see a doctor immediately if you have significant swelling, deep pain, or can’t lift your arm.

Shoulder Pain Treatment Options

Treatment options include physical therapy, arthroscopic surgery, or open surgery.

Consult with your physician before beginning any type of exercise routine. Generally, however, physical therapy treatments may include stretching, pulling, or shoulder rotation exercises as appropriate. If your doctor recommends physical therapy, Insight offers comprehensive solutions at its Flint campus.

If a surgical procedure is recommended, Insight Surgical Hospital, located in Warren, specializes in minimally invasive surgeries for rotator cuff injuries and much more. For more information, see our website, call us, or message us online.


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Types of Back Surgery

Facts about the Basic Types of Back Surgery

Back pain and discomfort is something many of us experience occasionally, but when the pain becomes constant and more extreme, it can be unbearable. Insight offers various types of back surgery to help alleviate pain, as well as a support system that can improve patients’ quality of life.

When you choose Insight for your back surgery, we can explain the source of your symptoms, provide treatment, and offer suggestions for future self-care. In the meantime, identifying the potential source of your back problems and understanding what your back surgery may entail can help alleviate some of your concerns. Following is basic, general information that may answer some of your questions.

3 Main Types of Back Surgery

Spinal Fusion
A spinal fusion fuses together two or more vertebrae in your spine so that they heal into a single bone. This process can reduce pain and help stabilize the spine. Prior to determining if you need back surgery, your doctor will likely order a CT scan or MRI.

Spinal fusion surgery may be recommended if you have:

  • Degenerative disk disease
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Scoliosis
  • Fractured vertebra
  • Herniated disk

A laminectomy is the surgical removal of the posterior arch of a vertebra (the lamina) in order to relieve compression of a nerve root. This procedure creates extra space that can reduce pressure on the spine. The surgeon may also remove bone spurs that put pressure on the spinal cord or nerves.

A diskectomy is the surgical removal of a damaged disk in your spine. A herniated disk occurs when material inside the disk pushes through a crack in the exterior. Surgery may be necessary because a herniated disk places pressure on the spine, leading to nerve weakness and pain.

Physical Therapy for Back Pain

Surgical procedures are typically recommended only after physical therapy, self-care, and lifestyle changes do not resolve the symptoms. Physical therapy is available at our Insight location in Flint, Michigan.

While the above includes common types of back surgery, it is not a definitive list of procedures that can be completed here at our surgery center in Warren. Our staff is here to assist surgeons in providing patients with health care solutions efficiently and with a warm, compassionate touch.

Patients and physicians who wish to obtain more information may visit the Insight website, send us a message online, or call us at (586) 427-1000.

Causes of Brain Aneurysms and Their Rupture

A ruptured brain aneurysm can be life-threatening and is certainly terrifying. According to the Brain Aneurysm Foundation, ruptures occur in about 30,000 people in the United States each year, and 40 percent of these cases result in death within 24 hours.

Contrary to general public belief, a brain aneurysm itself is not what leads to the need for immediate medical care. A brain aneurysm becomes detrimental when it ruptures, leading to bleeding. Having a brain aneurysm in itself can be dangerous as well, however, because it can cause pressure on other areas of the brain when it enlarges.

Aneurysm Defined

A brain aneurysm is a bulging area in an artery in the brain, similar to a thin balloon. It becomes life-threatening if it ruptures.

A brain aneurysm is a bulging area in an artery in the brain, similar to a thin balloon. It becomes life-threatening if it ruptures.

A brain aneurysm is a weak, bulging area in an artery in the brain, similar to a thin balloon. Because the walls are weak, an aneurysm is at risk of rupturing. If it ruptures, blood spills into the space between the skull and the brain. This is a serious type of stroke called a subarachnoid hemorrhage.

If someone experiences a ruptured brain aneurysm, it’s vital that you call 911 immediately. Do not drive the individual to a hospital, as paramedics may need to implement life-saving methods en route.

There are two types of brain aneurysms.

  • A saccular aneurysm is the most common. It is sometimes called a “berry” aneurysm because it looks like a berry. These are connected to the main artery and bulge only on one side of the artery.
  • In a fusiform aneurysm, the artery is widened on both sides.

Causes of Brain Aneurysms

In some cases, individuals can reduce their risk of getting brain aneurysms, as they can develop as a result of genetics and nature as well as environmental factors. They are more common in women than men, and they are more likely to affect individuals over the age of 40.

Some of the controllable risk factors and causes of brain aneurysms include:

  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • Drug use, particularly cocaine
  • Excessive alcohol use

In addition to family history, gender, and age, additional correlations include the presence of other disorders. As stated on the Brain Aneurysm Foundation website, these include:

  • Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
  • Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease
  • Marfan syndrome
  • Fibromuscular dysplasia
  • The presence of an arteriovenous malformation
  • A congenital abnormality in the artery wall

Infection and severe head trauma also are common causes of brain aneurysms and their potential rupture.


Insight Surgical Hospital’s core focus is on neurosurgery and neuroscience, enabling us to treat brain aneurysms and other brain surgeries with incomparable skill and experience. Aneurysm treatments have greatly advanced in recent years, and prognoses often look promising.
Treatment options include open surgery, wherein a metal clip is placed across the base of an aneurysm so that blood cannot enter it. Another is endovascular therapy, where coils, stents, or flow diversion devices are used.

If the individual is not experiencing symptoms, an additional option is no treatment at all. In this case, doctors should monitor the aneurysm closely, and patients should be aware of signs indicating that the aneurysm is getting larger.


When an aneurysm ruptures or bleeds, it can be equated to a balloon that has been over-inflated.

High blood pressure is believed to be the leading cause of aneurysm ruptures. Other possible causes include heavy lifting or straining that causes pressure in the brain, the use of blood thinners and certain other prescription medications, and the use of illicit drugs such as cocaine.

Signs of a ruptured aneurysm include:

  • A sudden and dramatically severe headache
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Stiff neck
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Seizure
  • Drooping eyelid
  • A dilated pupil
  • Pain above and behind the eye
  • Confusion
  • Numbness
  • Loss of consciousness

If someone you know experiences one or more of these severe symptoms, call 911 immediately.

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“Staff is sweet, friendly, caring.”

“Loved my doctors and nurses all that worked on me – very pleasant stay.”

“By far the best group of nurses and doctors I have ever had to be a part of. Great communication between shifts. All of them introduced themselves to me and made sure I was taken care of. I was never embarrassed to ask for help and not once did I feel like I was a burden. Thank you, Dr. K, and all the staff. … P.S. Hopefully I never have to see you again but if it is my choice, I will be there.”

“I honestly wish every hospital was exactly like this one! I have never had such a good experience – other than the first visit I had here, which was just as good.”

“I’ve never been to a hospital were everyone is so nice. When you need something, there is no wait. The staff here makes you feel good. You get that one-on-one care here more than any place else. I recommend anyone who needs a surgery to come here. I did not have to wait long – there were no delays. The hospital of all times.”



Innovative, Comprehensive Neurological Care and Research Under One Roof.




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