Surgery for Moyamoya Disease

The surgical solution to Moyamoya disease is called extracranial-intracranial bypass surgery, or cerebral revascularization, which restores blood flow to the brain by diverting blood from a vessel in the scalp or nearby muscles to the oxygen-starved brain. The brain is then able to produce new blood vessels – a process called angiogenesis — from the graft to take advantage of the new source of blood supply.

Indirect bypass surgery using superficial temporal artery (STA) graft for a patient with Moyamoya disease

Indirect bypass surgery using superficial temporal artery (STA) graft for a patient with Moyamoya disease

Cerebral revascularization is an advanced neurosurgical procedure that should be performed by highly trained specialists at major medical centers.  The surgery involves isolation of the donor vessel in the scalp and suturing of the graft onto the brain surface. Like any brain surgery, revascularization carries with it some risk of bleeding or stroke, but when the surgery is performed by an experienced neurosurgeon those complications are rare. The surgery usually has good outcomes, especially in children and young adults. Most patients who undergo revascularization surgery do not have further symptoms or strokes and no further treatment is needed, although they may need rehabilitation to help them overcome the effects of previous strokes.

Cerebral angiography 6 months after surgery demonstrates revascularization via the STA graft

Six months after surgery, cerebral angiography demonstrates revascularization via the STA graft.

The best time for surgery for Moyamoya disease is before the patient suffers a stroke or hemorrhage, which may cause long-term damage. Any patient with a suspected or confirmed diagnosis of Moyamoya should be referred to a neurosurgeon for evaluation.

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Our Care Team

  • Chair and Neurosurgeon-in-Chief
  • Margaret and Robert J. Hariri, MD ’87, PhD ’87 Professor of Neurological Surgery
  • Vice Provost of Business Affairs and Integration
Phone: 212-746-4684
  • Director of Cerebrovascular and Endovascular Neurosurgery, NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist
Phone: 718-780-3070
  • Professor of Radiology in Neurological Surgery
Phone: 212-746-4998
  • Vice Chair for Academic Affairs
  • Professor of Neurological Surgery, Pediatric Neurosurgery
  • Associate Residency Director
Phone: 212-746-2363
  • Victor and Tara Menezes Clinical Scholar in Neuroscience
  • Associate Professor of Neurological Surgery in Pediatrics
Phone: 212-746-2363
  • Director of Cerebrovascular Surgery and Interventional Neuroradiology
  • Associate Professor of Neurological Surgery
  • Fellowship Director, Endovascular Neurosurgery
Phone: 212-746-5149
  • Associate Professor, Neurological Surgery
Phone: 718-670-1837
  • Assistant Professor of Neurological Surgery (Brooklyn and Manhattan)
Phone: 212-746-2821 (Manhattan); 718-780-3070 (Brooklyn)
  • Vice Chair, Neurological Surgery
  • Director, Pediatric Neurological Surgery
Phone: 212-746-2363

Reviewed by: Ning Lin, M.D.
Last reviewed/updated: March 2024

Weill Cornell Medicine Neurological Surgery 525 East 68 Street, Box 99 New York, NY 10065 Phone: 866-426-7787