Brain and Spine Surgery Specialties

Acoustic Tumors
Acoustic tumors are benign tumors involving the eighth cranial nerve that may affect a patient’s hearing ability. Treatment of acoustic tumors is accomplished through surgery or radiosurgery.

Brain Tumors
Brain tumors arise in the brain or start elsewhere and move to the brain. There are benign and malignant types. The symptoms vary depending on where the tumor is located. The most common symptoms include headaches that are worse in the morning, nausea, vomiting and lethargy.

Complex tumors involving the skull are more difficult to remove and require special training.

Neurosurgeons are surgeons who are specially trained for the surgical removal of these tumors.

Complex Spine Surgery
Complex spine surgery is a broad term covering multiple abnormalities, including fractures, degenerative disease and spinal tumors. Treatment often involves relieving pressure from the nerves and stabilizing the spine with instrumentation.

Neurosurgeons are specially trained for this type of treatment because it involves delicate structures such as the spinal cord and nerves.

Endovascular and Surgical Treatment of Aneurysms and Arteriovenous Malformations (AVMs)
Aneurysms and AVMs may be treated with surgery or endovascular coiling, which is the placement of threadlike pieces of metal inside the abnormal blood vessel to block off abnormal blood flow.

Surgical treatment involves operating on the patient to directly place a metal clip across the abnormal blood vessel to stop the abnormal flow.

Minimally Invasive Lumbar Laminectomy/Discectomy
The spinal cord and nerves are located in the spinal canal, which is surrounded by bone. A laminectomy is a surgery in which the bony roof of the canal, called the lamina, is removed to take pressure off of the nerves. When the nerves are compressed, this is called stenosis. Stenosis can occur in the cervical (neck), thoracic (mid-back) and lumbar (low back) spine. Consequently, a laminectomy may be done on any of these areas to relieve pressure.

Patients with a herniated disc or stenosis, which is a narrowing of the spinal canal, are eligible for minimally invasive lumbar laminectomy/discectomy or “band aid” back surgery. It is an outpatient procedure, performed in approximately 45 minutes. “Band aid” back surgery can be done for any part of the spine — cervical, thoracic or lumbar.

Sports Concussion
The sports concussion program provides comprehensive care for head injuries, from diagnosis to treatment. For more information regarding the program, visit the Sports Concussion page on this Web site.

Stereotactic Radiosurgery
Stereotactic radiosurgery is a specialized treatment for brain tumors using focused beams of radiation. Despite being called radiosurgery, no incisions are actually made. Focused radiation destroys the tumor while minimizing damage to surrounding structures and therefore decreases unwanted side effects.