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Lehigh Valley Children's Hospital

Neurosurgery

The neurosurgery team at Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) performs expert surgical procedures for patients who have neurological conditions, brain tumors and spinal disorders. We use the latest surgical techniques to provide a safe and effective surgery.

LVHN is a leader in brain and spinal surgeries. People from around the region turn to us for excellent neurosurgical care. Our surgeons have fellowship training in neurosurgical specialties, such as brain tumors, cerebrovascular disorders (such as brain aneurysm or stroke) and spinal disorders (such as spinal stenosis or lumbar and cervical disk disease).

We use the most advanced technology to protect your brain and nerve function during surgery. We are leaders in the field of intraoperative monitoring a technique that allows us to view and protect the brain during surgery.

Why LVHN is the right choice for your neurosurgery care

If you are facing brain or spinal cord surgery, it’s natural to feel anxious. At LVHN, our neurosurgery team will be with you every step of the way. We discuss the procedure with you in detail and address your questions or concerns. 

Our skilled neurosurgeons have years of experience performing intricate procedures and often use minimally invasive techniques so your recovery is smoother and faster. We focus on protecting the brain and spinal cord during surgery to give you the best chances of regular neurological function after the procedure.

When you come to LVHN, you will find:

  • Dedicated, expert surgeons: Many of our neurosurgeons are fellowship-trained in specific specialties, including brain tumors, spinal tumors, cerebrovascular disorders and spinal disorders
  • Comprehensive care: We work with other team members to ensure you are receiving the full spectrum of care. We may work with neurologists, neuro-oncologists, endocrinologists and neuro-interventional radiologists.
  • Advanced diagnostic care: Our neurologic diagnostic services encompass technologies that enable us to get detailed images of the brain and spinal structures so we can precisely plan surgery.
  • Leader in navigated surgery: We use advanced imaging technology during the surgery to ensure we are protecting sensitive areas of the brain and spinal cord. We have the region’s only intraoperative neuro-navigation imaging for spinal cords, which provides high-resolution, 3D images of the spinal cord during surgery. We also are a leader in intraoperative angiography during aneurysm surgery. This technology enables us to perform a safe, precise procedure. 
  • Commitment to minimally invasive techniques: We use minimally invasive surgery, including endoscopic procedures. These techniques use small incisions and miniature instruments so you have less scarring and an easier recovery. 

Specialized brain tumor care

When you need surgery for a brain tumor, you can have confidence in the care you will receive from our team of multidisciplinary specialists at Lehigh Valley Health Network. If you have a malignant (cancerous) brain tumor, our neurosurgeons work collaboratively with your Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute oncology team. For nonmalignant (benign) brain tumors, such as schwannoma or pituitary tumors, the collaborative approach continues to ensure you will receive comprehensive care from a team of specialists who have experience with a wide range of brain tumors and have developed expertise in brain surgery. Learn more about brain tumors.

Our surgeons are involved in leading-edge clinical research for brain tumors, which may offer you additional opportunities for treatments that include radiation therapy, immunotherapy, and/or chemotherapy, in conjunction with surgical care.

Whenever possible, we use minimally invasive procedures to remove brain tumors. These surgeries use smaller incisions and miniature instruments.

Procedures include:

  • High-resolution endoscopic surgery provides detailed visualization of the brain, so we can avoid harming healthy tissue.
  • Awake craniotomy with speech mapping is the most precise way to remove a tumor. You remain awake, and we ask you to speak during surgery so we can protect the area of the brain responsible for speech. Craniotomy and motor mapping is the best way to avoid arm or leg weakness after surgery.
  • Fluorescence-guided brain tumor resection is a surgical technique that uses an FDA-approved optical imaging agent called Gleolan™ (aminolevulinic acid hydrochloride, ALA HCL). With fluorescence-guided resection, brain tumors and their vasculature are made visible with the combination of Gleolan and a special microscope filter. Typically, brain tumors can have finger-like projections that interface with normal brain tissue. With fluorescence-guided resection, our neurosurgeons will be able to better identify tumor tissue that may be hidden within healthy brain tissue.
  • Gamma Knife technology is a safe, precise option for treating even hard-to-reach brain tumors. Our team of neurosurgeons and radiation oncologists were the first in the area to offer this sophisticated technology and have specialty certification to perform the procedure.

Spine surgery

You may have a spinal disorder that has not improved with nonsurgical treatment. Or perhaps you have a back injury from a trauma such as a car accident or sports injury. No matter what brings you to our spinal surgery team, we provide compassionate, comprehensive care. 

We are experts in both minimally invasive and open surgical techniques. We have the region’s only spine neuro-navigation system that lets us monitor your spinal cord during surgery. With this technology, we can protect sensitive areas of your spinal cord and provide the safest, most precise surgery possible. Our goal is to relieve your symptoms and restore function. We discuss your surgical options with you so you know what to expect before, during and after the surgery. 

Spinal surgeries we perform include kyphoplasty for spine compression fractures, lumbar and cervical disk disease surgery, sciatica surgery, spinal instability surgery, spinal stenosis surgery, spine surgery for disorders or trauma, and spondolisthesis surgery.

Surgery for neurological conditions

You will receive excellent surgical care for a range of neurological conditions:

Additional expertise

Neurostimulation for back pain

We perform the procedure that implants a neurostimulator device that helps you find relief from chronic back pain.

Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) shunt procedures

Our neurosurgeons insert, repair and remove cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) shunts which some people need to relieve pressure to the brain.

Pediatric neurosurgery

We also provide skilled pediatric neurosurgery for children with spinal conditions or brain tumors. Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest has a Level II pediatric trauma center that offers urgent care for children with spinal or brain trauma. 

Following neurosurgery

After having neurosurgery for brain tumor or other neurological condition, our neuroscience intensive care unit (NSICU) will provide post-surgery care. We have the only NSICU in the region. This unit is staffed by fellowship-trained neuro-critical care physicians and certified neuroscience nurses who provide excellent, evidence-based care after surgery.

Many patients also benefit from rehabilitation following neurosurgery. Our rehabilitation for spine and neurological conditions program offers both inpatient rehabilitation, as well as outpatient rehabilitation services

Lehigh Valley Institute for Surgical Excellence

The Institute for Surgical Excellence sets the bar for surgical excellence. If you or a loved one needs surgery, learn how you will benefit from our institute approach to surgical care.

Learn more

Communication during surgery

For families, the hardest part of surgery is waiting and wondering. LVHN now offers secure mobile updates using the EASE app.

Learn more about EASE app