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Specialized Pediatric Neurosurgery Arrives in the Lehigh Valley

Lehigh Valley Health Network welcomes new surgeon with fellowship training in treatment of children’s neurosurgical disorders

Better Medicine Summer 2022 David Hong, MD

Until recently, parents in the Lehigh Valley and surrounding communities had to travel all the way to Philadelphia to find specialized neurosurgical care for their children. Today, they can
access that care close to home, now that David Hong, MD, has joined Lehigh Valley Fleming Neuroscience Institute and Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital.

Hong completed his fellowship training in pediatric neurosurgery at Rady Children’s Hospital–San Diego. He also completed additional training in pediatric spinal disorders, including scoliosis. Hong previously practiced at Stanford Children’s Health before coming to LVHN.
As the first and only pediatric neurosurgeon in the Lehigh Valley region, Hong aims to close a critical gap in care. “I think this creates a sense of security for families who want to keep their children in the area and make sure they receive high-quality care,” he says.

“My goal is to give parents the information they need to make treatment decisions that they can feel comfortable with.” – David Hong, MD

Treating central nervous system and spine conditions

At Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital, Hong treats a wide variety of brain, skull, spinal cord and spinal disorders, including:

  • Brain tumors
  • Chiari malformation
  • Craniosynostosis and plagiocephaly
  • Congenital spinal deformities
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Intracranial vascular malformations
  • Moyamoya syndrome
  • Neurofibromatosis tumors
  • Scoliosis and other spinal deformities
  • Spina bifida
  • Syrinx and tethered cord syndrome

“In neurosurgery, there is always a balance between achieving the desired outcome and minimizing the risk for neurologic injury,” Hong says.

With that in mind, Hong uses conservative treatments and minimally invasive procedures whenever appropriate. For example, he often uses endoscopic techniques to treat hydrocephalus, craniosynostosis and tethered cord syndrome.

Partnering with parents and physicians

For parents, there is no such thing as a small neurosurgical procedure when their child is involved.

“My goal is to give parents the information they need to make treatment decisions that they can feel comfortable with,” Hong says. “I walk parents through the treatment process, as much as they want to hear. And I answer their questions, as many as they might have.”

Hong knows that neurosurgical disorders are often cause for concern among health care providers as well.

“As a physician in the community, I am a familiar face they can call or visit as needed and rely on as a resource,” he says.

Hong accepts referrals for patients from birth to adulthood. Treatment outcomes are often better when neurosurgical issues are addressed at a younger age, so he recommends making a referral or calling for information as early as possible.


Check the calendar

Providers can refer a person to pediatric neurosurgery by calling 888-402-LVHN (5846). If you are a patient, call 888-402-LVHN to request an appointment.

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