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Neurological Surgery Services

Loyola University Health System has one of the nation’s most comprehensive and advanced neurosurgery departments. The team performs more than 1,000 cranial surgeries and collaborates on approximately 150 cranial-base operations per year, which puts Loyola among the top five neurosurgery centers nationwide for volume.

Loyola’s neurosurgeons are able to treat the most challenging cases because of their considerable experience and their highly collaborative working style. The team treats adults and pediatric patients with disorders of the skull, the brain and its blood supply; disorders of the spinal cord and vertebral column; and disorders of the nerves connected to the brain and spinal cord. The faculty members also are leaders in education and research.

Specialty Services

Carotid Artery Surgery
The carotid arteries provide blood flow to the brain. When a patient's carotid arteries have at least 70 percent blockage, or stenosis, and an increased risk of a stroke, carotid endarterectomy is often indicated. The surgery is performed by making an incision over the carotid artery. The surgeon then uses a tool to remove the plaque that is blocking the artery and also may use a vein patch to enlarge the artery. This allows more blood to flow through the artery.

Center for Cranial Base Surgery
Neurosurgeons and otolaryngologists (physicians trained in the treatment of ear, nose and throat disorders) have collaborated to develop innovative methods for removing tumors at the undersurface of the brain.

Cerebrovascular Neurological Services
Diseases and disorders affecting the blood vessels that supply the brain with blood can be successfully treated with surgery using diagnostic tools such as intraoperative angiography, which helps surgeons to visualize the blood vessels at microscopic levels during surgery. Loyola offers the advantage of having a team of surgeons experienced in cerebrovascular disease, available 24 hours a day, year-round, to provide highly specialized coverage for our patients.

Deep Brain Stimulation
Loyola neurosurgeons and neurologists are experienced in the use of deep brain stimulation, an innovative surgical treatment in which a “brain pacemaker” is implanted to alleviate the symptoms of treatment-resistant movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease. It is not a cure, but it can improve the patient’s quality of life through symptom management.

Kyphoplasty
Kyphoplasty of the spine treats vertebral compression fractures in patients with osteoporosis and other brittle bone conditions. A balloon-tipped catheter is inserted into the fracture and inflated to restore the height and shape. Bone cement is injected into the cavity created by the balloon to stabilize the bone. This procedure can reduce the risk of subsequent fractures by improving the angle, height and stability of the spine.

Minimally Invasive Computer-assisted Spinal Fusion
Surgeons use computer-assisted X-ray technology to implant screws and rods with minimally invasive techniques.

Neuro-endovascular Services
Neurosurgeons and radiologists collaborate to treat disorders affecting the brain’s blood supply (such as carotid occlusion among other disorders) without surgery.

Stereotactic Radiation Oncology
Neurosurgeons collaborate with radiation oncologists on this leading-edge treatment that delivers radiation to small tumors with submillimeter accuracy.

Vagal Nerve Stimulation
Neurosurgeons implant a pacemaker device to stop epileptic seizures in patients who do not respond to traditional therapies.

Neurological Surgery Services Specialists

Research

Major research projects focus on:

  • Calcium regulation of neoplastic cell growth
  • Frameless stereotactic applications to cranial base surgery
  • Gene therapy for brain tumors
  • Multimodality chemotherapy and hormonal therapy for residual/unresectable meningiomas (tumors)
  • High-dose chemotherapy for oligodendrogliomas
  • Innovative cranial reconstruction techniques
  • Thalamic stimulation for movement disorders
  • Cranial base team approach to giant lesions of the cranial base

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