MAYWOOD, IL – Suguna Pappu, MD, PhD, a neurosurgeon whose clinical expertise includes neck and back problems, hydrocephalus and trauma, has joined Loyola Medicine.
Many back and neck problems are caused by chronic degenerative arthritis. The spinal cord becomes compressed, making it difficult for a patient to walk or hold a cup of coffee.
"Surgery to relieve that pressure can improve a patient's quality of life substantially," Dr. Pappu said.
Hydrocephalus is excess cerebrospinal fluid in brain cavities. It can cause memory loss, poor coordination or balance, loss of bladder control and other symptoms. Hydrocephalus typically is treated by placing a shunt (tube) that drains the excess fluid from the brain to another part of the body.
Dr. Pappu comes from a family of educators and she takes pride in communicating with her patients. She shows pictures, explains medical terms and refers patients to reliable websites.
Dr. Pappu sees patients at the Loyola Outpatient Center in Maywood and at Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital, where she also has a clinical appointment.
Dr. Pappu also conducts research. Two main areas involve quantitative methods to evaluate hydrocephalus and a promising new field of big data research called radiomics. Radiomics researchers extract features from digital medical images and then mine large data sets for insights that could help guide diagnosis and treatment.
Dr. Pappu is an associate professor in the department of neurological surgery of Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. She comes to Loyola from the University of New Mexico, where she was an assistant professor in the department of neurological surgery.
Dr. Pappu earned a medical degree from Yale School of Medicine. She completed an internship in general surgery at Yale New Haven Hospital and a residency in neurological surgery at the University of New Mexico. She earned a PhD in operations research from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Pappu is board certified in neurological surgery.