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About the Department

To provide the highest level of patient care and comprehensive resident education, the Department is organized according to subspecialty programs. Patients benefit from coordinated multi-disciplinary teams, and residents experience an enhanced academic environment through the joint development of treatment protocols and paradigms, and participation by team members in regional and national organizations. These programs also provide resources for residents to access ongoing clinical academic work. Each subspecialty program takes the patient from initial work-up and diagnosis through operative procedure, follow-up, and adjuvant care.

SUBSPECIALTY PROGRAMS IN THE DEPARTMENT ARE AS FOLLOWS:

NEURO-ONCOLOGY

Meic H. Schmidt, MD; Christian A. Bowers, MD; Avinash L. Mohan MD; Michael E. Tobias MD; Tauseef Ahmed MD; Michael Fanucchi, MD; Meena Jhanwar-Uniyal, PhD.

The Neuro-Oncology Program provides a comprehensive approach to adult malignant and benign brain and spinal tumors. Neurosurgery cooperates with the departments of Radiation Medicine, Neuroradiology, Medical Oncology, and Neurology in this effort. Additional resources include neuropsychology, rehabilitation medicine and social services. A Tumor Board meets weekly, and regular meetings are held to develop protocols and treatment paradigms to insure continuity of care and to explore basic science research related to neuro-oncology. Basic science research in neuro-oncology is spear headed by Dr. Jhanwar.


SPINE SURGERY


Meic H. Schmidt, MD; Christian A. Bowers, MD; Kaushik Das, MD; Virany Hillard, MD

The Department of Neurosurgery works independently and in conjunction with the departments of Orthopaedic Surgery, General Surgery, Rehabilitation Medicine, Oncology, and Radiology in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide variety of spinal disorders, including trauma, degenerative diseases, and neoplastic disease. In the operating room, spinal instrumentation and intraoperative neurophysiologic monitoring are frequently used. The Neurosurgical ICU nursing staff is specially trained in the care of patients with spinal cord injuries. Postoperatively, rehabilitation, oncology, and radiation medicine faculty members are often involved in innovative and adjuvant treatment protocols. We have an O arm in the operating room for accurate placement of instrumentation. 


CEREBROVASCULAR AND ENDOVASCULAR SURGERY


Chirag D. Gandhi, MD, Christian A. Bowers, MD.; Justin G. Santarelli, MD

Multiple cerebrovascular disorders including aneurysms, vascular malformations, and ischemic vascular diseases are diagnosed and treated by a team of neurosurgeons and endovascular interventional neuroradiologists. Full-capacity endovascular suite exists at Westchester Medical Center.

The Westchester Cerebrovascular Center is a multidisciplinary academic center dedicated to the prevention and treatment of cerebrovascular disease. The Departments of Neurology, Neurosurgery, Interventional Neuroradiology, Critical Care Medicine, and Rehabilitation Medicine recently opened this comprehensive center, which focuses on the treatment of stroke, brain aneurysms, vascular malformations, and carotid artery disease. These common but complex entities require a multidisciplinary approach for diagnosis, treatment planning, and proper management. Westchester Medical Center, the major teaching affiliate of New York Medical College, has the diverse full-time faculty and the infrastructure to manage these diseases.


PEDIATRIC NEUROSURGERY


Avinash L. Mohan MD; Michael E. Tobias MD

The Pediatric Neurosurgery Service is located exclusively at the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital. It is one of the fastest growing programs in the Department. A state-of the-art, free-standing, dedicated children’s hospital - The Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital - opened in 2004. A wide spectrum of pediatric neurosurgical disorders is managed at this facility. Multidisciplinary clinics and conferences are established for pediatric brain tumors, spina bifida, and craniofacial disorders. More than 200 pediatric neurosurgical operations are performed each year. Modern techniques including frameless stereotaxy and ventriculoscopy/endoscopy are used regularly and are an integral part of residency training. The hospital is also a Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center. 


STEREOTACTIC RADIOSURGERY


Meic H. Schmidt, MD; Christian A. Bowers, MD; Chitti Moorthy MD; Alain deLotbiniere, MD

The state-of-the-art comprehensive Stereotactic Radiosurgery Program is operated jointly by the departments of Neurosurgery and Radiation Oncology. Recent equipment upgrades have significantly enhanced a long-standing stereotactic radiosurgery program, allowing extension of these techniques to the treatment of spine, head and neck, prostate and gynecological cancers. The program is at the forefront in the development of spine stereotactic radiosurgery/radiotherapy. This program is an integral part of other clinical programs including neuro-oncology, spine, and pediatric neurosurgery. Dr. deLotbiniere is the director of the Gamma Knife Center in Northern Westchester Hospital.  A new “True Beam Unit” is being installed at Westchester Medical Center.


PERIPHERAL NERVE AND TRIGEMINAL NEURALGIA PROGRAM


Christian A. Bowers, MD; Alain deLotbiniere, MD

The Department of Neurosurgery at Westchester Medical Center works closely with the neuromuscular center (neurology), rehabilitation medicine, orthopedics, and general trauma to provide comprehensive management of peripheral nerve disorders. Emphasis on tumors and traumatic injuries results in an active clinical research area.

The Department has had a long interest in the diagnosis and management of facial pain syndromes, especially trigeminal neuralgia. All procedures are offered for treatment of trigeminal neuralgia, including peripheral procedures, microvascular decompression, and radiosurgery.


SKULL BASE SURGERY


Christian A. Bowers, MD; Katrina Stidham MD; Deya Jourdy, MD; Lawrence Meiteles, MD; Ameet Kamat, MD; Cameron Budenz, MD

An active Skull Base Surgery Program exists in cooperation with the Department of Otolaryngology for the management of all types of skull base tumors including acoustic neuromas, pituitary tumors, and paranasal sinus neoplasms with intracranial extension. Facilities exist for monitoring cerebral and spinal cord function as well as most cranial nerves. Preoperative embolization is available for vascular tumors.


STEREOTACTIC AND FUNCTIONAL NEUROSURGERY; EPILEPSY SURGERY


Alain deLotbiniere, MD; P. Charles Garell, MD; Avinash L. Mohan, MD; Michael E. Tobias, MD

The functional and epilepsy surgery programs are growing. Neurologists who specialize in movement disorders and epilepsy are on the faculty. Westchester Medical Center has both an adult and pediatric epilepsy monitoring unit. The department’s interests include deep brain stimulation for parkinsonism, spinal cord stimulation for pain, and vagus nerve stimulation for epilepsy and depression.

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