Neurological surgery


Leading the way with world-class neurosurgeons and specialists

Neurological surgery is the medical specialty that provides evaluation, diagnosis and surgical or nonsurgical treatment of disorders affecting the nervous system, which includes the brain, spinal cord, nerves, supporting structures and vascular supply. These problems could result from birth defect, aging, injury or trauma, infection, tumor, disease or other medical conditions.

ETMC is fortunate to have a coalition of top physicians in all phases of neuroscience care including board-certified fellows in neurology, neurosurgery and neuroradiology. Together they provide thorough evaluations, diagnoses and treatments for brain, nerve and spinal cord diseases and disorders in adults.

content-neuro-refro“We have a lot of experience with very severe neurological problems and helping patients and families deal with those problems.”

– Mark B. Renfro, MD, neurosurgeon

Keeping patients close to home for advanced neurological treatment

Neurosurgeons and neuroradiologists at the ETMC Neurological Institute are on the leading edge of treating conditions using advanced techniques such as minimally invasive surgery, interventional neuroradiology, computer-assisted brain surgery, stereotactic radiosurgery (CyberKnife), awake brain surgery and deep brain stimulation.

ETMC provides surgical and nonsurgical care for neurological conditions

  • Aneurysms, vascular malformations and stroke treatments including interventional neuroradiology techniques and the new Penumbra stroke system for clot removal in acute ischemic stroke.
  • Brain disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, hydrocephalus or congenital malformations.
  • Infections involving the brain and spinal cord, the fluid surrounding these structures or the spinal vertebra and discs.
  • Neuromuscular disorders such as multiple sclerosis or spinal muscular atrophy.
  • Neurovascular disorders such as strokes, brain hemorrhages, aneurysms, vascular malformations and traumatic or nontraumatic blood clots of the brain, spinal cord or carotid artery.
  • Back or neck pain resulting from congenital spinal stenosis, herniated or ruptured discs, pinched nerves and other chronic issues.
  • Spine disorders including scoliosis and other congenital conditions.
  • Traumatic injuries to the brain, skull, spine, spinal cord and/or nerves.
  • Tumors involving the brain, skull, spine, spinal cord and/or nerves.

content-neuro-detwiler“It’s very rare for a town this size to have the cranial expertise that we have. Typically only 10 to 15 percent of neurosurgeons do the complex cranial work that we do: things like skull-base tumors, regular brain tumors, pituitary surgery and aneurysm surgery. And we have four neuroradiologists here, which is very unusual since it’s such a highly specialized field.”

– Paul W. Detwiler, MD, neurosurgeon

Technology that advances care and enhances lives

ETMC has consistently invested in the latest neurological technology, giving the people of East Texas access to life-enhancing and lifesaving care, close to home. Dedicated surgical teams operating in highly specialized suites conduct neurological procedures. Follow-up care is provided in the neurological intensive care unit, with state-of-the-art monitoring and specially trained critical care nurses who constantly oversee patients in the crucial hours after surgery, stroke or injury of the brain and/or spine.

Investing in advanced technology that previously would only have been available in major metropolitan medical centers: It’s part of ETMC’s commitment to neurosurgical excellence that improves the quality of life for the people of East Texas.

ETMC has advanced technology that improves neurosurgical outcomes

  • 3 Tesla MRI technology provides enough strength and resolution for high-quality vascular imaging that often removes the need for more invasive catheter studies. This can lead to earlier diagnosis and treatment that enhances patient outcomes.
  • CyberKnife stereotactic radiosurgery delivers highly focused radiation beams that can pinpoint a tumor with little or no effect on normal surrounding tissue. It has been used with great success in the treatment of brain and spine tumors as an alternative to open surgery.
  • Deep brain stimulation is a surgical procedure that helps people with Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor, dystonia and other neurological disorders by shutting off symptoms at the source.
  • Intraoperative monitoring provides a sophisticated system for checking the state of the nervous system during surgical procedures and leads to improved safety and outcomes.
  • Interventional neuroradiology combines advanced 3-D imaging techniques with endoscopic surgical procedures. Utilizing the dedicated neuroradiology suite at ETMC, specialists with advanced training in radiology use minimally invasive endoscopic techniques to treat central nervous system conditions such as tumors, aneurysms, vascular malformations or stroke.
  • Mazor Robotics Renaissance® Guidance System provides the surgeon with planning software and robotic guidance to help correct the potentially crippling condition of scoliosis.
  • Medtronic StealthStation enables neurosurgeons to navigate the delicate structures of the brain and nervous system using a powerful computer-assisted imaging tool and 3-D guidance. The StealthStation makes neurosurgery faster, safer and less invasive, all with the goal of improving patient outcomes.
  • Microsurgery uses an advanced stereotactic microscope to provide 3-D guidance that allows surgeons to operate on the most delicate structures of the brain or spine with submillimeter precision.
  • Penumbra stroke system saves time and lives during ischemic stroke attacks. Aided by X-ray guidance, physicians use the catheter and suction system to break apart and remove clots in the brain. Click to see Penumbra stroke system video.

content-neuro-grahm-headshot“Neurosurgery in general is moving toward more minimally invasive procedures. We’ve always been minimally invasive, especially when it comes to cranial work, because we use the operating microscope in almost every case. It greatly reduces the size of our surgical field, which leads to improved safety, outcomes and recovery for patients.”

— Thomas W. Grahm, MD, neurosurgeon