Penn Neurosurgery

Penn Neurosurgery

Thursday, July 17, 2014

U.S. News & World Report Names Penn Neurosurgery Best in Region

For the 24th consecutive year, Penn Neurosurgery has been ranked as best in the Philadelphia region, according to the U.S. News & World Report rankings released earlier this month. The specialty was also ranked 9th in the nation.

Top Neurosurgery Department in Region
In addition, the Hospitals of the University of Pennsylvania-Penn Presbyterian (HUP/PPMC) are ranked among the top hospitals in the United States by U.S. News & World Report. The publication's prestigious annual ranking of hospitals placed HUP/PPMC 7th in its "Honor Roll", in recognition for excellence in multiple specialties. HUP/PPMC also ranks #1 in the region, while Pennsylvania Hospital (PAH) is ranked 6th in the region.

One of the first neurosurgery programs in the country, Penn Neurosurgery is known for providing comprehensive surgical management of disorders of the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nervous system. Penn Medicine is committed to translating cutting edge research into improved patient care.

Neurosurgeons at Penn Medicine perform thousands of procedures annually, many of them reflecting a rising trend towards complex procedures - requiring both surgical expertise and technical innovation. Patients benefit from that experience, skill and multidisciplinary approach, to achieve the best possible outcomes.

How the Rankings are Determined

To create the 2014-15 rankings, U.S. News & World Report looked at data from nearly 5,000 hospitals and surveyed more than 9,500 physicians. Death rates, patient safety and hospital reputation are a few of the many factors considered. 144 hospitals were nationally ranked in a specialty. The Honor Roll features 17 of the Best Hospitals that scored near the top in at least six specialties.

Read more about the U.S. News & World Report 2014-15 Best Hospital Rankings


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Penn Neurosurgeon Leading the Way to Improve Memory

Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson's
Gordon Baltuch, MD
Steve Zabielski, who is battling Parkinson’s Disease, was having a difficult time managing his disease until Penn neurosurgeon, Gordon Baltuch, MD, a member of the research team, implanted a stimulator and electrodes in his brain to help restore his mobility. Since getting the implant he can now move, eat, sleep, exercise and do many things he could not before.

Researchers hope the same technology can be used to develop a new implantable device to help improve memory- starting with patients like Steve who already have electrodes implanted in the brain. Their goal is to eventually provide memory loss treatment for veterans and others with neurological disorders.

Watch the full CBS3 segment.

Learn More About Steve's Journey: From Parkinson's to a Nearly Normal Life


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Penn Neurosurgeons Leading Effort to Treat Veterans' Memory Problems

The research arm of the Pentagon today announced a University of Pennsylvania-led national project to treat memory impairment by delivering very small doses of electricity to the brain, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. The $22.5 million, four-year effort seeks treatments for returning veterans who have suffered traumatic brain injury. It relies on the cooperation of patients who already are having electrodes implanted in their brains to treat Parkinson's disease, epilepsy, and other neurological ailments. Researchers will measure brain activity as the patients engage in memory games and other tasks, to determine what electrical patterns are associated with memory when it is operating at peak performance.

The project is led by psychology professor, Michael J. Kahana, PhD. Gordon Baltuch, MD, PhD, neurosurgeon and a team member on the project, characterized it as "extremely ambitious.”

“This is way out there," Baltuch said. "But if there's a group that's going to do it, it's DARPA."

Read the full article here.


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Brain Tumor Support Series

Brain tumor patients and their families are invited to attend a new support series with guest speakers presenting on various topics of interest. The sessions will be held the third Tuesday of each month and will go from 2:30-4:00 p.m. Participants are encouraged (but not required) to attend all sessions.

The group is open to all patients with brain tumors and offers an opportunity to gain knowledge and support, while meeting others facing similar situations and feelings.
Brain Tumor Series

Location

Patient and Family Services Conference Room, 1 West Pavilion
Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine
3400 Civic Center Boulevard, Philadelphia PA 19104

Dates

June 17: “Social Security disability - Navigating the application process” - Richard Gaudiosi, Public Affairs Specialist at Social Security Administration

July 15: “Legacy project - Ways to celebrate the gift of you for those you love” - Sandy Blackburn, BN, MSW candidate

August 19: “Adjusting to life post-treatment – A psychological perspective” - Mark Moore, Ph.D clinical psychologist

September 16: “Symptom management - Headaches and seizures” - Alisha Amendt, RNP and Rachael Mealey, CRNP

October 21: “Neuropsychology testing - Explore your cognitive functioning” - Kathy Lawler, D.Phil

Contact Information

Please call 215-615-5240 if you have questions. Registration is recommended.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Brain Tumor Symposium: Bridging Precision Science and Personalized Medicine

Penn Medicine’s Abramson Cancer Center and Brain Tumor Center are pleased to host the Penn Oncology Neurosurgery Symposium.
Brain Tumor Symposium
Full program overview

When:

Friday, June 6, 2014

Where:

Smilow Center for Translational Research
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
3400 Civic Center Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Penn Medicine Co-Chairs: Arati Desai, MD, Steven Brem, MD & Robert Lustig, MD, FACR

Featuring talks from internationally-known experts, this symposium focuses on how the advances in the molecular biology of brain tumors have led to new treatment options in neuro-oncology. Advances in surgical techniques and intraoperative imaging have improved patient outcomes and there has been an integration of newly identified molecular biomarkers into clinical trials to provide individualized patient treatments.

OBJECTIVES

At the completion of this course, participants should be able to:
    Penn Neurosurgery
  • Describe emerging concepts in the diagnosis and management of brain tumors.
  • Discuss the risks and benefits of proton beam therapy and stereotactic intensity modulated radiation therapy for brain tumors.
  • Describe advances in genome sequencing.
  • Review clinical application of cancer gene panel sequencing.
  • Explain new vaccine therapies tailored to individual patients.
The symposium has been designed for healthcare professionals, including:
  • Neurosurgeons
  • Neuro-oncologists
  • Neurologists
  • Radiologists
  • Medical oncologists
  • Radiation oncologists
  • Pathologists
  • Neuropsychologists
  • Primary care physicians
  • Oncology nurses


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Five Surgeons from Penn Neurosurgery Earn 'Top Doc' Honors

Each year, Philadelphia magazine recognizes the area’s outstanding doctors in their Top Doctors issue. The list is viewed as a “gold standard for those seeking the finest medical care in the Philadelphia area.”

We are pleased to announce that five neurosurgeons from Penn Neurosurgery made the 2014 Top Doctors list:

Name Subspecialties
M. Sean Grady, MD Cerebrovascular Surgery, Aneurysm-Cerebral, Arteriovenous Malformations, Brain Injury-Traumatic,  Pituitary Tumors,  Skull-Based Tumors
John Y. K. Lee, MD Brain Tumors, Stereotactic Radiosurgery, Skull Base Surgery, Endoscopic Surgery
Donald M. O’Rourke, MD Neuro-Oncology, Brain Tumors, Spinal Disorders
William C. Welch, MD, FACS, FICS Spinal surgery, back surgery
Eric L. Zager, MD Peripheral Nerve Disorders, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Pediatric Neurosurgery, Cerebrovascular Surgery
The Top Doctors list recognizes not only doctors who excel in academic medicine and research, but also those with outstanding interpersonal skills. Philadelphia magazine selects physicians for its Top Doctors list through both a national and local nominating process completed by peer doctors.

Penn Neurosurgery offers advanced, surgical management of disorders of the brain, spinal cord and nervous system. It is ranked by U.S.News & World Report as the best program for neurosurgery in the Greater Philadelphia region.




Friday, April 25, 2014

Deep Brain Stimulation: The Immediate Benefits

Please note: This is part four of a four-part series. 

After suffering with Parkinson’s for five years, Steve Zabielski was fighting the symptoms that characterize the advanced stages of the disease. Medications no longer provided relief. He felt he had exhausted all of his options.

Then Steve met Gordon Baltuch, MD, one of the pioneers of Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS).

Dr. Baltuch immediately explained the benefits of a bilateral procedure, to activate parts of the brain that had grown inactive. Other medical centers might perform the surgery in two phases, but Dr. Baltuch advocated that there were more advantages to performing the entire surgery at one time.

Deep Brain Stimulation Patient
Steve agreed to undergo the procedure as soon as possible.

“Two days after the procedure, the neuro-stimulators were powered up,” he recalls, blinking at the thought. “And my life changed.”

“I could focus. I could concentrate. I could eat. I could sleep. I could do all these things I hadn’t been able to do for years. I felt normal, for the first time in forever. I felt alive again.”

After putting up a brave front and showing the courage he felt he needed to demonstrate for years through his suffering, Steve looked up at his wife and mother who were in the room at that moment and broke down in tears.

“I was able to do and feel all these things, all these little things we all take for granted that I never thought I’d be able to do and feel again,” he says, staring out the window at a winter sunset. “Sleeping, eating, walking, talking. Just sitting there thinking about getting these things back, and having the luck and good fortune to have been able to have the operation, was very humbling.”