Pediatric Disorders of the Brain and Spine
The Department of Neurosurgery offers the subspecialty of pediatric neurosurgery, which provides a comprehensive program to evaluate and treat children with a range of neurosurgical disorders, including: Brain and spinal cord tumors: Like adults, there are many factors that determine the surgical treatment of nervous system tumors in children, including the nature and location of the tumor. However, there are other considerations unique to pediatric patients, such as how the tumor and treatment may affect the patient’s developing brain and neurological development.
Congenital and developmental disorders: Congenital disorders are diseases with which a person is born. They include genetic disorders and malformations that occur in fetal development or during childbirth, such as pediatric hydrocephalus, an abnormality of the normal flow of fluid in and around the brain, and spina bifida, when backbone and spinal canal do not close before birth.
Craniofacial surgery: There are many brain conditions that can affect the shape and development of a child’s head and face, as the skull forms in the first year of life. This first year is usually the most optimal or only time to diagnose and surgically treat such disorders.
Pediatric epilepsy: Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that affects people of all ages. When seizures occur repeatedly in childhood and are unexplained, a diagnosis of pediatric epilepsy is usually made. Pediatric epilepsy is often well controlled with medication, but evidence suggests that surgically treating epilepsy at an early age may provide improved chances of a better quality of adult life. Saadi Ghatan, MD and Steven M. Wolf, MD specialize in the treatment of pediatric epilepsy.