Minimally Invasive + Endoscopic Neurosurgery Program

Safer treatments for tumors, aneurysms & more

If you have a condition that requires brain or spine surgery, you may have heard the phrase "minimally invasive surgery." You may also have wondered what this means — and what it means for your health.

At Tufts Medical Center, our neurosurgeons specialize in using tubes, cameras, computer-guided instruments and other minimally invasive equipment to treat conditions such as:

Depending on your particular situation, minimally invasive surgery may provide a safer and less disruptive alternative to traditional, or "open," surgery. Benefits include:

  • Less pain
  • Lower risk of infection
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Faster recovery
  • Minimal scarring
  • Less damage to surrounding tissue

A true commitment to less invasive treatment

Because minimally invasive surgery is the right choice for so many patients, we've dedicated an entire operating room to the technology. The state-of-the-art suite features high-definition endoscopes and ceiling-mounted screens that let our neurosurgeons observe your procedure from anywhere in the room.

All of this technology has just one purpose: to provide you with superior care so you can get back to living your life.

Setting the standard for minimally invasive care

Neurosurgeon-in-Chief Carl Heilman, MD leads our team of experienced neurosurgeons. His knowledge of minimally invasive techniques is unparalleled. In fact, he was the first neurosurgeon in New England to treat pituitary tumors endoscopically. Dr. Heilman is also a professor at Tufts University School of Medicine, where he trains future medical leaders in the latest endoscopic techniques.

Other Tufts MC surgeons are also dedicated to improving care by developing safer, less invasive surgical practices. For example, Adel Malek, MD is one of only a few U.S. doctors to treat large aneurysms — and help prevent strokes — using the new Pipeline™ Embolization Device.

Our neurosurgeons individualize your care using a variety of treatments and techniques.


During endoscopic surgery within the open spaces inside the skull, cameras and surgical instruments are introduced through a narrow tube or passed beside the endoscope to remove tumors. Dr. Heilman pioneered the use of endoscopic surgery to treat pituitary tumors and continues to develop new ways to use the technology.


Our neurosurgeons treat cerebrovascular conditions such as narrowed or hardened arteries (atherosclerosis) using microsurgical instruments that are sometimes thinner than a human hair.


Catheters help our doctors care for an array of cerebrovascular conditions. We treat 80 percent of our aneurysm patients with endovascular coils inserted through a catheter.

Gamma Knife Radiosurgery

Tufts MC hosts the area's only Gamma Knife Center, where we treat vascular malformations and brain tumors without incisions of any kind using safe, effective gamma radiation.


Our neurosurgeons regularly work with doctors in the Tufts MC Cancer Center to help patients avoid or augment surgery for brain tumors and spine tumors through the use of chemotherapy.

Carl B. Heilman, MD

Carl B. Heilman, MD

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Accepting New Patients

Virtual Appointments Available

Title(s): Neurosurgeon-in-Chief and Chair, Department of Neurosurgery, Tufts Medical Center; Chair and Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Neurosurgery
Appt. Phone: 617-636-5860
Fax #: 617-636-7587

Meningiomas, acoustic neuromas, skull base surgery, pituitary surgery, Chiari surgery

View Full Profile for Carl B. Heilman, MD

Adel M. Malek, MD, PhD

Adel M. Malek, MD, PhD

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Accepting New Patients

Virtual Appointments Available

Title(s): Chief, Neurovascular Surgery; Director, Cerebrovascular & Endovascular Division Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Neurosurgery
Appt. Phone: 617-636-8200
Fax #: 617-636-7587

Aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations, dural fistulas, subarachnoid hemorrhage, intracranial atherosclerosis, arterial dissection

View Full Profile for Adel M. Malek, MD, PhD