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Neurosurgery

Minimally Invasive & Endoscopic Neurosurgery Program

Overview

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:

  • Brain tumors, spine tumors and pituitary tumors
  • Pituitary and skull base tumors
  • Aneurysms that cause stroke
  • Arteriovenous malformation (AVM) and carotid stenosis
  • Herniated discs
  • Trigeminal neuralgia
  • Hydrocephalus

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.

What Is Minimally Invasive Surgery?

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

Endoscopy
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.

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

Catheters
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.

Chemotherapy
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.

Doctors + Care Team

Carl B. Heilman, MD

Carl B. Heilman, MD

Title(s): Neurosurgeon-in-Chief; Chairman of Neurosurgery; 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

More Info

Adel M. Malek, MD, PhD

Adel M. Malek, MD, PhD

Title(s): Chief, Division of Neurovascular Surgery; 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

More Info

Carl Heilman, MD on tuftsmedcalcenter.tv video.

Advanced brain tumor treatments

Carl Heilman, MD, Chief of Neurosurgery describes the symptoms of brain tumors and how we treat them.

Watch Video

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617-636-5858