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Finding the Best Neurosurgeon: ‘Top Doctor’ Narrows the Search

Life is full of choices, and you always want to make the right one. Whether it’s picking out a new car or buying a house, you take the time to research, ask questions and compare the options. Only then do you make your selection. Finding the right neurosurgeon involves a similar process, but the decision may feel daunting because you’re not deciding between a minivan and an SUV. You’re making a decision about your, or a loved one’s, health.

The good news is you don’t have to make the decision all on your own. If you live in northeastern New Jersey, there’s a trusted list that can guide you to the neurosurgeon who’s right for you.

A Top Doctors list of the most exceptional doctors in Bergen County, New Jersey, is published every year in (201)Health, which belongs to the (201) Family of Magazines. To come up with the list, the magazine brought in MSP Communications, researcher and publisher of Super Doctors. MSP Communications asked Bergen doctors to nominate other physicians in the county they would entrust their medical care to if they or a loved one needed a doctor. (Of course, doctors cannot nominate themselves.)

Next, nominated candidates are carefully vetted for their disciplinary history and professional accomplishments. Once vetted, candidates are evaluated by a blue ribbon panel, and only the doctors with the highest total points in their specialty receive Top Doctor status.

However, no Top Doctors list is perfect, as the magazine points out, and some qualified doctors may be left off. The list is intended to serve as a signal of exceptional physicians who have earned the recognition and approval of their colleagues—and as a resource for patients as they begin their search for the right doctor.

This year, six of our neurosurgeons at Columbia University Irving Medical Center/NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital once again earned a spot on the Top Doctor list: Department Chair Dr. Robert A. Solomon, Dr. Michael G. Kaiser, Dr. Sean D. Lavine, Dr. Paul C. McCormick, Dr. Alfred T. Ogden and Dr. Michael B. Sisti.

Each neurosurgeon has his own unique qualifications and area of expertise.

Department Chair Dr. Solomon is an expert in cerebrovascular diseases and has been treating them for more than 30 years. In fact, he has treated more cerebral aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations than any other surgeon in the tri-state area.

Dr. Kaiser, who has been at Columbia for more than two decades, specializes in spinal cord tumors and degenerative conditions of the spine, such as cervical spondylotic myelopathy. He is also experienced in using minimally invasive surgical techniques and performing complex spinal reconstructions.

Dr. Lavine specializes in endovascular neurosurgery, a type of minimally invasive surgery that is performed inside blood vessels. He was among the first neurosurgeons trained in this technique, and for about 20 years he has been using it to treat diseases associated with the cerebrovascular system, such as aneurysm, arteriovenous malformations and stroke.

Dr. McCormick, who has been practicing medicine for 25 years, specializes in several spinal disorders, such as spinal stenosis, spinal cord tumors, and herniated cervical and lumbar discs. He also has expertise in a range of surgical techniques, including microsurgery and spinal stabilization and fusion.

Dr. Ogden, who has been at Columbia for about 10 years, has expertise in treating spinal cord tumors and performing the latest techniques in minimally invasive spine surgery. In fact, he does ongoing research to create new minimally invasive spine surgery techniques.

Dr. Sisti specializes in treating complex brain tumors, meningiomas and acoustic neuromas. He has been caring for patients at Columbia for more than 30 years, and he is highly experienced in computer-guided microneurosurgery and Gamma Knife radiosurgery, techniques that can be used to treat a range of abnormalities in the brain, including some tumors.

Finding the best doctor for you is not an easy task, but resources like the Top Doctors list can narrow your search and give you confidence in your decision.

Congratulations to our Columbia neurosurgeons for receiving this prestigious distinction!

Read more about Dr. Solomon on his bio page here.
Read more about Dr. Kaiser on his bio page here.
Read more about Dr. Lavine on his bio page here.
Read more about Dr. McCormick on his bio page here.
Read more about Dr. Ogden on his bio page here.
Read more about Dr. Sisti on his bio page here.

patient journey

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