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Spring 2016: Highlights in CU Neurosurgery

Poppy field in the sun

Excitement is in the air—and has been here at Columbia University Medical Center/NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital since the year started. We invite you to join in our excitement this spring by reminiscing with us over these highlights, just several among the many accomplishments so far this year.

1. Brain Tumor Screenings Offered in a Decked-Out Mobile Van

In 2016, the Road to Early Detection, a campaign operated by The Brain Tumor Foundation, is still rolling. It first hit the streets in New York City in 2008 to offer free brain tumor screenings. The campaign’s star player, a 70-foot mobile van equipped with an MRI machine, cruises to many locations to offer free screenings, with the hope of detecting brain tumors earlier.

The MRI scans and questionnaires from applicants are then analyzed by doctors at Columbia. But that’s not the end. Dr. Adam Sonabend explains that this information could also reveal how brain tumors behave in the early stages—and affect treatments. To continue reading

2. Dr. Anderson Investigates the Long-Term Effects of Spinal Surgery in Young Children

Unlike with adults, children’s bodies, including their spines, are constantly growing. Concern about whether spinal surgery affects the growth of a child’s spine has lingered—until now. Dr. Richard C.E. Anderson and other researchers investigated the long-term effects of certain spinal surgeries on children and found that most kids continued to grow as expected. To continue reading

3. Taking Temperatures With Smartphones—Is There An App for That?

Dr. E. Sander Connolly Jr. is harnessing smartphone technology to help patients recover after surgery. Dr. Connolly and his team at the Cerebrovascular Research Laboratory used a smartphone app to monitor a patient’s temperature remotely while she rests at home. Why? To scout for elevated temperatures, which don’t happen often but can be an early sign of infection. To continue reading

4. Assisting Your Own Surgery: The Amazing Science of Awake Brain Surgery

Brain mapping, brain mapping, brain mapping—a hot topic that isn’t cooling off. Because each patient’s brain differs slightly, brain mapping is an essential process for neurosurgeons navigating the brain. Dr. Guy McKhann II and Dr. Sameer Sheth are experts on brain mapping and have shared their expertise in several articles.

In particular, both neurosurgeons weighed in on a New York Times article about the nearly surreal science of awake brain surgery. Yes, the surgery is just as it sounds: Patients are awake so they can assist during their own surgeries. To continue reading

5. Dr. Sean Lavine’s Coiling Lets a Ballerina Keep on Spinning

A car accident changed professional ballerina Ellen “Ferne” Glemby’s life—and after five months of physical therapy, an aneurysm in her brain threatened to take it. An aneurysm occurs when the blood vessel wall thins and bulges outward.

Department Chairman Dr. Robert Solomon met with and helped Ferne receive expert care from Dr. Sean Lavine, who specializes in the endovascular procedure she needed. Patient Ferne thanks Dr. Lavine and his team at Columbia for giving her back her life and says, “It is now my responsibility to make the most of the life they gave me.” To continue reading

Feeling the excitement now? Visit the Columbia Neurosurgeons homepage for more interesting articles.

Learn more about the Columbia Neurosurgeons at their bio pages below.

Dr. Solomon
Dr. Anderson
Dr. Connolly
Dr. Lavine
Dr. McKhann
Dr. Sheth

Photo Credit: ©Vera Kuttelvaserova /AdobeStockPhoto

patient journey

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