The NorthShore Neurological Institute offers a vast array of the latest medical, surgical and physical medicine and rehabilitation treatments available to diagnose and treat complex neurological diseases and conditions. From the rare disease to the most common neurological disorder, our multidisciplinary specialists provide an integrated approach to develop individualized treatment plans that may utilize one or several diagnostic or therapeutic options throughout the course of a patient’s care.
Endovascular Neurosurgery | Visualase MRI Laser-Guided Therapy | Stereotactic Radiosurgery | Deep Brain Stimulation | Intrathecal Baclofen Pumps | NICO BrainPath 6 Pillar
Surgical intervention for disorders of the brain and spine relies not only on the latest technology but also the skills of highly trained neurosurgeons for optimal patient outcomes. At NorthShore, you can be assured that we have both superior tools and outstanding talent available throughout our multi-hospital system. From traditional “open” surgeries to state-of-the-art minimally invasive techniques, our neurosurgery specialists work closely with a multidisciplinary team, including neurologists, physiatrists, and neuro-oncologists, to develop an individualized surgical treatment plan that comprehensively meets the needs of patients from pre-surgery work-up to post-surgery follow-up—and everything in-between.
Here are just some of our innovative surgical options for a variety of neurological diseases and conditions:
Minimally invasive surgery offers smaller incisions, less pain, faster recovery and another viable option for patients who may not be good candidates for open surgical procedures due to age or health reasons. Treating neurological conditions from within blood vessels to the brain, endovascular neurosurgery is a modern surgical method that provides an alternative to traditional surgery. At NorthShore, our experts are skilled at advanced endovascular neurosurgical procedures that require specialized training not found in every hospital.
Inserting a catheter via a small incision near the groin and using advanced imaging technology to guide it through blood vessels, our endovascular specialists can perform a number of leading-edge minimally invasive techniques. For the treatment of ischemic stroke, our highly specialized neurosurgeons use the latest tools, including Solitaire FR, an FDA-approved clot removal device to restore blood flow as well as a variety of cutting-edge balloons and retrievable stents to widen narrowed arteries. They also have extensive experience with endovascular coiling, a less invasive procedure for the treatment of brain aneurysms. The technique involves guiding special coils up through the catheter into the ruptured artery to disrupt blood flow. Blood begins clotting around the coils, which then prevents further bleeding.
Visualase MRI Laser-Guided Therapy
Neurological Institute neurosurgeons routinely use Visualase, an advanced laser thermal ablation technique. A minimally invasive magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-guided technique, it is used for surgically treating patients with brain tumors and other conditions such as epilepsy. NorthShore neurosurgeons have been specially trained in the stereotactic neurosurgical procedure that involves inserting a thin laser fiber into the skull to precisely target areas of the brain. Light energy from the laser heats the brain tumor or damaged tissue, effectively destroying it. Upon removal of the laser applicator, only one stitch is needed to close the wound.
Stereotactic radiosurgery expands the depth and breadth of treatment options our practitioners can offer to patients to treat sometimes hard-to-reach areas of the brain. This technology allows our neurosurgical experts to team with radiation oncologists and other health professionals at NorthShore to precisely target various tumors and other conditions of the brain and spine with highly potent doses of radiation. This minimally invasive outpatient technique preserves surrounding healthy tissue while killing tumor cells. Reducing and/or eliminating both benign and malignant tumors, stereotactic radiosurgery offers patients excellent treatment results—especially when conventional surgery is not an option.
As part of our commitment to state-of-the-art care, NorthShore has invested in the latest stereotactic radiosurgery technology on the market. Among its features are increased precision for zeroing in on tumors, frameless fractionated radiosurgery treatment for enhanced comfort and shorter treatment times that improve the patient experience.
Please visit our Stereotactic radiosurgery page to learn more about this advanced surgical option.
Deep Brain Stimulation
Some Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients are unable to obtain sufficient relief through medications or physical measures. For these individuals, sophisticated brain surgery techniques, including deep brain stimulation (DBS), can provide significant benefits. DBS involves the implantation of electrodes in the brain that electrically stimulate target areas. After undergoing DBS, most patients can reduce their medications by 50 percent or more and see long-lasting improvements in their PD symptoms.
The Neurological Institute’s experienced DBS team features neurologists, neurosurgeons and neurophysiologists. Specializing in the care of Parkinson’s disease patients, the team has treated several hundred patients with this advanced surgical procedure since the mid-1990s.
Intrathecal Baclofen Pumps
NorthShore offers severe spasticity management for patients with multiple sclerosis. The Neurological Institute’s baclofen pump program helps patients achieve maximum functionality and improve their comfort with an implanted intrathecal baclofen pump. The program includes clinical evaluation, a baclofen screening test, pump implantation by a neurosurgery specialist, and long-term titration and management.
NICO Brain Path 6 Pillar
NorthShore offers a minimally invasive surgical technique that provides new hope to brain cancer patients with tumors that used to be considered inoperable. The NICO 6 pillar approach is a safe, effective surgical solution for removing tumors, blood clots and other growths located deep within the brain -- all through an opening smaller than a dime. It is uniquely designed to minimize the risk of damage to areas of the brain that control speech, memory, vision and other functions. It may also reduce length of hospital stay.
This advanced technology integrates the following 6 pillars: brain mapping, navigation technology, access, high definition optics, removal and targeted therapy.
Before surgery, the neurosurgeon studies the wiring of the brain to plan the safest route to access the growth. High definition optics and a GPS-like navigation system guide the BrainPath technology helping surgeons move through the natural folds of the brain to safely remove hard to reach tumors.
NorthShore is the first health system in Illinois—and one of just a handful nationally—to implement an advanced surgical optics and robotic guide system that enhances minimally invasive brain surgery capabilities.