Pediatric Neurosurgery

Pediatric neurosurgery is a life-saving treatment option for many children facing problems with the brain, spinal cord or central nervous system. Due to new technology and minimally-invasive techniques, faster recovery and better outcomes for children are becoming the norm.

The pediatric neurosurgery team at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital specialize in this state-of-the-art technology. But, they do more than heal children. They provide the compassionate, integrated care families need to heal.

SSM Health Cardinal Glennon’s highly-trained pediatric neurosurgeons from the SLUCare Physician Group treat children with all types of neurological disorders, including some of the most complex and rare conditions. We also treat children of all ages, beginning before birth and into young adulthood.

Our collaborative approach provides your child the advanced care they need, making SSM Health Cardinal Glennon a destination for families both locally and nationally.

When Is Pediatric Neurosurgery Used?

Pediatric neurosurgery is not a procedure we take lightly. Our team works closely with other subspecialists to determine if neurosurgery is the correct option for your child. In many instances, neurosurgery may not be necessary.  For example, only about half of all trauma patients and less than 25% of children diagnosed with chiari malformations require an operation.

The following are common conditions that might require this type of surgical intervention:

  • Injury of the head or spinal cord
  • Tumors in the head or spinal cord
  • Functional abnormalities such as hydrocephalus
  • Epilepsy that is nonresponsive to medication
  • Cerebral palsy baclofen pump implantations
  • Chiari malformations
  • Congenital malformations
  • Craniosynostosis
  • Arachnoid cyst
  • Spina bifida
  • Central nervous system infections
  • Meningitis
  • Brain abscesses

Signs & Symptoms of Neurological Disorder in Children

Common symptoms a child experiencing neurological issues may experience include:

  • Seizures that are nonresponsive to medical treatment
  • Weakness
  • Paralysis
  • Difficulty walking
  • Headache, usually associated with nausea and vomiting
  • Interruptions in sleep due to nausea or vomiting
  • Developmental delays

Treatments We Provide

Our neurosurgeons have proven expertise in a wide range of advanced surgical techniques. We’re dedicated to accurate, effective and safe neurosurgery, especially when it comes to treating your child.

Some of the latest innovations and techniques we use include:

  • Minimally invasive surgery
  • Intraoperative MRI
  • Computer-assisted brain surgery
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery
  • Awake brain surgery
  • Deep brain stimulation

If your child requires surgery, we’ll work closely with your child’s care team to determine which procedure is right for them. This ultimately depends on your child’s diagnosis, condition and other health factors.

Taking a multidisciplinary approach, we work with other pediatric specialists at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon to establish an accurate diagnosis and develop a comprehensive treatment plan. These specialists include doctors in:

Preparing for Your Visit

Before your first visit, we ask that you send us a copy of your child’s digital imaging results. You can ship the CD provided at your previous provider to the hospital, or email individual image files directly to our department. If these files cannot be sent ahead, you can bring the images and any other test results with you to your appointment.

During this first visit, one of our neurosurgeons will sit down with your family to discuss your child’s condition. Afterward, any additional digital imaging tests that may be required will be scheduled to provide us a better picture of your child’s health.

We’ll then schedule a follow-up visit to explain the causes of your child’s symptoms and discuss a treatment plan. At this appointment, we’ll speak directly with your child helping explain to them what’s going on in a caring and child-friendly manner.

If surgery is required, we usually schedule it following your second visit.

Children usually visit our team after a referral from one of their providers. However, parents can call us directly at 314-268-1040 if problems continue, or you wish to seek a second opinion. If your child has been seen by another pediatric neurosurgeon, it may be worth the extra appointment to receive that second opinion. Let the pediatric neurosurgeons at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon provide you the expertise and added comfort you seek.

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