Conditions of the brain, spine and nervous system are complex.
The Southcoast Brain & Spine Center offers a full range of treatment options to address your individual needs. We focus not only on your treatment, but your quality of life.
Non-surgical techniques are often the first course of treatment, depending on your individual needs. A combination of treatments including physical therapy, pain management, physiatry and chiropractic therapy may be considered as part of your treatment plan. When surgery is an option, our highly skilled and experienced neurosurgeons use the latest tools and advanced technology for pinpoint accuracy and the least invasive techniques possible.
We work with you and your primary care physician to determine the most appropriate treatment based on your individual needs.
Disorders affecting the nervous system often require lifelong care. Our neurologists provide a personalized, comprehensive approach to address the many aspects of complex neurological conditions, so we can help you achieve your goals and maintain quality of life.
To help develop the most accurate diagnosis and subsequent treatment plan, our neurology team offers an array of neurodiagnostic services, such as electroencephalography (EEG) and electromyography (EMG).
Southcoast was recently recognized by Healthgrades™, a leading online evaluator of health systems, hospitals and physicians, for excellence in care stroke care.
- Stroke Care Excellence Award™ for 2 years in a row (2013-2014)
- Ranked Among the Top 10% in the Nation for Treatment of Stroke for 2 years in a row (2013-2014)
- Five-Star Recipient for Treatment of Stroke for 3 years in a row (2012-2014)
As a result of 21st century technology, neurosurgery can be performed more quickly and less invasively than ever — with greater safety, less trauma and shorter recovery times.
Our surgeons were fellowship-trained in the nation's leading neurosurgical centers. They are pioneers in their field, bringing the latest surgical treatments — including minimally invasive surgery, microsurgery and skull base surgical techniques — to the South Coast region.
Stereotactic Image-Guided Brain & Spine Surgery
Stereotactic image-guided brain and spine surgery is a computerized tracking system that gives neurosurgeons a detailed map of an individual patient's brain structures. It is used in combination with evoked potential monitoring to reduce complications and make neurosurgery safer and more effective. An advantage of this technology is the neurosurgeon can "see" more detail through a smaller incision. For you, a smaller incision means less chance of infection, less trauma and quicker recovery.
Information is based on data from a patient's CT and MRI scans, taken prior to surgery. The data is input into a computer and during surgery is combined with live, optical tracking of surgical instruments to provide accuracy to within one millimeter of delicate brain and nerve structures. This process allows neurosurgeons to know exactly where instruments are positioned every second the surgery is in progress. Southcoast neurosurgeons also use intraoperative monitoring, such as evoked potential, intraoperative EEG and awake craniotomies.
Disc Disease & Herniation
Complex spine surgery at Southcoast is done using new technology such as plates and cages that can literally rebuild large areas of the spine. This technology has provided dramatic results to patients who suffer from debilitating disc problems or spinal deformities like scoliosis, or "curvature of the spine."
One major difference in spinal surgery is surgeons are now able to fix segments of the spine with individual cages or plates and screws, rather than fuse a long section with one device. This allows surgeons to stabilize the spine in three dimensions instead of one, resulting in a much better outcome. With surgery 10 years ago, people were sometimes left with an imbalance that could result in more back pain and disability.
Epilepsy is a brain condition that makes people susceptible to seizures. It can often be helped by medication, but for some patients who have frequent and uncontrolled seizures, surgery is an increasingly recommended option.
Epilepsy surgery involves a series of diagnostic tests — to both pinpoint the problem area of the brain and also determine whether surgery might affect language and other brain functions. These tests can now be performed in Southcoast's neurodiagnostics lab and are essential to both selecting patients who may be helped by surgical treatment, and in planning the surgery itself.
The surgery involves removing the area of the brain that is causing the seizures, while leaving all essential brain functions intact. Southcoast neurosurgeons have received special training in this technique and have successfully performed procedures that have helped a number of epilepsy patients.
Pain management is an integral part of our work at the Southcoast Brain & Spine Center. Southcoast's system-wide comprehensive pain program expertly manages the complex issues of acute and chronic pain.
Our pain management specialists are available for inpatient and outpatient consultation and management of patients with a variety of pain conditions.
Whether a patient's pain needs can be addressed through minimally invasive measures or require a more aggressive approach, our team can access the latest advances in operative and non-operative methods of diagnosis and treatment of painful disorders.
Neuropsychology focuses on the relationships between the brain and behavior. Southcoast's clinical psychologists and neuropsychologists use their training in psychology, neuroanatomy and cognitive neuroscience to assess, diagnose and treat a variety of medical, neurological and psychiatric conditions that can affect cognition.
The diagnosis and treatment of traumatic brain injuries, epilepsy, movement disorders, brain tumors, dementia and childhood developmental disorders such as autism, ADHD and learning disabilities are just some of the conditions that fall within neuropsycholgists' area of expertise.
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
The Southcoast Brain & Spine Center has a special partnership with community physician specialists who offer physical medicine and rehabilitation services — also known as physiatry —that will help you regain the highest possible level of function. This dedicated team of physicians specializes in musculoskeletal and neuro-muscular conditions including non-operative treatment of back pain, spinal cord injuries and stroke. They utilize advanced electrodiagnostic testing to determine diagnosis and offer both interventional and non-interventional techniques for management, including spinal injections and emphasis on "exercise" medicine.
Southcoast Rehabilitation Services
The success of any type of brain and spine care depends upon the right rehabilitation and recovery. At the Southcoast Brain & Spine Center, you can benefit from a conservative rehabilitation program with physical therapists who specialize in the unique needs of brain, nerve and spine disorder patients. Southcoast Rehabilitation Services is conveniently located at the Dartmouth site with many additional locations throughout the region.
We work closely with specially trained chiropractic physicians who help restore normal joint movement, regain strength and relieve pain.
Southcoast has the most advanced image-guided surgical navigation systems available. Our intra-operative monitoring system gives us the vital precision needed in surgery on the delicate tissues and nerve pathways of the brain and spine.
For you, this means an accurate diagnosis, greater safety, less trauma and shorter recovery times.
Stereotactic radiosurgery, one of the most precise forms of radiation therapy used to non-surgically treat tumors in the brain, is available through the Southcoast Brain & Spine Center. The precision offered allows us to preserve healthy tissue by delivering targeted radiation, with the help of three-dimensional imaging technology, at much higher doses than traditional radiation therapy.
The brain is the body's "superhighway," with electronic impulses and other vital messages traveling through a maze of nerve pathways, allowing us to do something as simple as blink an eye, or as complicated as quantum physics.
Mapping these pathways is both complicated and difficult, but essential to the success of any surgical or medical treatment for brain disorders.
Southcoast's sophisticated neurodiagnostics labs allow our team to map these pathways to improve accuracy and reduce damage to healthy tissue. The labs are run by specially trained, nationally certified technicians who have the exceptional skills essential to the success of any surgical or medical treatment of the brain and spine.
Links & Resources
The following links are provided as sources of general information about neurosurgery and issues related to neurosurgery. They are provided as a resource and the inclusion of any site does not constitute an endorsement by Southcoast or its physicians or staff.
Please surf carefully and consult a physician before undertaking any medical treatment.
Congress of Neurological Surgeons | Organization of surgeons that promotes the advancement of neurosurgery.
Neurosurgery://On-Call | Health resources website of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons.
Neurosurgery Online | Official journal of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons.
Spine-health.com | In-depth information to help patients understand, prevent and seek appropriate treatment for back pain and neck pain — written and reviewed by leading spine physicians.
Spineuniverse.com | Information about conditions, treatment and prevention.