The Penn State Children’s Hospital Approach to Pediatric Neurosurgery

The pediatric neurosurgery care team at at Penn State Children’s Hospital treats children – from infants to teens – who have brain, spinal cord or nerve conditions that require surgery. When you child is facing a complex neurological condition, experience matters.

Comprehensive Diagnosis and Treatment Options

The experts at Penn State Children’s Hospital perform neurosurgery on children of all ages. Our goal is to help your child function at his or her highest capability, while minimizing recovery time. We use leading-edge technology and minimally invasive techniques to provide accurate diagnosis and innovative treatment options.

After surgery, your child will recover in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) or the children's and adolescent floor. If your child needs rehabilitation, we coordinate with our pediatric rehabilitation team to provide comprehensive physical and neuropsychological rehabilitation.

Expert, Team-Based Care Designed for You

We take a team approach to each child's care. Our pediatric neurosurgeons and physicians work together with clinical specialty nurses, Child Life specialists, radiologists, social workers and other health care professionals to provide compassionate, integrated care that’s personalized for your child and your family.

Child Life Specialists

At Penn State Children’s Hospital, our specially trained staff of Child Life specialists help every child deal with illness. Our specialists accompany your child during an Emergency Department visit or a procedure to provide coping strategies, such as distraction, guided imagery and deep breathing.

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Our Experts in Pediatric Neurosurgery Care

The experts at Penn State Children’s Hospital are committed to providing our pediatric patients with comprehensive and multidisciplinary care.

Why Choose Penn State Children’s Hospital for Neurosurgery

Penn State Children’s Hospital offers the only comprehensive brain and spinal cord surgical program in central Pennsylvania. We’re routinely ranked among the best children’s hospitals in the nation because of our focus on patient care, safety and research. U.S. News & World Report has recognized Penn State Children’s Hospital specialties with top rankings. You can see all of our awards and recognitions here.

We are committed to providing only the highest quality treatment and support, focusing on the unique needs of your child’s condition. We collaborate with referring providers to provide excellent patient care for the residents of central Pennsylvania

Minimally Invasive Surgical Techniques

Our surgeons focus on minimally invasive surgical techniques whenever possible. We offer neurosurgical endoscopy to treat children with complex problems in the brain’s ventricles. In this minimally invasive surgery, neurosurgeons access the skull through tiny dime-sized holes, or may enter the brain through the nose or mouth. With this kind of procedure, surgeons can reach parts of the brain they can’t reach with traditional surgery.

Minimally invasive surgery allows your child to have less pain, recover quicker and spend less time in the hospital.

Specialized Program for Spina Bifida

At Penn State Children’s Hospital, we are committed to providing care for children with spina bifida throughout their lifespans – from diagnosis in the womb, throughout childhood and into adulthood. We easily transition children to the Penn State Health spina bifida adult clinic.

We also offer prenatal consultation for parents so they know what to expect during pregnancy and after the birth of their child.

Research and Clinical Trials

Penn State Children’s Hospital stays on the leading edge of treatment for neurological conditions in children by taking part in several research studies with nationally recognized organizations. We are proud to be one of 22 programs nationwide chosen for the National Spina Bifida Registry Demonstration Project. This project, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tracks long-term outcomes for children and adults with spina bifida and performs research into these disorders. This research enables multi-institutional collaboration to improve best practices and treatments for children with spina bifida. Find out if a clinical trial is right for you.

Conditions Treated

The Penn State Children’s Hospital pediatric neurosurgery team provides treatment for a wide range of conditions, including:

  • Aqueductal obstruction
  • Arachnoid cysts
  • Aneurysms
  • Ateriovenous malformations
  • Brachial plexus injuries
  • Cavenmas
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Central hypoventilation syndrome (central sleep apnea)
  • Chiari malformations
  • Congenital malformations
  • Colloid cysts
  • Craniosynostosis and craniofacial disorders (in conjunction with the Craniofacial Center)
  • Dandy-Walker syndrome
  • Dystonia (spasmodic)
  • Epilepsy (including resections, hemispherectomy, callosotomy, vagal nerve stimulators)
  • Head, spine and peripheral nerve trauma
  • Hydrocephalus (endoscopic and stereotactic)
  • Intracranial cysts
  • Intraventricular hemorrhage
  • Meningitis
  • Moya-Moya
  • Neural tube defects (NTD)
  • Neurofibromatosis
  • Phakomatosis
  • Plagiocephaly (occipital flattening)
  • Peripheral nerve disorders
  • Peripheral nerve tumors
  • Spasticity
  • Spina bifida and other congenital brain and spinal disorders
  • Spinal cord tethering
  • Spinal dysraphisms
  • Syringomyelia
  • Tumors of the brain, skull base, spinal cord, peripheral nerve and pituitary
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Traumatic injuries of the spine

Support Groups

Support groups provide children and their families an opportunity to connect with others in similar situations. Learn more about the support groups offered at Penn State Children’s Hospital.

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Our Convenient Locations

Find the care your family needs, close to home, at one of our many locations throughout central Pennsylvania.

Find a Location Near You