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Pediatric Neurosurgery

Overview

Stony Brook Children's is a major clinical and research center for pediatric neurosurgery and the only pediatric neurosurgery program in Suffolk County with two specially trained neurosurgeons, Dr. David Chesler and Dr. Michael Egnor. We offer comprehensive, multidisciplinary services, collaborating closely with our colleagues in pediatric neurology, pediatric intensive care and other subspecialties. In particular, we are committed to using minimally invasive procedures to minimize trauma and complications, and help children get back to their lives sooner. Our patients also have access to all the ancillary services available in an academic medical center, including state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging, Child Life services, and more. Each year, we perform about 200 neurosurgical operations and see about 1,200 children on an outpatient basis. 

Contact Us

NY Spine & Brain Surgery, U.F.P.C. 

24 Research Way, Suite 200 
East Setauket, NY 11733
(631) 444-1213

NY Spine & Brain Surgery, U.F.P.C.
54 Commerce Drive, Suite 7
Riverhead, NY 11901
(631) 444-1213

Our Team

Michael Egnor, MD 
David Chesler, MD, PhD 
Nancy Strong, CPNP

 

Additional Expertise

Dr. Egnor, Dr. Chesler and the neurosurgical team, including two world-renowned cerebrovascular physicians. Dr. Henry Woo and Dr. David Fiorella, at NY Spine & Brain Surgery, work closely to provide care for pediatric patients with brain aneurysms, Moyamoya disease or arteriovenous malformations. Patients  have access to the full complement of other pediatric specialists and subspecialists at Stony Brook Children’s Hospital. These include neuroradiologists , pediatricians, pediatric intensivists, pediatric oncologists, radiation oncologists, pediatric nurses, child-life specialists and social workers. This collaborative approach brings to our children expert, coordinated care that addresses their highly individual needs. 

Services 

Stony Brook's Pediatric Neurosurgery Division diagnoses and treats a broad range of brain and spine problems.As part of Suffolk County’s only academic medical center, we have access to the most advanced technology and treatments available. One type of treatment that we frequently use is neuroendoscopy, which allows us to go into the ventricles (interconnected, fluid-filled spaces) of the brain and place catheters (thin tubes), to open cysts using a minimally invasive approach. We also treat Craniosynostosis (a birth defect caused when the joints between the bones of a baby’s skull close prematurely), using minimally invasive endoscopic techniques. For treatment of tumors, we use a sophisticated three-dimensional, computer-generated stereotactic technique that enables us to locate and treat hard to reach tumors that would otherwise be untreatable. 

In addition, we serve as the only major pediatric neurosurgical center for trauma on eastern Long Island. 

The scope of diagnoses that we treat includes: 


Arnold Chiari Deformity
Arteriovenous Malformation
Brain Aneurysm
Craniosynostosis 
Epilepsy

Hydrocephalus

Moyamoya
Pediatric Brain Tumors

Pediatric Spine Surgery

Skull Base Tumors
Spinal Tumors 

Tethered Spinal Cord

Patient Resources

Hydrocephalus Foundation, Inc.

Comprehensive information about hydrocephalus.http://www.hydrocephalus.org/

Spinal Cord Tumor Association, Inc. Not-for-profit organization formed by spinal cord tumor survivors for the purpose of supporting survivors and their families.
 

Research and Education

The Division has concentrated significant research effort—both basic science and clinical studies—on understanding and treating hydrocephalus. The working theory is that hydrocephalus is related to the pulsatility (rhythmic beating) of the flow of cerebrospinal fluid to the brain. The goal is to be able to develop better shunts or other devices to treat hydrocephalus. Dr. Egnor and colleagues have published numerous scientific papers describing their efforts and discoveries. Dr. Chesler's area of research interest is the development of new treatments for brain tumors, and also includes the development of new therapies for the treatment of brain cancers.
 

Advances and Recognitions

Dr. Michael Egnor has been caring for the pediatric neurosurgery patients in Suffolk County since 1987. He was recognized repeatedly for his teaching ability as well as his work with abused and neglected children. His awards include twice receiving the "Outstanding Teaching Abilities in Pediatrics from the Department of Pediatrics." He also has received the Child Abuse and Neglect Volunteer and Professional of the Year Award in Health Brookhaven Youth Bureau.  

Dr. David Chesler joined the Neurosurgery Department in 2014 following a Pediatric Neurosurgery Fellowship at Johns Hopkins Medical Center. He is highly trained in use of minimally invasive surgical techniques for the treatment of spine and brain tumors, epilepsy, and the endoscopic correction of Craniosynostosis. He also earned a PhD in neuroimmunology at New York University and is pursuing research in the development of novel therapies for the treatment of pediatric brain tumors. 

 

Definitions

Arnold Chiari Deformity - Also known as chiari malformations (CMs), these structural defects are in the cerebellum, the part of the brain that controls balance. CMs may develop when the bony space is smaller than normal, causing the cerebellum and brain stem to be pushed down toward the upper spinal canal. The resulting pressure on the cerebellum and brain stem may block the flow of cerebrospinal fluid—the clear liquid that surrounds and cushions the brain and spinal cord—to and from the brain, and affect functioning.

Craniosynostosis - A birth defect in which the bones of the skull close prematurely, limiting or distorting the skull's growth. It is characterized in infancy by an abnormal but characteristic head shape.

Endovascular surgery -  Endovascular surgery is an innovative, less invasive procedure used to treat problems affecting the blood vessels, such as an aneurysm (swelling or "ballooning" of the blood vessel), using catheters (thin tubes) and devices such as stent or coils.

Hydrocephalus - A disorder in which too much cerebrospinal fluid, usually under high pressure, accumulates in the cavities of the brain. This can be caused by a birth defect, brain tumor, infection, hemorrhage, or brain injury. Hydrocephalus is also commonly referred to as water on the brain.

Pediatric Brain and Spine Tumors - Most common types include gliomas and meduloblastomas.  Symptoms and signs occur due to pressure from the tumor on neural structures, with resultant irritation or destruction.

Pediatric Degenerative Disc - This condition is characterized by damage to the invertebral discs, the gel-like cushions that separate each segment of the backbone or spine. Pain and stiffness in the neck and/or back can result, as well as pain that spreads to the back of the head, trunk, shoulders, arms, hands, legs, and feet.

Pediatric Herniated Disc - A break in the cartilage surrounding a disc in the spine, causing pressure on spinal nerves that produce pain down the arms or legs. Usually preceded by an episode of neck or low back pain or a long history of intermittent neck or back pain.

Spinal Cord Injuries - Commonly referred to as a "broken" neck or back, spinal cord injuries can lead to paralysis and loss of motor function. Correction of defects associated with spinal cord injury can improve neurologic function.

Tethered Cord Syndrome - This occurs when the spinal cord attaches itself to the bony spine and causes abnormal stretching of the spinal cord. It can result in permanent damage to the muscles and nerves in the lower body and legs.