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Neurosurgical Care

Neurosurgery. It's among the most complex, delicate and difficult of surgical procedures. Now our patients have access to quality neurosurgical experts and technologies at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital.

Advanced Treatment
The neurosurgeons at Penn State Neurosurgery at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital are experts at an array of treatment options and surgical procedures.

Consider some of the procedures our neurosurgical team offers:

Endovascular coiling
Wilkes-Barre General Hospital recently introduced to our region a neurosurgical procedure for treating brain aneurysms. Known as endovascular coil embolization, this minimally invasive procedure involves inserting a microcatheter through a small incision in the femoral artery in the patient's leg.

By using fluoroscopy/X-ray to navigate the tiny instrument through the vascular system and into the aneurysm, our neurosurgeons then place small platinum coils into the aneurysm in order to block blood flow and prevent a rupture.

Traditionally, cerebral aneurysms have been treated by exposing the brain through open surgery and then placing a clip on the aneurysm.

Performed in the Neuroangiography Suite at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital under general anesthesia, endovascular coil embolization can reduce the risks associated with open surgery and reduce the amount of time a patient stays in the hospital. That means you get back to your normal routine sooner.

Best of all, studies have consistently shown that the endovascular coiling procedure is significantly superior to traditional clipping procedures for patients with certain aneurysms.

Brain, spinal and head and neck tumor surgery

When it comes to treating tumors, our neurosurgical team offers skilled expertise and an array of technologies to give patients the quality chances for recovery. Whether through minimally invasive endoscopic procedures, stereotactic radiosurgery or traditional surgical techniques, our neurosurgeons offer a vast array of treatment options to treat benign and malignant tumors.

Herniated discs
Herniated discs can cause severe and unrelenting pain. Thankfully, relief is available. Our neurosurgical team is skilled in repairing and removing discs - and bringing relief to countless patients with herniated discs and other spinal ailments.

Spinal fractures
Osteoporosis afflicts nearly 30 million Americans. If left unchecked, it can easily progress until a bone fractures, causing severe pain and, in many cases, deformity.

To combat this problem, our neurosurgeons perform kyphoplasty - a minimally invasive procedure that can provide relief for the pain caused by osteoporosis-related compression fractures of the spine.

With kyphoplasty, the neurosurgeon inserts small balloons through two small incisions. The balloons are placed on either side of the spinal fracture and filled with special spinal cement, which hardens quickly and provides strength to the vertebra and relieves the pain.

Best of all, the patients can return to a normal daily routine more quickly than with traditional surgery.

Trigeminal neuralgia
Trigeminal neuralgia is a very painful inflammation of the trigeminal nerve that delivers feeling to the side of the face and eye. Individuals who suffer from this condition report very painful spasm of the nerve that can last for a few seconds to minutes or longer.

Pain is often only associated with one side of the face or cheek and can be triggered by a simple touch, eating or drinking.

Our neurosurgeons have treated trigeminal neuralgia successfully with GammaKnife stereotactic radiosurgery, as well as through other advanced procedures.

Advanced technologies

Penn State Neurosurgery at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital offers the region's most advanced array of sophisticated technology. For example:

  • The IMRIS dual-use intraoperative MRI is among the most sophisticated brain and spinal technologies in the world. In fact, it's one of only about 20 such units in operation worldwide.

    This incredible technology enables our neurosurgeons to perform delicate brain, spinal or head and neck surgeries, then, without removing the patients from the operating room, conduct an MRI to ensure the surgery accomplished its goal. Traditionally, the patient would need to be closed and transported to another area to have an MRI completed. In many cases, the patient would need to be brought back into the OR to complete the operation. The IMRIS eliminates all that - and Wilkes-Barre General Hospital is the only site in NEPA that offers this incredible technology.

  • Gamma Knife Radiosurgery
    It's brain surgery without any incisions. The Gamma Knife uses finely directed beams of radiation to attack tumors and other abnormalities. By pulsating varying degrees of radiation from multiple angles and for varying durations, our neurosurgeons can apply radiation therapy to a tumor, yet leave the surrounding tissue and organs undamaged.

    Most times, a patient requires only one Gamma Knife treatment, and it's usually completed in just a few hours. Wilkes-Barre General Hospital introduced Gamma Knife technology to our region and remains the only site in our area for this technology.

  • Endovascular/Interventional Neuroradiology
    Many professionals consider this the pioneering edge of neurosurgery. Our neurosurgeons employ minimally invasive procedures and image-based technologies for the diagnosis and treatment of vascular diseases of the head, neck and spine.

    Importantly, these minimally invasive procedures require only a few small incisions rather than an open cranium procedure. That means less risk for infection, less need for general anesthesia and shorter recovery times for the patient.

A vital component of the Stroke Center at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital

The Stroke Center at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital is the only Joint Commission-certified stroke center in the region - a designation that comes with great responsibility. It's no wonder, then, that our neurosurgical team plays such a vital role in its success.

In fact, our neurosurgical team is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to perform life-saving interventional procedures on stroke patients. Procedures such as the Merci Retrieval, a minimally invasive procedure during which our neurosurgeons insert specialized instruments into an artery and remove the blockage causing the stroke.

Talented Neurosurgical Team
Based in Wilkes-Barre General Hospital, Penn State Neurosurgery at Wyoming Valley is led by Chief Carlo de Luna, MD. Together with Philip Hlavac, MD, our talented neurosurgeons are not only local residents and members of our community, but they're also well-respected members of the Penn State Hershey Medical Center faculty - teaching the next generation of neurosurgeons.

Strong Neurosurgical Bonds
Wilkes-Barre General Hospital maintains a strong and ongoing affiliation with the professionals and research capabilities of Penn State Hershey Health System. That means our patients have access to the latest neurosurgery research and technological advances.

For more information about what Penn State Neurosurgery at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital can do for you, please call 570-706-2620.

  Wilkes-Barre General Hospital
575 North River Street
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18764
(570) 829-8111
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