Clinical Service

Cerebrovascular Section

A large number of patients with intracranial aneurysms, vascular malformations and carotid stenosis are treated each year in the Cerebrovascular Surgery Section of the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria. The Cerebrovascular Section, headed by Dr. Jeff Klopfenstein, is the main tertiary referral center in Central Illinois for patients with intracranial aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations. Patients are evaluated and treated in a very collegial fashion by a dedicated group of neurosurgeons with fellowship training in cerebrovascular surgery and endovascular neurosurgery, interventional neuroradiologists and stroke neurologists. A weekly Carotid Clinic is maintained in conjunction with Interventional Radiology and Stroke Neurology.

The OSF Stroke Network, a network of over 25 hospitals connected by helicopter, provides a large population of patients with ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke. Educational activities of this section include a weekly Cerebrovascular conference, various clinical research projects, and a dedicated microsurgical laboratory. In recent years, numerous clinical and laboratory projects have been published in the most prestigious neurosurgical journals.

Radiosurgery

The Neurosurgery Department offers an active radiosurgery program utilizing Perfexion Gamma Knife, CyberKnife, and Varian Trilogy RapidArc unit for single fraction and hypofraction brain and spine radiosurgery. The department treats malignant and benign brain tumor, AVM, and functional neurosurgery including trigeminal neuralgia and epilepsy. This is done in collaboration with medical physics and radiation oncology.

The third year neurosurgical resident participates during the second six months in new patient evaluation in the Monday Radiosurgery Clinic. The residence places the stereotactic frame and participates in the imaging and radiosurgery planning. The resident during the radiosurgery rotation will be a major participant in the weekly Monday afternoon multidisciplinary Tumor Board.

The department has done over 1000 radiosurgical procedures and anticipates 200 cases per year in this rapidly evolving technology.

Pediatric Neurosurgery

Our section of pediatric neurosurgery is devoted and committed to the care of children with neurological conditions. All of our surgeries are accomplished at the Children’s Hospital of Illinois with 127 beds and over 75 pediatric subspecialties. We have a monthly Craniofacial and Spina Bifida Clinic. We collaborate with St. Jude’s Midwest affiliate for management of pediatric brain tumor. Easter Seals has a large facility in our campus which provides a large referral base for children with spasticity.

Currently, our pediatric surgical cases include third ventriculostomies, CSF shunting, baclofen pump insertion, craniofacial reconstruction along with pediatric plastic surgery, posterior fossa tumor resection and surgeries for neural tube defects such as spinal cord detethering and closure of myelomeningoceles. With level I trauma in house, we also see and treat children with complex head and spinal injuries. With building of a new children’s hospital, we expect our surgical volume to grow and further educational experience for our residents.

Spine/Peripheral Nerve

The Department of Neurosurgery Spine Subsection is headed by Dr. Dan Fassett. This division comprises the highest volume of all subspecialties with close to 1000 major cases per year. The spine service provides the most advanced treatment for all spinal disorders including degenerative, deformity, trauma, infection, and neoplasm. All faculty members perform routine spinal decompression and diskectomy but there are currently four faculty members who perform spinal instrumentation. All aspects of spinal surgery are practiced including image guided and minimally invasive spinal surgery, endoscopy, kyphoplasty, and artificial disc replacement. Dr. Todd McCall joined us in July, 2009 as a dedicated faculty member for the spine subsection.

The Peripheral Nerve Subsection is headed by Dr. Dzung Dinh. The more common nerve entrapment disorders are treated; however the neurosurgeons at UICOM-P have extensive experience in microanastomosis, brachial plexus and trauma.

Tumor

The Brain Tumor Section is headed by Dr. Andrew Tsung. Facilities exist for accurate diagnosis and treatment of brain tumors and skull base lesions. This includes the full complement of advanced surgical navigation, electrophysiology, Gamma Knife, Cyber Knife, and Varian Trilogy. A multidisciplinary clinic attended by neurosurgeons, medical and radiation oncology is devoted to the continuity of care of the patient. The Department of Cancer Biology and Pharmacology, is among the most well-funded basic science laboratories in the country, specializing in mechanisms of tumor invasion and the design of adenoviral constructs in the treatment of malignant glioma.

Functional/Pain

The Functional/Pain Section is headed by Dr. Patrick Tracy. The treatment of a wide variety of problems is conducted through the Department of Neurosurgery and Neurology. This includes essential tremor, spasticity, cerebral palsy and Parkinsons disease, chronic pain syndromes, and trigeminal neuralgia. Deep brain stimulation, spinal cord stimulators, and pain pumps are commonly implanted. Trigeminal neuralgia is commonly treated with percutaneous rhizotomy, microvascular decompression, or through Gamma Knife radiosurgery.