Neurosurgery at Cook Children's
Consistently earning a top national ranking for neuroscience, we offer some of the most advanced pediatric neurosurgical care in the country. Top specialists, innovative techniques and leading research combine to achieve remarkable short and long-term outcomes for even the most complex cases.
Working closely with families and referring physicians, we provide the comprehensive, tailored care young patients need for brain and other central nervous system conditions.
Choose Cook Children's Neurosurgery Program
We invite you to give us a call and our care coordinators in Cook Children's Global Health Services team will help you take care of everything.
We're dedicated to helping your patient enjoy the best life possible, whether that means restoring movement or relieving seizures. Our neurosurgeons can help treat a range of conditions, from brain tumors and epilepsy to movement disorders such as cerebral palsy and dystonia.
- Expert team: Our board-certified neurosurgeons use the latest tools to enhance precision and safety, using minimally invasive options when possible. They work closely with neurologists and other specialists in the Jane and John Justin Neurosciences Center for comprehensive treatment. When needed, the team consults with experts in Cardiology, Genetics, Gastroenterology, and Hematology and Oncology.
- Leading innovation: We're continually innovating to help improve patients' lives, from advanced diagnostic testing to state-of-the-art equipment and facilities:
- Our intraoperative MRI (iMRI) suite allows our surgeons to see images of the area of the brain they are operating on in exquisite detail for more precise surgery.
- Our Neuroradiology Center uses magnetoencephalography (MEG) and MRI to pinpoint epileptic seizures and map brain tumors before surgery.
- Robotic surgical arm precisely localizes surgical intervention for epileptic seizures in patients who do not respond to medication.
- iMRI-guided laser ablation to safely treat intractable epilepsy and small brain tumors.
- We're among the first pediatric medical centers providing endoscopic corpus callosotomy to relieve seizures.
- Our spine team uses intraoperative computerized tomography (iCT) and stereotactic techniques for complex neuromuscular scoliosis.
- Since the first implant in 2007, Cook Children's has established itself as one of the elite deep brain stimulation (DBS) programs in the nation.
- Full support: Our social workers provide support and resources to ease your patient's stay and return home. Nurse practitioners serve as a key contact for patients and families, providing care before and after surgery. Child Life specialists help patients during treatment and with the transition back home.
- Top research: Scientists in our Neurosciences Research team collaborates with colleagues around the world to develop new surgical approaches. Our research projects focus on combining the latest discoveries, technology and evidence-based practices to help patients today and in the future.
Endoscopic corpus callosotomy: A bright future for kids with intractable seizures.
Daniel Hansen, M.D., shines a light on this barrier breaking approach to epilepsy surgery. Using an endoscopic method to disconnect the left and right brain, this minimally invasive procedure has the same chance of seizure freedom post-surgery as traditional callosotomy, while reducing operating time and recovery time.
Partnering with you for pediatric brain surgery and spine surgery
From the moment you contact us, you'll appreciate the commitment of our Neurosurgery team. We believe that the best patient outcomes start with building strong working relationships with all caregivers, including you.
When you refer a patient to our program, you can trust that we'll keep you well-informed as part of the team. We want and respect your involvement at every stage of your patient's care. You'll have access to our physician portal, as well as be invited to join weekly phone calls or teleconferences.
As the time nears for your patient to return home, you'll once again serve as the primary physician. However, we'll still be there to provide support. We'll prepare you to deal with any situation that may arise and we'll always be a phone call away.
Using advanced technology to help children, teens and young adults
We continually integrate the latest technology to ensure our patients receive the best care.
Offering innovative surgical care for movement disorders
Patients with movement disorders have many surgical options for treatment at Cook Children's, including:
- Deep brain stimulation (DBS): We've become a national leader in DBS, treating about 140 patients to date. Using iMRI, our neurosurgeons place the electrodes within the brain quickly and accurately, lowering the risk of infection and the need for repeat surgery.
- Selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR): Our neurosurgeons have already used SDR to help 40 patients with spastic cerebral palsy, by cutting the abnormal nerves causing spasms. The procedure offers hope for improved mobility when patients don't respond to medications.
- Baclofen pump insertions: Our neurosurgical team has performed more than 600 baclofen pump insertions. We've treated patients from across the U.S. with multiple sclerosis, stroke, cerebral palsy, and spinal and brain injuries.
Pioneering approaches to epilepsy surgeries
Our Comprehensive Epilepsy Program is one of the busiest pediatric programs of its kind in the nation. We perform more than 6,000 electroencephalograms (EEGs) each year to better understand the type and source of each seizure. With these results, we can provide a targeted surgical treatment plan. Options may include:
- Laser ablation with intraoperative MRI: Guided with iMRI, our surgeons remove diseased tissue deep within the brain to treat intractable epilepsy and small brain tumors. This approach helps protect healthy tissue, shortens recovery and enables patients to return home sooner — often just days after the procedure.
- Use of robotic arm technology: Our team uses a robotic surgical arm to precisely diagnose and remove the source of epileptic seizures for 40 to 50 patients each year. This technology offers:
- Smaller incisions and a less invasive procedure
- Shorter operating time, reducing the risk of infection
- Faster recovery after surgery
- Better precision for biopsies, electrode implantation and laser ablation of brain lesions
- Endoscopic approach: We're leaders in endoscopic corpus callosotomy, disconnecting the left and right brain to reduce and even prevent seizures. This approach shortens operating and recovery times. It offers patients the same chance at living seizure-free as traditional callosotomy.
Using iMRI for more precise neurosurgery
Since the installation of our iMRI surgical suite in 2009, our team has performed more than 1,000 procedures using real-time digital images. We've also expanded its use to more complex surgeries requiring critical precision. The technology enables our neurosurgeons to:
- Accurately place electrodes for deep brain stimulation and epilepsy monitoring
- More precisely remove an entire tumor during a single surgery, to avoid operating again
- Improve Chiari malformation surgery, decreasing the need for duraplasty and making treatment safer and quicker to recover from
Driving discovery with research and collaboration
Our neurosurgeons collaborate with clinicians and scientists in the Neurosciences Research Center to apply the latest discoveries and technologies. We also participate in clinical and basic science research with colleagues around the world.
Learn more about Cook Children's Neurosciences Research:
Collaborating with a team of experts in neurosciences
Our neurosurgeons are part of a robust team of neurosciences experts at Cook Children's. Together these specialists make an accurate diagnosis and develop a comprehensive care plan for each patient. Many neurological disorders require complex care, combining surgery with other therapies for the best outcomes.
In addition to neurosurgery, our neuroscience team includes specialists in:
- Cleft, Craniofacial and Plastic Surgery
- Pain Management
We also offer Neurosciences locations throughout Texas.
Working together is in our DNA
It takes more than medicine and research to ensure that patients reach their goals, it also takes compassionate collaboration.
Our team of renowned neurosurgeons works with you, your patient and the family to provide the best care. We offer children, teens and young adults with brain and other nervous system disorders the most advanced treatments available today, to give them the best future.
Designations and recognition
When you refer a patient to Cook Children's Neurosurgery Program, you can trust that you're choosing a team with the expertise, resources and commitment to provide the best care possible.
For the last 11 years, Cook Children's has been ranked among the best children's medical centers for neurology and neurosurgery by U.S. News and World Report.
The Magnet® designation is considered the international gold standard of nursing excellence. Cook Children's Medical Center is the first pediatric medical center in North Texas, and the 10th in the world, to receive this prestigious designation four consecutive times.
Cook Children's is recognized as a Top Children's Hospital nationally by The Leapfrog Group. This award highlights our widely recognized achievements in patient safety and quality.
Connect with us
Referring physicians find our rapid response time surprising – and refreshing.
We understand the critical need of your epilepsy patients, which is why a care coordinator will work with the family throughout each step of their journey.
Whether it's for a consultation, or to refer a patient, all you have to do is call us - and from there, we'll handle the rest.
Contact our Neurosurgery Program
Coming from outside of Texas?
We offer many services to families who are traveling from out-of-state. We can help with appointment scheduling, insurance approvals, and making your experience with Cook Children's as easy as possible.
Please contact our Global Health Services care coordinator if you need help with out-of-state or international referrals at:
682-303-1046 GlobalHealthServices@cookchildrens.org 682-885-2557 fax