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Published on April 14, 2014

Jefferson neurosurgeons now treating brain, neck and spine issues at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital

Some of Philadelphia’s leading neurosurgeons are on staff at Mercy Fitzgerald.

surgeryDon’t be surprised to learn that some of Philadelphia’s leading neurosurgeons are on staff at your local hospital. Through a collaboration with the Jefferson Neuroscience Network, surgeons are now treating patients with medical issues affecting the brain, spine and neck at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital.

That collaboration means the quality of neurosurgery care at Mercy is world class, says Kevin Judy, MD, director of the Mercy Neurosurgery program. The team at Mercy Fitzgerald can treat brain tumors through a variety of means, including chemotherapy and radiation, as well as whole-brain radiation and craniotomy, where surgeons make a small incision in the skull to remove a tumor.

Craniotomy procedures are aided by two vital pieces of technology on hand at Mercy Fitzgerald. “Here at Mercy we have a Stealth unit, which acts like a GPS device for the brain,” explains Dr. Judy. “It gives us a fine-cut MRI; we then register a probe that allows us to exactly pinpoint where the tumor is located inside the skull from outside of the scalp—all before making even one incision. That’s the beauty of it.”

Thanks to the precision of Stealth technology, surgeons can remove the tumor while protecting the optic nerves, brain stem and other essential parts of the brain.

Also available at Mercy Fitzgerald is a Cavitron Ultrasonic Surgical Aspirator (CUSA), which functions like a high-powered ultrasound that blasts tumor cells apart and removes them, he explains.

Patients may be understandably nervous when told they may need brain or spine surgery, but Dr. Judy and his team want to assure them of the best possible outcome.

“Patients can now be evaluated by a top-ranked physician who is able to provide complex spine care—with the added benefit of being able to stay at your local hospital,” says Joshua Heller, MD, a neurosurgeon specializing in spinal surgery. “We have the ability to treat most spinal conditions at Mercy, and the power of Jefferson for complex cases that require the resources of a tertiary care academic center.”

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