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Neurosurgery Blog

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Hammer Attack Brings the Unexpected to the Operating Room


By Justin Schwarz, MD
Assistant Professor of Neurological Surgery

When you’re the neurosurgeon on night call at a large urban hospital – especially one with a Level 1 Trauma Center – you know that anything can happen. When it’s my turn I can expect a few phone calls from the neurosurgery resident and physician assistants working the night shift, mostly to consult on a care plan for someone who’s been in a car accident, had a fall, or suffered a stroke. When a patient needs surgery that can’t wait, that’s when I head for the hospital. Every so often, however, there’s one of those “anything can happen” nights, and I had one of those in February.

The Most Difficult Thing a Neurosurgeon Tells a Patient


By Roger Härtl, MD
Professor of Neurosurgery,
Director of Spine Surgery

Neurosurgeons by definition have many difficult conversations with their patients. We review scans together and tell them, as gently as we can, that they have a tumor, have had a stroke, or have any one of a number of other conditions that affect the brain and spine. We talk about treatment options, surgical risk, and recovery times, always aiming for the right combination of compassion and candor.

A Back-to-School Balancing Act: The Lurking Danger of Stereotype Threat


By Heidi Allison Bender, PhD, ABPP-CN
and Jessica Spat-Lemus, PhD

The greatest gymnast of all time may have been grounded by a societal foe she never saw coming – let’s not allow that to happen to our kids

Harnessing Neurosurgery to Advance Science


By Michael Kaplitt, MD, PhD, and Mark Souweidane, MD

The neurosurgeons at Weill Cornell Medicine are developing many new ways to approach a wide variety of brain diseases, and frequently collaborate with specialists in many disciplines to use our skills and our understanding of the brain to advance their fields as well as ours. Some of our most gratifying projects are those that use neurosurgery in novel and exciting ways to find the potential cures of the future.

Why I Got Vaccinated


By Philip E. Stieg

Chairman and Neurosurgeon-in-Chief
Margaret and Robert J. Hariri, MD ’87, PhD ’87 Professor of Neurological Surgery

I know some people still have some hesitancy about getting the Covid-19 vaccine – there is a natural tendency to equate “warp speed” with “cut corners,” and so there is some suspicion that the vaccine wasn’t adequately tested before being approved. That’s simply not true – and here's why we all need to get the shot

The Quiet Network of Neurosurgical Care


By Philip E. Stieg

Chairman and Neurosurgeon-in-Chief
Margaret and Robert J. Hariri, MD ’87, PhD ’87 Professor of Neurological Surgery

I recently received an effusive thank you note from a woman I’ve never met, and whose surgery I did not perform. She lives on the other side of the country, and she had been in terrible pain for a year from a condition called glossopharyngeal neuralgia. As the name suggests, this condition causes pain in the throat, tongue, and ear. It’s often caused by a compression of the glossopharyngeal nerve, which transmits information between these structures and the brain. It’s similar to other conditions of the craniofacial nerves, including trigeminal neuralgia.

A Crisis of Executive Functioning During a Pandemic


By Amanda Sacks-Zimmerman, PhD, and Jessica Spat-Lemus, PhD

Use the same strategies neuropsychologists teach their patients to help yourself through the confusion of the pandemic

Keeping Vital Investigations Going


How do we keep vital investigations going even when labs were shut? That was the question on the mind of researchers everywhere in March as they prepared to suspend operations. Roberta Marongiu, PhD, assistant professor of neuroscience in Dr.

Research Interrupted, But Not Stopped


Carolina Cocito, PhD, the Ty Louis Campbell Research Fellow in the Children’s Brain Tumor Project laboratory, who studies the role of the immune system in the progression of invasive brain tumors, shared her story about how the project’s important work continued even with the lab on hold. 

A Few Things to Learn From Teddi Mellencamp


By Caitlin Hoffman, MD, and Thomas Imahiyerobo, MD

Our hearts go out to Teddi Mellencamp and her husband, Edwin Arroyave, whose five-month-old daughter, Dove, will soon undergo surgery for lambdoid craniosynostosis. We know how frightening it is to find out your child needs surgery – we are parents as well as surgeons, so we know this particular anxiety from both sides. As surgeons specializing in corrective surgery for craniosynostosis, we bring a very specific point of view to this discussion.

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