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FAQs

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How many operations for craniosynostosis have you done?

  1. As one of the most experienced surgical teams for craniosynostosis in the United States, we perform surgical corrections for craniosynostosis on a weekly basis. We have been doing craniosynostosis surgeries for decades.

Why would a child need a helmet after surgery for craniosynostosis?

A child who has endoscopic surgery for craniosynostosis has very little bone removed – the surgical team re-opens the closed suture, which allows the natural growth of the brain to expand the skull over the following months. To provide guidance as that happens, and to ensure the best head shape, babies who have the endoscopic surgery wear a helmet until about one year of age. 

Will my child look different immediately after surgery for craniosynostosis?

Swelling is a normal part of surgery, and your child may have significant swelling of the face and over the eyes. Swelling is usually worst on the second day after surgery; mild swelling is part of the expected post-operative recovery and may persist for weeks.

A child who has had an endoscopic suturectomy will wear a helmet to guide the skull bones into place following surgery – meaning your child’s head shape will not look different immediately after the surgery. The shape will be corrected gradually, as the brain expands and the helmet does its job.

Can surgery treat pulsatile tinnitus?

For patients with pulsatile tinnitus caused by venous sinus stenosis (narrowing of veins in the brain), the FDA and the Weill Cornell Institutional Review Board have approved a new clinical trial that has shown promising results with venous sinus stenting. This minimally invasive surgery, which involves inserting a stent in the narrowed vein, can restore healthy blood flow and reduce or eliminate the pulsatile tinnitus.

How is pulsatile tinnitus diagnosed?

A patient with pulsatile tinnitus should undergo a thorough medical evaluation, including an examination of the head and neck, by a physician familiar with the condition. The goal is to identify the cause of the pulsatile tinnitus and rule out any serious underlying conditions.

In addition to the patient’s medical history and targeted clinical examination, imaging procedures may also play an important role in diagnosing pulsatile tinnitus, including:

What causes pulsatile tinnitus?

Many cases of pulsatile tinnitus can be traced to stenosis in one of the large veins in the brain, most commonly the traverse and sigmoid sinuses. The narrowing of the veins causes a disturbance in the blood flow, contributing to the whooshing sounds of pulsatile tinnitus.

What factors contribute to persisting concussion symptoms weeks or months after the injury?

Sometimes individuals with pre-existing conditions such as migraines, ADD, ADHD, learning disabilities and depression or anxiety can take longer to recover.  Symptoms within weeks of having a concussion can mimic attention deficit or depression.  Other pre-existing conditions that contribute to prolonged recovery include drug or alcohol abuse, poor diet and perhaps certain genetic mutations.

What Is the Treatment for PCS?

Treatment plans are as individual as you are, but neuropsychologists commonly use a technique called cognitive remediation to treat lingering problems with attention and memory in those with PCS. Research has indicated that cognitive remediation interventions that target problems of memory, processing speed, and attention lead to significant improvements in brain-injured populations. Also, cognitive behavioral therapy can help with the emotional aspects of PCS including increased irritability, difficulty with relationships and feeling anxious and low. More about Post-concussion Syndrome

What countries does the Global Health program cover?

The Global Health Program at the Weill Cornell Medicine Brain and Spine Center has projects in Tanzania, Senegal, Antigua, Mexico, and more. You can learn more about our activities in each country by clicking on the respective country:

Antigua

Mexico

Senegal

Tanzania

How can I learn more about the Mission in Tanzania?

We made a video from footage collected during the 2017 mission—watch it here. You can also visit our informational page here and view all updates since 2009.

How can I help support the Mission in Tanzania?

Your help is greatly appreciated. With only one neurosurgeon per 9 million people, East Africa simply does not have the ability to provide care for patients with traumatic brain and spine injuries, central nervous system infections, or serious birth defects such as hydrocephalus. Learn more about supporting the mission here or donate directly at the link below.

What treatments are available for a metastatic brain tumor?

Metastatic brain tumors may be treated with surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy, depending on factors including the location and size of the tumor(s), the age and overall health of the patient, and the prospects for a high quality of life after treatment. See more about Diagnosing and Treating a Metastatic Brain Tumor.

How do I know what Chiari treatment I need?

Experienced neurosurgeons at major brain and spine centers have treated many patients with Chiari and will evaluate each new case carefully before making a recommendation. The best brain and spine centers take a team approach to patient evaluation, and consider input from multiple specialists before making a recommendation.  

The neurosurgeon will make a recommendation based on the risk of surgery vs. the risk of not operating. If the patient does not have symptoms and does not have a syrinx, yearly monitoring is often all that's needed.

How can I find the best surgeon for Chiari?

Chiari CARE Surgeons at Weill CornellFinding the best neurosurgeon for your Chiari surgery can be a challenge. As with other procedures, the best surgeons are the ones with a lot of experience with your condition, so ask how many Chiari decompression surgeries he or she has done. Another important factor is where the neurosurgeon performs surgery.

My concussion was weeks ago! Why don’t I feel better yet?

A: Concussions usually resolve without medical treatment within one to six weeks. Some people continue to feel the effects of the injury for longer than that, a condition known as post-concussion syndrome. Neuropsychologists can identify post-concussion difficulties that require intervention, along with the appropriate treatments. Find out more about Post-Concussion Syndrome.

What do international students need to know about fellowships and electives in the Surgical Innovations Lab?

The Surgical Innovations Laboratory accept fellows and students from all over the globe, and to date we have hosted individuals from more than 30 countries. There is no requirement that applicants have U.S. citizenship. Applicants for our Research Fellowship in the Surgical Innovations Lab are not required to have taken the U.S. Medical Licensing Exam or possess certification from the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG).

Does the Surgical Innovations Laboratory offer individual training courses?

The Surgical Innovations Laboratory is pleased to offer a unique one-on-one training opportunity for residents, fellows, and surgeons who wish to gain a deeper understanding of skull base neurosurgery. This five-day hands-on dissection course, taught by Dr. Antonio Bernardo, features instruction in skull base approaches, surgical anatomy, and microsurgical techniques, and may be customized to the individual surgeon’s preferences. This individual training course is offered throughout the year.

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