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Neurosurgery: Conditions & Treatments

As a university medical center, UC Irvine Health is home to some of the most advanced neurosurgical technologies, procedures and programs to treat disorders of the brain, spine and central nervous system.

Some of our notable programs, services and technologies include:
  • Endoscopic minimally invasive skull base surgery
  • Minimally invasive spine surgery
  • Specialized imaging techniques — iMRI (intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging) and BodyTom® (intraoperative computed tomography scanner)

24-hour promise

We promise to see patients with urgent problems (brain and spinal tumors, as well as cerebrovascular problems) within 24 hours. Please call us at 714-456-6966.

Our neurosurgeons are experts in treating patients with the following conditions:

Cerebrovascular disorders

  • Aneurysm, arteriovenous malformation, cavernous malformation
  • Intracranial hemorrhages
  • Moyamoya disease
  • Stroke (carotid, vertebral and intracranial vascular diseases)

Disorders affecting function

  • Congenital problems (Chiari malformations)
  • Epilepsy
  • Movement disorders (Parkinson's disease, essential tremor, hemifacial spasm and dystonia)
  • Pain (neuropathic pain, complex regional pain syndrome, facial pain, trigeminal neuralgia and glossopharyngeal neuralgia)


    • Congenital and acquired hydrocephalus
    • Normal pressure hydrocephalus

    Spine disorders

    • Deformity
    • Degenerative diseases
    • Trauma
    • Tumors


    • Peripheral nerve and brachial plexus injury
    • Spinal cord injury
    • Traumatic brain injury


    • Pituitary tumors and Cushing's disease
    • Skull base tumors

    Our neurosurgeons are fellowship-train specialists who are highly skilled in a variety of treatments and therapies. These include:

    Minimally invasive approach

    Our neurosurgeons are leading experts in minimally invasive, endoscopic approaches to skull base and spine surgery.

    Endoscopes are thin, flexible tubes that enter the skin through tiny incisions. These tubes accommodate imaging devices as well as surgical tools that we use to correct a variety of spinal problems, which means less pain and faster recovery time for our patients.

    Intraoperative imaging

    Intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging (IMRI) gives our surgeons detailed, three-dimensional images of the brain in real time during an operation. Because the brain shifts once the skull is opened, tumors and other target structures can move during surgery, compromising accuracy. IMRI increases surgical precision, minimizes complications and potentially shortens recovery time.

    Epilepsy procedures

    We work in collaboration with UC Irvine Health board-certified neurologists who have subspecialty training in epilepsy. Together we offer a range of highly precise procedures that can be used to remove or disconnect areas of the brain that cause seizures.

    Surgery for epilepsy can greatly improve a patient's quality of life and may result in a permanent cessation of seizures.

    Cerebrovascular procedures

    We work with UC Irvine Health neurologists at the Comprehensive Stroke & Cerebrovascular Center to treat patients with stroke, carotid vertebral artery diseases, aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations. Treatment options include open surgery, endovascular treatment and radiosurgery.

    Movement disorders

    We collaborate with UC Irvine Health movement disorders experts to provide treatments that include deep brain stimulation (DBS), which is effective in treating tremors and other symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

    Using sophisticated intraoperative imaging devices, we are able to implanting an electrode into the brain and a control unit into the chest. DBS surgery can improve movement and reduce the need for medication. Under this novel protocol, the patient is asleep during the surgery to ensure the most comfortable experience.

    Pituitary tumors

    The pituitary gland controls the body's endocrine system. Pituitary problems can cause chronic fatigue, anxiety, abnormal growth (dwarfism or gigantism) and enlargement of the hands, feet and face (acromegaly).

    The most common cause of pituitary problems are tumors called adenomas. Cushing's disease is a disorder that results from a pituitary tumor that triggers excessive production of the stress hormone cortisol.

    Our neurosurgeons are experts in the surgical treatment of pituitary diseases.

    Trauma expertise

    UC Irvine Medical Center is Orange County’s only verified Level I trauma center, a top ranking that assures we follow the nation's highest trauma care standards and have the ability to address every aspect of injury—from prevention to treatment to rehabilitation.

    Injuries caused by falls, car accidents and other sudden impacts can cause trauma to the brain and spinal cord, blood clots or dangerous increases in intracranial pressure. Our sophisticated neurosurgery services team responds to such emergency cases and provides our local community with a valuable, often life-saving resource.


    UC Irvine Health neurosurgeons actively participate in clinical trials in conjunction with other prestigious medical research organizations worldwide. Through participation in these trials, our patients can access new therapies long before they are available elsewhere.

    Our neurosurgery specialists offer the following:

    Cerebrovascular services

    • A team-oriented approach to vascular services, including treatment of stroke and vascular lesions
    • Carotid endarterectomies and stenting
    • Open craniotomy, radiosurgery and interventional services
    • Clipping and coiling of aneurysms
    • Bypass surgeries for ischemic diseases and complex vascular lesions
    • Embolization of tumors and arteriovenous malformations
    • Latest endovascular techniques for coiling aneurysms and flow-diverting stents
    • Radiosurgery for treatment for arteriovenous malformations

    Oncology services

    • Team approach to malignant and benign tumors of the brain and spine
    • Open craniotomy, radiotherapy, endovascular embolization, radiosurgery and chemotherapy

    Skull base services

    • Open and minimally invasive endoscopic approach to complex skull base lesions
    • Purely transnasal endoscopic approaches and resection of skull base tumors
    • Interventional preoperative embolization
    • Computer navigation and intra-operative imaging

    Functional services

    • Neuromodulation service (deep brain stimulation, motor cortex stimulation, peripheral nerve stimulation)
    • Radiosurgery (Gamma KnifeTM  and LINAC)
    • Epilepsy (phase II monitoring, resections and vagus nerve stimulator)
    • Pain service (multidisciplinary team for neuromodulation and intrathecal drug therapy)

    Spine services

    • Trauma
    • Tumor
    • Degenerative disease and deformity
    • Minimally invasive techniques

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