Comprehensive treatment for neurological disorders in Denver
Swedish Medical Center offers some of the most advanced surgical procedures for the treatment of stroke, neurological illness and diseases of the brain and spine. Minimally-invasive treatments include implantable devices and robotic-assisted surgery. A level 1 trauma center, Swedish specialists are available 24/7 for treatment of traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries.
Stereotactic radiosurgery is often called "knifeless" brain surgery and provides the best treatment options for trigeminal neuralgia and certain types of brain tumors.
Stereotactic radiosurgery delivers doses of pinpointed radiation to treat brain tumors and other neurological disease with minimal damage to normal brain tissue.
Non-invasive stereotactic radiosurgery treatments are completed in a matter of hours as an outpatient procedure. Patients at Swedish generally go home in as soon as four hours and resume normal activities within a few days.
Benefits of stereotactic radiosurgery
Stereotactic radiosurgery boasts a multitude of benefits for patients:
- Safe, accurate, reliable and non-invasive outpatient procedure.
- Patients experience virtually no pain, discomfort or side effects.
- Patients are usually discharged within 12 hours, reducing the cost of treatment compared to traditional brain surgery.
- Patients usually return to preoperative lifestyle the day following the procedure.
- Covered by Medicare and most insurance providers.
Swedish currently has the most trusted radiosurgery product in the world with proven results documented in more than 2,000 peer-reviewed published papers.
Conditions we treat with stereotactic radiosurgery
Trigeminal neuralgia is a chronic and sometimes debilitating condition affecting the trigeminal nerve, the nerve responsible for providing sensation to the face. One or more of the three branches of the nerve may become irritated when either a tumor or blood vessel presses up against the nerve. In serious cases, people may experience excruciating pain in all or part of their face. Simple physical motions, such as brushing teeth or applying makeup, can cause or trigger pain.
The three branches of the trigeminal nerve in the head where you might feel pain are:
- The ophthalmic nerve, which controls the eyes, upper sinuses, forehead and scalp
- The maxillary nerve, which controls the cheeks, nasal cavity, lower sinuses, palate and upper jaw
- The mandibular nerve, which controls the lower jaw
Swedish’s stereotactic radiosurgery is used most often to treat intracranial tumors, including arteriovenous malformations (AVM), vestibular schwannomas, meningiomas, pituitary tumors and brain metastases. It is also used for vascular treatments, and research is being conducted on other possible uses, such as treating epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, trigeminal neuralgia and uveal melanoma.
Stereoelectroencephalography (SEEG) is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that is used to precisely find the area(s) of the brain where seizures originate. This is often referred to as phase 2 monitoring (phase 1 being scalp monitoring) and is done instead of an open craniotomy with grids and strips. This diagnostic surgery is done to determine the best surgery for treatment.
Responsive neurostimulation (RNS) is an epilepsy treatment that does not require the surgical removal of brain tissue. RNS uses an implanted device to help prevent seizures before they begin. The process is similar to how a pacemaker detects and treats abnormal heart rhythms –i.e. the electrical pulse may stop the seizure before it begins.
Vagus nerve stimulation
A vagus nerve stimulator (VNS) is a device used to treat seizures when seizure drugs are not effective and other surgeries are not possible. VNS consists of a pacemaker-like generator that is implanted in the chest wall and is programmed by the physician to stimulate the vagus nerve in the neck. This is an outpatient surgery.
Deep brain stimulation
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a surgical treatment to help treat debilitating neurological conditions. DBS uses a “brain pacemaker” that sends electrical signals to help regular the symptoms of cognitive and movement disorders. A small pacemaker-like device is surgically placed in the chest area. Through small wires placed under the skin, it sends signals to electrodes that are placed in the brain. These signals help disrupt or stop the messages sent to the brain that produce shaking, difficulty moving and related movement impairments and abnormalities.
Our interdisciplinary team provides our patients with specialized care. Together, these experienced professionals provide the most comprehensive evaluation and treatment options available.
What conditions does DBS treat?
DBS uses minimally invasive, non-destructive and reversible techniques to help patients with movement disorders like Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor and dystonias (involuntary muscle contractions).
Who is a candidate for DBS?
- He/she has a movement disorder with symptoms affecting quality of life
- He/she is dissatisfied with their current treatment plan of their disorder and is looking for a new treatment option
- He/she has undergone a reasonable course of medications to control symptoms without satisfactory results (not controlled by medication or intolerable side effects)
How effective is DBS?
DBS can be highly effective when used on the right candidate. Benefits can last for several years and, on average, patients see a 50 percent improvement in mobility and balance. It also has been shown to reduce 80 percent of symptoms for patients who have involuntary movements due to medications.
Call our team at (866) 779-3347 for a physician referral or more information.