As patients with neurosurgical conditions are often best served by an interdisciplinary team of physicians and researchers with various perspectives and expertise, the Department of Neurosurgery works closely with many other departments and disciplines in both research and clinical work. This cooperative approach combined with the individual neurosurgical specialties within the department provide the department's patients, students and researchers with the highest level of professionalism.
Center for Neurosurgical Intensive Care
Established in 1981, the Ben Taub Center for Neurosurgical Intensive Care is devoted to developing critical care techniques to protect the brain from secondary injuries following traumatic brain injury. A majority of the center's patients have suffered severe head or spinal cord injuries. As the brain is especially vulnerable to additional injuries following trauma, measuring chemical processes in the brain that may lead to such secondary injuries is key. To this end, the center has pioneered several monitoring devices for use in such cases.
Other studies that continue within the center include studies on the effects of blood pressure on injured brains and the ethical concerns of informed consent and the treatment of patients who are often admitted while unconscious and alone. Led by Dr. Claudia S. Robertson, the center continues its research while caring for more than 600 patients per year.
Baylor Comprehensive Epilepsy Center
The Baylor Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, led by Dr. Daniel Yoshor, utilizes a multidisciplinary team to evaluate and treat pediatric and adult epilepsy patients. Made up of pediatric and adult neurosurgeons, neurologists, neuromuscular specialists, neurophysiologists, neuropsychologists, neuroradiologists, physical therapists, occupational therapists and nurses, the team first evaluates patients in order to determine seizure type and origination. Following evaluation, there are several surgical options for epilepsy patients.
Vagus nerve stimulation, temporal lobectomy or hemispherectomy may be performed depending on the age of the patient, type and frequency of seizures and site of seizure onset.
Neuropsychological testing is an important component of many neurological disorders. Within the Department of Neurosurgery, neuropsychological testing is an integral part of several programs and is used to assess brain function, delineate pathology and help guide surgical access to the brain and brain tissue removal. A complex array of neuropsychological tests is used to assess patients with epilepsy, Parkinson's disease and head trauma. Testing is also used in many patients following certain neurosurgical procedures, such as deep brain stimulation and pallidotomy. See Neuropsychology.
The Pituitary Center at Baylor College of Medicine offers comprehensive and expert care for all pituitary-related disorders, including all tumors of the pituitary and sellar region.
Pediatric Neurosurgery is devoted entirely to pediatric patients - from birth to 18 years of age. The Neurosurgery Division at Texas Children's Hospital, Houston, in the Texas Medical Center is a separate division of the Department of Neurosurgery at the Baylor College of Medicine. The Department of Neurosurgery reflects its commitment to excellence in patient care, teaching and research.