Department of Neurosurgery | Innovations and Research

Our approach

When you come to Boston Children’s Hospital’s Neurosurgery Department, you’ll meet experienced neurosurgeons who are extensively familiar with children’s developing brains and specially trained to perform precise surgeries that minimize impact on healthy, surrounding tissue.

Our team is always looking for ways to improve brain surgery and make the experience easier for children and their families. Our breakthroughs—taking place in our clinics, as well as in our basic science laboratories—play a critical role in your child’s health. We are continually developing and refining minimally invasive techniques as alternatives to traditional brain and spinal cord surgeries.

Our team is also actively involved in research projects to improve understanding of why brain diseases occur, and to help develop better methods of early detection to ensure that these conditions have as little impact as possible on a child’s developing brain.

High-tech imaging that optimizes brain surgeries

MRI at Boston Children's HospitalFor complex conditions like brain and spinal cord tumors and intractable epilepsy, surgery is a key part of treatment. Numerous studies have shown that the more precise the surgery, the better the child’s outcome. In 2005, Children’s became the first pediatric hospital to have a full-sized Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine as part of an operating room. Our intraoperative MR allows neurosurgeons to bring the magnet out from behind doors and take images before, during and after an operation. Using these images, surgeons can determine if additional tissue should be removed while the child is still on the operating table. Doctors can then obtain the most complete tissue resection possible while minimizing damage to healthy, developing tissue.

Minimally invasive procedures that change the practice of brain surgery

To reduce the impact of brain surgery on a child's health and recovery process, our neurosurgeons use minimally invasive techniques whenever possible. These techniques, which involve smaller incisions than are used in traditional surgeries, allow doctors to reach tissue in even the most inaccessible parts of the brain, spine and nervous system. Our expertise using these techniques and procedures often results in significantly reduced recovery times and fewer complications for our young patients.