Neurosurgery at Lahey Hospital

The Department of Neurosurgery at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center is at the forefront of brain and spine surgery. Our highly trained and experienced neurosurgeons provide world-class, state-of-the-art, individualized care for a full range of conditions affecting the brain, spine and nervous system.

Lahey neurosurgeons employ the latest technical innovations and surgical techniques, including minimally invasive and navigated procedures, to achieve excellent outcomes. For example, our infection rate after spinal surgery is less than half of national averages.

Among our outstanding neurosurgeons is Dr. Carlos David, an internationally known expert in the field of aneurysm surgery and skull base surgery – and the only neurosurgeon in Massachusetts who performs cerebrovascular bypass surgery, a meticulous, innovative and lifesaving procedure. Dr. David has organized an international bypass registry to monitor the quality and outcomes of these complex procedures.

What sets Lahey apart from other academic medical centers is our commitment to treat each patient as if he or she were our only patient. We offer a truly personalized and collaborative approach in which individualized care plans for diagnosis, treatment and recovery are developed by teams of experts including neurosurgeons, neurologists, orthopedic specialists, otolaryngologists, pain management specialists and rehabilitation specialists.

Learn More About Neurosurgery

Outstanding Neurosurgery Expertise

Lahey’s neurosurgeons have extensive subspecialty training and special expertise in a wide range of areas within neurosurgery. Our key areas of expertise include brain aneurysms and skull base tumors, minimally invasive spine surgery, and correction of spinal deformities.

Lahey has been nationally recognized as a Blue Cross Blue Shield Center of Distinction and an Optum Center of Excellence for spinal surgery. In addition, Becker’s Hospital Review has named Lahey to the 2015 edition of its list, “100 hospitals and health systems with great neurosurgery and spine programs.”

Dr. Carlos David, Dr. Zoher Ghogawala, and Dr. Subu Magge were honored as top-rated doctors in Neurosurgery by Boston Magazine’s 2015 list of “Top Docs” in Greater Boston.

Lahey’s neurosurgeons are highly experienced in minimally invasive spinal procedures; 50% of all spinal fusion surgeries at Lahey are performed using minimally invasive techniques.

Our computerized navigation system improves accuracy during spine surgery. We have had great success in performing minimally invasive procedures to correct spine deformities, including in older patients, leading to vast improvements in well-being.

Lahey is one of the only hospitals in the Boston area with a Spine Registry to track and publicly share our outcomes after spine surgery.

Neurosurgery Procedures

Procedures performed by Lahey neurosurgeons include:

  • Cerebrovascular, aneurysm and arteriovenous malformation surgery
  • State-of-the-art treatment of brain tumors (acoustic neuromas, pituitary adenomas, meningiomas)
  • Cerebral bypass surgery
  • Complex spinal surgery
  • Stereotactic biopsy
  • Radiosurgery and interventional neuroradiology
  • Deep brain stimulation techniques for Parkinson’s disease and tremor
  • Epilepsy surgery
  • Treatment for tic douloureux (a condition that causes severe pain on the side of the face)
Clinic Programs

Complementing our outstanding neurosurgical care are these clinic programs, where experts from various Lahey departments combine their skills and knowledge to offer comprehensive treatments for our patients:

Comparative Effectiveness Research Center

Lahey Hospital & Medical Center launched the Comparative Effectiveness Research Institute (CERI) to better assess quality and effectiveness of medical care interventions.

CERI has been charged with identifying differences in effectiveness for a wide range of medical conditions through the targeted assessment of outcome, disease cure, quantity and quality of life, patient satisfaction, and healthcare value.

Lahey Hospital & Medical Center is the first hospital in the Boston area that maintains a Spine Registry to track and publicly share outcomes data. Outcomes for our spinal fusion and spinal deformity correction patients are measured and placed in our registry.

This data:

  • Helps us understand the effectiveness of our spine care treatment
  • Allow us to develop evidence-based information about the risks and benefits of spinal fusions
  • Guides our research in the area of spinal fusions
  • Provides valuable information on surgical outcomes to patients considering spinal surgery

Our ultimate goal in collecting this data is to help improve the neurological outcomes, functional ability and quality of life for each patient who comes to us for care.

Highlights of Our Post-Surgery Outcomes

Post-surgery outcomes recorded in our Spinal Fusion (Lumbar Fusion) registry show that infections and the need for reoperations at Lahey are very low:

  • Lahey’s 30-day infection rate: less than 1% (about half of the national average)
  • Lahey’s 30-day reoperation rate: less than 1%
  • Lahey’s 1-year reoperation rate: 0.04%

See details on our Outcomes Registry.

Make a Referral

The Department of Neurosurgery at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center has a strong history of leadership in spine surgery. Our neurosurgeons are experts in minimally invasive procedures and perform 50% of our fusion surgeries with minimally invasive techniques.

Lahey has been nationally recognized as a Blue Cross Blue Shield Center of Distinction and an Optum Center of Excellence for spinal surgery. At Lahey’s dedicated Spine Center, individualized care plans are developed for each patient to help regain motion and relieve pain.

Lahey specialists employ a computerized navigation system that improves surgical accuracy. We also place great emphasis on controlling patients’ pain, with specialists in pain management as an integral part of our approach to care.

Lahey’s spine surgeons are leaders in outcomes research. Drs. Ghogawala, Magge, and Whitmore are key investigators on the federally sponsored (PCORI) CSM-S study. This study aims to determine the optimal surgery for patients with spinal cord dysfunction from cervical myelopathy, a condition caused by arthritis that puts pressure on the spinal cord.

Featured in The Wall Street Journal, Lahey’s spine surgeons have access to a unique spinal experts network that reviews complex cases to obtain consensus opinion before patients are enrolled in clinical trials.

Most of our neurosurgeons are fellowship trained in areas such as complex spinal surgery, stereotactic surgery and pain medicine.

Outcomes Data

Lahey is the first hospital in the Boston area with a Spine Registry to track and publicly share our outcomes after spine surgery. Our reoperation and infection rates are significantly lower than national rates. Our patients report a better quality of life and less disability compared to national averages.

Learn more about our Spinal Fusion Registry and outcomes.

To Refer a Patient

To refer a patient to the Department of Neurosurgery at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, please call 781-744-5966.

Research & Medical Education

Lahey Hospital & Medical Center provides one of three hospital rotations for the Tufts University residency program in neurosurgery. The goal of the six-year program is to provide outstanding clinical training and surgical experience to the resident.