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The Seattle Children's neurosurgery team in surgery

Seattle Children’s Neurosurgery

Making brain surgery safer, more precise and possible for more children

Seattle Children’s neurosurgery team is among the most experienced in the nation and the most experienced by far in the Pacific Northwest. More cases mean greater surgical expertise and a sharper ability to determine if surgery is even needed — and that adds up to better outcomes.

Our world-class team performs surgery for a broad range of neurological conditions such as brain tumors, epilepsy, Chiari malformation, craniosynostosis and cerebral palsy. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks Seattle Children's as one of the top children's hospitals in the nation and among the nation's best in neurosurgery.

US News and World Report Best Children's Hospitals Badge, 2023-2024

Surgical Expertise and Innovation

Your child will be in the hands of neurosurgeons skilled in innovative procedures offered only by the nation’s top children’s hospitals. We perform significantly more neurosurgeries than any other children’s hospital in our WAMI region (Washington, Alaska, Montana, Idaho). When possible, we use less invasive options to reduce pain and recovery time, such as procedures using the ROSA™ robotic surgical assistant.

State-of-the-art neuroimaging helps us plan and carry out operations while protecting critical parts of your child’s brain. This makes procedures safer and more effective and reduces the need for further surgery.

Why choose our neurosurgery program?

The interior of Forest B at Seattle Children's

State-of-the-art facilities designed for families

We perform neurosurgery in Seattle Children’s Forest B building, which opened in 2022. Families played a key role in the design of Forest B to ensure not only high-quality care but also a comfortable experience. For example, our new induction rooms provide a place where you can stay with your child until they go into surgery.

Our facilities, cutting-edge technologies and specially trained team all reflect our kid-friendly, family-centered approach.

Members of the Seattle Children's Neurosurgery team pose together in scrubs and masks

Multidisciplinary, coordinated care

We provide seamless care from your first call and clinic visit through your child’s surgery and recovery. To give your child personalized care before, during and after surgery, our neurosurgeons work closely with other pediatric experts. These include neurologists, anesthesiologists, imaging specialists, neuropsychologists, neurodevelopmental pediatricians, pediatric neuro-oncologists, orthopedic and craniofacial surgeons and rehabilitation medicine doctors.

All have years of training and experience in caring for babies, children and teens, whose nervous systems are still developing.

Meet the full Neurosciences team.

Dr Leary and Dr Hauptman examine as brain scan on a computer screen

Research that gets results

Our patients take part in clinical trials that are often not available at other hospitals. Your child will benefit from innovations developed at Seattle Children’s to make treatments safer and more effective. One example is Tumor Paint, which is awaiting approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The drug lights up tumor tissue in real time as surgeons operate, allowing them to protect healthy brain tissue and remove more tumor.

Conditions We Treat

Our goal is to give your child or teen the best chance of a long and healthy life, whether their condition is common or rare. Every day, we care for children with conditions such as:

Services and Treatments

Laser ablation for epilepsy and brain tumors

Seattle Children's is among a handful of children’s hospitals to offer laser ablation surgery, which is safer and more precise than traditional open surgery, with fewer side effects. For children with brain tumors or lesions that cause seizures, this treatment may be a cure. It uses an MRI-guided laser probe to deliver light and heat to destroy unwanted cells.

Learn about laser ablation

Neurocritical care to protect your child’s brain

Our dedicated Neurocritical Care team cares for children with a critical illness or injury that affects their nervous system. Newborns at risk for brain injury are treated in our Neuro NICU, a special intensive care unit. Seattle Children’s has the only such program in our WAMI region.

To protect your child’s brain during surgery, prevent new issues and help your child heal, we create a custom care plan for your child and use the latest technology all through their hospital stay.

Read about our Neurocritical Care

 


 

Selective dorsal rhizotomy to ease movement

Seattle Children's is the only hospital in the Pacific Northwest to offer selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) surgery.

Combined with intensive rehabilitation, SDR can help children with cerebral palsy move more easily, with better balance and stamina. As a result, your child can focus on learning and playing instead of trying to control their body.

Find out about SDR

 


 

Neuromodulation for better quality of life

We offer procedures that can be life-changing for children with seizures and movement disorders that are not controlled by other therapies. Our neurosurgeons implant neuromodulation devices that send small electrical pulses into your child’s brain to improve their quality of life. Seattle Children’s is 1 of a few centers in the country — and the only 1 in the Northwest — offering children responsive neurostimulation (RNS) and deep brain stimulation (DBS).

Learn more

 


 

Top-notch care for Chiari malformation

Children from across the United States come to Seattle Children’s for treatment of Chiari malformation — a problem with the way parts of the brain are shaped and how they sit in the skull.

Read more

 


 

Excellent outcomes for brain tumor patients

Children treated at Seattle Children’s for brain tumors have survival rates that are consistently among the best in the country, and typically 10% higher than the national benchmark. Our neurosurgery team uses state-of-the-art equipment and the most current and well-researched procedures to remove tumors in the brain and spinal cord. We offer research studies of novel therapies such as CAR T-cell immunotherapy.

Read how we treat brain tumors