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Areas of Expertise

The Department of Neurological Surgery provides the full range of contemporary neurosurgical practice, and delivers compassionate, highest quality neurosurgical care to the people of San Diego, Southern California, and around the world.

Using a multidisciplinary approach, we provide care to diagnose, treat, and rehabilitate patients with neurological disorders. Our basic and translational research efforts advance imaging, surgical visualization, medical device development, and our fundamental understanding of neurologic disease through unique physiologic and histopathologic access opportunities.

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UC San Diego is one of the national leaders in the treatment of intracranial brain tumors and other diseases of the lateral skull base. In addition to acoustic neuromas, also called vestibular schwannomas, we treat tumors including meningiomas, cranial nerve schwannomas, chordomas, chondrosarcomas, and other rare tumors, including those associated with neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2). We also treat disorders of the cranial nerves and disorders of the bones of the base of the skull.

Skull base tumors are generally treated with surgery, focused (stereotactic) radiation, or some combination of the two. Some benign and very slow-growing tumors can safely be observed with MRIs, avoiding any active treatment. Patients with malignant or otherwise aggressive tumors may be treated in conjunction with our colleagues in neuro-oncology at the Moores Cancer Center.

The acoustic neuroma program at UC San Diego has a national and international reputation for the management of these tumors. We are the highest-volume center for the treatment of acoustic neuromas in the United States, treating patients around the world.

We take a patient-centered approach to all of our patients with skull base problems. All patients undergoing treatment for acoustic neuromas at UC San Diego are evaluated by our audiologists and physical therapists, and specific plans are made to maximize recovery and quality of life. For patients with baseline or transient dysfunctions, we work in close collaboration with facial nerve specialists in the Division of Head and Neck Surgery, who provide state-of-the-art rehabilitation of any facial nerve disability.

We further offer highly specialized approaches to meningiomas involving the lateral skull base and adjacent areas. We frequently employ a team approach in the management of patients with these tumors. Our ultimate goal is to get all of our patients back to their lives. 

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