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To bring world-class neurosurgical care to its patients, Lourdes has an innovative partnership with Drexel Neurosciences Institute (DNI).   Lourdes and DNI are creating a comprehensive hub for neurosurgery in South Jersey.

Lourdes patients with conditions related to the central nervous (brain and spine) are seen by one of the foremost neurosurgical staffs in the nation. The partnership will soon allow Lourdes to perform advanced, minimally invasive neurosurgical procedures for the treatment of stroke, brain aneurysms and other brain and spine conditions.

Microsurgery and catheter-based procedures use very small surgical incisions and specially designed surgical tools and devices to reach the brain and spine. The smaller access points mean less disruption of normal structures. This reduces postoperative pain, speeds recovery and leads to shortened hospital stays. Many minimally invasive procedures can be performed on an outpatient basis.

Cross-Trained in Catheter-Based Treatments

Lourdes physicians and staff have worked with DNI neurosurgeons for many years.  Now they will be able to keep patients close to home with the same level of care —— a better arrangement for patients and their families.  

The highly organized services located at Lourdes, are staffed by surgeons with a depth of experience in prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the complete range of conditions affecting the brain and spine.   For patients for whom direct interventions are required, these specialists are dual trained——in both open surgical techniques (through external incisions) and endovascular techniques (accessing the central nervous system through small catheters advanced through arteries).   The latter approaches is the least invasive strategy and takes advantage of diagnostic angiography and other imaging in such procedures as angioplasty, stenting, clot retrieval or embolization of bleeds.

This strategic arrangement for neurosurgical services is quickly making Lourdes a referral center for neurosurgery patients from other hospitals throughout southern New Jersey.
Biplane imaging suite

Biplane imaging suite

Biplane imaging——coming soon onsite at Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center——is an important capability for neurosurgery, especially for procedures involving the vessels of the brain.   Biplane is a digital X-ray technology that permits imaging of vessels from two dimensions and use of that imaging to construct a three-dimensional roadmap of blood-vessel flow within the brain for the neurosurgery team to follow.

This technology is important to locating sites requiring intervention and to monitoring the progress and success of treatment in the interventional suite.   Angiography (X-ray imaging of blood vessels) must be highly selective when determining which of the smaller vessels of the brain need to be reopened in treating a stroke. Lourdes is upgrading operating room facilities and purchasing specialized equipment for this capability.  The state-of-the-science system provides highly detailed real-time images of the blood vessels in the central nervous system and permits Lourdes/DNI neurosurgeons and to observe the advance of guide wires, catheters, and other devices during procedures.

Giving the neurosurgical team the ability to perform either endovascular procedure or microsurgery within one operating room, the new facility to be online soon at Lourdes offers a hybrid O.R./lab environment.   There, patients get the benefit of biplane imaging regardless of the procedure they are undergoing and avoid transport to a second operating room or different team of specialists if they should require conversion to another procedure.

Ready to Intervene to Save Function and Lives

The staff resorts to surgical intervention only if other options have been eliminated.   The goal is always to assess patients carefully and thoroughly, and then to manage them medically if possible.   Likewise, when surgery is necessary, the surgeons emphasize minimally invasive and microsurgical approaches.

DNI is led by internationally renowned neurosurgeon Erol Veznedaroglu, MD, FACS, FAANS, FAHA. Dr. Vez, as he is known, is one of the most experienced cerebrovascular neurosurgeons in the U.S. The program’s neurosurgeons include Mandy Binning, MD, director of the Lourdes neurosurgery program; Kenneth Liebman, MD, FACS, FAANS; and Zakaria Hakma, MD.

Among microsurgical techniques, the surgeons take advantage of  stereotactic neurosurgery, which allows them to approach small targets in the brain not just through a minimal opening but with extraordinary spatial precision.   The team uses special measuring and operating frames, attached to the head, and advanced radiologic imaging techniques with the frame in place, to guide the procedures.

The Lourdes/DNI neurosurgeons are on call around the clock for all brain and spine emergencies.   These dual-trained surgeons receive in-house patients as well as patients transferred emergently from outside hospitals.   Patients from the community can be transported by ground or air.

The goal is to preserve, save or restore functionality in patients to the fullest extent possible in all cases.   The DNI/Lourdes partnership provides for the best triage of brain and spine care in the South Jersey service area.

Patients treated through the Lourdes/DNI services have an opportunity to participate in the most advanced treatments available. The group is active in research and clinical trials, giving their patients the opportunity to benefit from the newest potential improvements in care.

Learn about Lourdes/DNI neurosurgical services in these areas:



DNI physicians see patients at LourdesCare at Cherry Hill.

For appointments, call 1-844-464-6387.

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