Advanced technology for brain and spine care

The latest technology - including 3D imaging and artificial intelligence tools - helps neurosurgeons target specific areas of the head and neck.

Specialists in Neurosurgery and Stroke

Maria Toledo

Dr. Maria Toledo, MD (Specialty: Endovascular Neurosurgery)

In Northwest Florida, Maria Toledo, MD, is the only endovascular neurosurgeon performing minimally invasive procedures within the head and neck using biplane angiography. Biplane imaging provides a 3D resolution of the blood vessels in the head and neck. This information helps the doctor pinpoint the type of blockage and apply the most effective treatment. 

Dr. Nathan Kohler, MD, interventional neuroradiologist at Ascension Sacred Heart in Pensacola, Florida.

Dr. Nathan Kohler, MD (Specialty: Interventional Neuroradiology)

Ascension Sacred Heart also offers the region's only interventional neuroradiologist. Dr. Nathan Kohler uses minimally invasive imaging equipment to treat conditions of the brain and spine without making a surgical incision, called the endovascular approach. This means less pain and shorter recovery times for patients with a wide variety of conditions, including strokes, aneurysms, brain tumors, hemorrhages, infections, malformations in blood vessels and certain causes of seizures.

For more information, call 850-416-2250.

The only hybrid operating room in Northwest Florida helps our care team diagnose and treat stroke and other neurological illness in a way that is personalized and minimally invasive.

Ascension Sacred Heart’s Comprehensive Stroke Center is the only center in the region utilizing a new artificial intelligence tool to improve stroke assessment and patient outcomes. RAPID is advanced imaging software that is changing the way stroke specialists intervene in stroke treatment when there is a large vessel blockage that interrupts blood flow to the brain.

The RAPID imaging technology quickly analyzes MRI and CT brain scans to generate color-coded map views of the brain. The software processes the neuroimaging data in minutes allowing the stroke team to make an immediate decision on medical versus surgical treatment. The data is available through a phone application that has revolutionized the speed at which the stroke team can make these lifesaving decisions. At the same time, this also expands the stroke treatment window from six to 24 hours after symptom onset to initiate care.

Treatment for ischemic stroke has evolved during the past few years. In the past, treatment relied on administering clot-busting drug to improve blood flow. Thrombectomy has opened new possibilities in stroke management. Neurosurgeons use a device called a stent retriever to remove a brain clot by routing it through a catheter in the groin to the brain’s blocked blood vessel. Research has shown that thrombectomy can double a patient’s chances of avoiding disability after stroke.

Another minimally-invasive treatment - offered only at Ascension Sacred Heart Pensacola - is now available for patients who previously might have required open surgery. The WEB (Woven EndoBridge) device is a fine wire mesh that expands and acts as a plug inside the aneurysm, reducing the blood flow inside it. As a high-volume, nationally certified comprehensive stroke center, Ascension Sacred Heart Pensacola has access to this new endovascular technology, like the WEB device.

Learn more about our nationally certified Comprehensive Stroke Center here.

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