A leader in brain and spine surgery
When you or a loved one is diagnosed with a brain or spine condition, you want the best care. At Ascension Saint Thomas, you will have a team of experienced brain and spine specialists that are part of an integrated national network of doctors, sharing best practices, knowledge and research while delivering advanced care close to home. Your care team may also include neurologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, neurology-trained nurses and a nurse navigator. A dedicated nurse navigator will work closely with you to connect the dots for your care – providing support throughout the process, answering your questions and scheduling appointments.
Doctors and care teams at Ascension Saint Thomas diagnose and treat complex brain and spine conditions, including:
- Acoustic neuroma (non-cancerous tumor along the eighth cranial nerve)
- AVM (arteriovenous malformation)
- Cavernous malformation (abnormal blood vessels)
- Hemangioma (a birthmark made of blood vessels)
- Meningioma (a tumor that begins in the brain or spinal cord)
- Metastatic lesions to brain or spine
- Primary brain tumors (aliomas, astrocytomas, glioblastomas or GBM, oligodendrogliomas)
- Pituitary macro and micro-adenoma
A multispecialty team dedicated to your care
Brain and spinal tumors need advanced care. This is why Ascension Saint Thomas created the UNITY Program. Using advanced technology, our experienced team of brain and spine specialists treat some of the most complex brain and spine tumors.
Our Brain Tumor Board, a specialized team made up of doctors from multiple specialties, is part of your care from the start. Together, the board reviews each case and develops a personalized care plan with you before treatment begins.
During your treatment, highly trained neurosurgeons and other neurological specialists use technology to create a virtual operating room where the entire team can view and participate in surgery. This approach provides greater precision and collaboration during surgery, allowing your whole care team to work together in real-time to identify and deliver the right care for you. Our goal is to help you return home sooner and with a better quality of life.
Advanced brain and spine care
Patients with a brain or spinal tumor may need surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, surgery, or a combination of these treatments. Our UNITY Program uses an iMRI brain suite, the first and only in the region, which provides more treatment options such as minimally invasive tumor removal procedures. With minimally invasive procedures, small incisions are used, which may lead to less pain and help shorten recovery time.
NeuroBlate® laser therapy: Laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT) is a minimally invasive procedure used to destroy abnormal cells while preserving healthy brain tissue. It’s also associated with less pain, less scarring, and a quicker recovery.
Intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging technology: Using advanced technology, our neurosurgical team uses iMRI during surgery for more accurate targeting, making abnormal brain tissue more visible. iMRI technology produces more successful tumor removal by delivering high-resolution imaging directly into the operating room.
Radiation oncology: Our brain cancer program provides cohesive neurosurgery and radiation oncology treatments. Our neurosurgeons and radiation oncologists work together to help provide more accurate and precise treatment for brain and spinal tumor patients. Using 3D brain imaging, our compassionate, multidisciplinary neuro-oncology care team monitors you during radiation therapy to help ensure the best recovery.
Multidisciplinary neuro-oncology: We offer comprehensive neuro-oncology and partner with leading cancer centers to perform chemotherapy clinical trials.
Get a second opinion from a neurosurgeon at Ascension Saint Thomas
Get the confidence and peace of mind that your doctor and care plan are right for you. It's easy to get a second opinion at Ascension Saint Thomas. We can review your medical records and healthcare history to answer your questions and discuss options. Talk with one of our neurosurgeons about a personalized care plan.
When you have been diagnosed with a brain or spinal tumor and are deciding on a care plan, there’s a lot to think about. We can discuss both therapeutic or surgical treatment plans. Our team of highly experienced neurosurgeons can provide you with a second opinion based on experience and as part of an integrated national network of care.
Before your appointment, check with your insurance company to find out if a second opinion is covered. We can request your medical records from your doctor on your behalf, so that they can be shared with your care team before your arrival.
Meet Our Team
Steven Abram, MD
Director, Unity System, Ascension St Thomas Brain & Spinal Tumor Center, Howell Allen Clinic
Adam Reig, MD
Neurosurgery, Brain and Spinal Tumors
John Spooner, MD
Neurosurgery, Brain and Spinal Tumors, Endovascular Neurosurgery
William Gordon, MD
Neurosurgery, Brain and Spinal Tumors, Spine Surgery
Jason Hubbard, MD
Neurosurgery, Spine Surgery
Ernest Wright, MD
Neurosurgery, Spine Surgery
Michael Johnson, RN
Neurosurgery, Image Guided Navigation
Jeffrey Williams, MD
Neuroradiology, Spinal Interventional Radiology
Peter F. Jelsma, MD
Mark P. Sitting, MD
John G. Phillips, MD
Casey Chollet Lipscomb, MD
Kent Shih, MD
Gregg Shepard, MD
Viraj Pirakh, MD
Brigette Ford, RN BSN
Scott Parker, MD
Refer a patient to a specialist
Your patients can expect compassionate, personalized care from the moment our specialists connect with them. Our specialists start by listening to fully understand their needs and to develop an individualized care plan. To make a doctor referral, please call 615-222-7864.
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