Advanced Brain and Spine Institute | Ascension
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Northwest Florida's leader in brain and spine care

From headaches and dementia to stroke and seizure care, we are here for you and your family. Schedule an appointment with a neurologist.

If you or a loved one is having back and neck pain, numbness, difficulty sleeping, migraines or problems remembering, don’t wait until symptoms get worse. If you have a diagnosis and are looking for a second opinion or advanced surgical care, talk with a doctor who’s right for you.

When you choose The Advanced Brain and Spine Institute at Ascension Sacred Heart in Northwest Florida, you will find a team of doctors who specialize in neurological disorders that affect your brain, spine and nerves. Ascension Sacred Heart has the region’s only neuro ICU and is recognized as a DNV designated Comprehensive Stroke Center. Your neurologists and neurosurgeons work with a team of brain and spine specialists from across the country, sharing best practices, knowledge and research – bringing the best of our integrated national network of care, close to home. We have the expertise to help find the cause of your symptoms and deliver a personalized care plan.

Every appointment with your neurologist starts with a conversation. Your doctor will take the time to answer all your questions — big and small. As your care needs change, we’re ready with the care that’s right for you, helping relieve pain, improve movement and manage symptoms, so that you can feel more like you again.

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Comprehensive care for brain, spine and nerve conditions

Your care starts with a thorough evaluation, to help your doctor determine the cause of your symptoms. And getting the right treatment as early as possible can often make a difference in your recovery and care moving forward. Tell your doctor about how symptoms such as pain are affecting your life and the activities you enjoy. From diagnostic testing and advanced treatment options to surgical care, chronic disease management and rehabilitation, all the care you need is close to home for conditions including:

  • Brain injury and concussion
  • Brain tumors
  • Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
  • Epilepsy and seizures
  • Fibromyalgia, chronic muscle pain and fatigue
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Head, nerve and back pain
  • Movement disorders, including tremors and Parkinson’s
  • Stroke
  • Trigeminal neuralgia (pain on the side of your face)
  • Other neuromuscular disorders, such as multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and ALS

Your care may require additional tests and imaging, pharmacy or specialists – we connect you to the right specialists and services. And your care team will stay connected throughout your ongoing care. Ask your doctor about virtual (online) visits for your follow-up care.

The Advanced Brain and Spine Institute at Ascension Sacred Heart also provides dedicated neurorehabilitation services to help improve your quality of life after a stroke, brain or spine injury. Your physical therapists (PT) specialize in treatments for nerve damage to help you manage symptoms from a neuromuscular disease, such as Parkinson’s or peripheral neuropathy.

Specialized movement disorder clinic

Woman smilingNeurologist Deborah Boland, DO, specializes in the treatment of movement disorders such as tremors, Parkinson’s disease, Tourette syndrome, Huntington’s disease, Dystonia and Ataxia. Movement disorders may be caused by genetics, infections, metabolic disorders, stroke and vascular diseases, medicines, toxins, or damage to the brain, spinal cord, or peripheral nerves. Our care team works to identify the cause of your movement disorder and create a care plan that's right for you.

If you have a movement disorder and feel your medication is no longer working, talk to one of our specialists to see if deep brain stimulation (DBS) is right for you. DBS may help improve your brain, muscle and nerve function. DBS is a surgical procedure during which your doctor implants electrodes into specific areas of your brain. These electrodes create impulses that can help regulate abnormal brain activity that is causing symptoms.

Pediatric neurosurgery

Girl in hospital bed.Our nationally recognized neurosurgeon, Gus Perez, MD, has the specialized experience to care for the growing brains and nervous systems of children. And we have the only pediatric neurosurgery program in Northwest Florida. By working with pediatric radiologists, anesthesiologists, pharmacists and more at the Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Ascension Sacred Heart, we deliver compassionate, personalized care that helps children and parents feel at ease.

Surgical care for brain, spine and nerve conditions

Surgery is rarely the first option. But if it is recommended as part of your care, experienced neurosurgeons at The Advanced Brain and Spine Institute at Ascension Sacred Heart develop a highly specialized, advanced surgical treatment plan, customized for you. Educated and trained at some of the most well-respected neurosurgical programs in the nation, our neurosurgeons offer the latest in diagnosis and treatment, including:

  • Brain tumor surgery
  • Carotid angioplasty and stenting
  • Chiari decompression
  • Craniotomy for tumor resection
  • Comprehensive stroke care
  • Endovascular and vascular surgery
  • Epilepsy surgery
  • Minimally invasive and complex spine surgery
  • Nerve decompression for migraines
  • Neurocritical care
  • Spinal tap to help detect central nervous system conditions
  • Surgery for treatment of chronic pain
  • Pediatric neurosurgery

And whenever possible, they use minimally invasive surgery and image-guided technology to help shorten your recovery. Your team of neurosurgeons uses advanced technology including:

Epilepsy monitoring unit (EMU): Your neurologist may recommend a stay in our epilepsy monitoring unit if you are having new or unusual seizures, you are being evaluated for epilepsy surgery, or if you are starting or withdrawing from medication. While you are in the EMU, you will have electrodes attached to your head that record your electrical brain activity during your entire stay.

Hybrid operating room: 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.

Gamma Knife: The only one of its kind in Northwest Florida, this outpatient procedure at Ascension Sacred Heart Gamma Knife Center may be an option instead of traditional brain surgery and whole brain radiation therapy.

Biplane angiography: Uses 3D imaging of the blood vessels in the head and neck to promote the most effective treatment possible.

RAPID technology: Advanced imaging that quickly diagnoses strokes and improves outcomes.

From pre-surgery to your rehabilitation care, we connect the dots for you. And whether you’ll be recovering at home or in our hospital’s neuro-intensive care recovery unit, our care teams deliver comprehensive care for all your needs after a neurosurgical procedure.

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Get a second opinion from a neurology specialist

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 Sacred Heart. We can review your medical records and healthcare history to answer your questions and discuss options. Talk with one of our doctors about a personalized care plan.

When you are facing a new diagnosis or experiencing new symptoms, there’s a lot to think about. We can discuss both therapeutic or surgical treatment plans. Our team of highly experienced neurologists and 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.

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Insurance coverage for brain, spine and nerve procedures

Talk with a doctor about insurance coverage options for having an outpatient surgery, such as spine surgery. Brain and spine surgery may be covered by various insurance plans as well as Medicare. First, you need to be evaluated by a neurosurgeon.

If you experience a life-threatening emergency, go directly to the ER or call 911.