Jersey Shore University Medical Center Opens Center for Advanced Skull Base Surgery

Hackensack Meridian Jersey Shore University Medical Center recently opened the Center for Advanced Skull Base Surgery, providing treatment for adults and children with tumors and other abnormalities of the cranial base. The program’s team of specially trained and experienced surgeons work collaboratively to provide patients with individualized treatments plans, designed to preserve function, improve survival, and restore patients to their normal lifestyles as quickly and safely as possible.

“The greatest challenge in skull base surgery is operating in an area with so many vitally important structures. The diseases we treat are often very close to critical nerves and blood vessels of the brain, head, neck or spinal cord. Traditionally, performing surgery in this area of the body was very high risk and involved long, complex operations. We are fortunate to have assembled a team of highly trained surgeons who can perform these surgeries in a much safer and delicate way with excellent outcomes,” said Pinakin R. Jethwa, M.D., FAANS, dual-trained neurosurgeon and co-director of the Center for Advanced Skull Base Surgery.

“We now have the expertise and technology to be able to approach various tumors and other pathology of the cranial base endoscopically, allowing for incredibly precise, minimally invasive surgery.  Through these approaches, our patients are able to enjoy a much faster and easier recovery.  There is also considerably less risk of damage to vital nearby structures,” said Josef Shargorodsky, M.D., MPH, rhinologist and co-director of the Center for Advanced Skull Base Surgery.

The accomplished team is comprised of fellowship-trained adult and pediatric neurosurgeons, fellowship-trained skull base otolaryngologists (ENT) and craniofacial plastic surgeons, ophthalmologists and oculoplastic surgeons, as well as medical neuro-oncologists, radiation oncologists, epileptologists, intensivists, neuro-radiologists, neuro-pathologists, and palliative medicine physicians. “This new program involves many of our most highly specialized physicians and surgeons. I’m proud they are coming together to pool their expertise and collective talents to help our patients,” said Vito Buccellato, MPA, LNHA, chief hospital executive, Jersey Shore University Medical Center.

Skull base tumors can be benign or malignant. The skull base team works in concert with all of the patient’s physicians, including oncologists, to deliver optimal treatment. Examples of diseases that may be treated include: meningiomas, schwannomas, brain aneurysms and other blood vessel malformations, cysts, growths caused by infections, pituitary gland tumors, metastatic tumors, chordomas, and craniopharyngiomas, which are rare tumors that grow near the pituitary gland, typically affecting children but can also affect adults.

The Center for Advanced Skull Base Surgery is part of The Neuroscience Institute at the academic medical center, led by Chairman Alan Colicchio, M.D.  Under Dr. Colicchio’s leadership, the Center is able to offer a complete lineup of neuroscience services for spine injuries, concussion, epilepsy, brain tumors, movement disorders, memory and more, including Monmouth and Ocean counties’ only Stroke Rescue Center.  “Many of the program’s skilled providers have practiced at Jersey Shore University Medical Center for years, but the creation of this program interconnects them, enabling greater collaboration and increasing the accessibility of their distinct services for patients,” said Kenneth N. Sable, M.D., MBA, FACEP, regional president, Hackensack Meridian Health, Southern Market.

For more information about the center, visit www.jerseyshoreuniversitymedicalcenter.com/services/surgical-specialties/cranial-base-surgery/.  For information on how to make an appointment, call 732-776-3434.