We know brains by heart

Advances in neurosurgery are changing lives every day, and Children’s Minnesota is a proud pioneer in that progress. We’re experts and innovators at the latest technologies and techniques that make surgery safer and more effective. And our gentle, comfort-focused approach helps kids bounce back faster after surgery.

We also realize that children are more than little adults. That’s why we customize our care for pint-sized patients. From advanced brain mapping to intraoperative MRI, we bend over backwards to protect growing brains and spines — all while delivering some of the best outcomes around.

Care that boggles the (grown-up) mind

When it comes to neurosurgery, we know you wouldn’t trust your child’s care to just anyone. Or even any brain surgeon. That’s why we go the extra mile to bring you the most brilliant docs and top-notch technologies available. Not yet convinced? Consider these Children’s facts:

  • Largest pediatric central nervous system (CNS) tumor program in Minnesota
  • Only pediatric hospital in the Midwest using an ultra-precise, MRI-guided laser intersitial thermal therapy (LITT) ablation system for brain tumor and epilepsy surgeries. This high-tech approach minimizes pain and speeds healing. Most kids are home within 24 hours.(See a story about a little boy who underwent surgery with Visualase here.)
  • Double-powered 3 Tesla MRI system helps the neurosurgery team map the anatomy and metabolic function of tumors and plan safer, more effective treatments.
  • Extreme precision with intraoperative MRI allows Children’s surgeons to remove tumors completely and safely — including some that other surgeons consider inoperable.
  • Targeted epilepsy surgery aided by subdural grid placement and magnetoencephalopathy. This advanced procedure uses implanted electrodes to measure electrical activity directly on the brain’s surface.

There’s no condition Children’s brain trust can’t handle

With over 450 neurosurgeries performed at Children’s, we’ve helped kids with just about every disease and condition out there. We’re experts at caring for all types of brain and nervous system issues, including:

  • Acoustic neuroma — Slow growing tumor in the nerve the connects the ear to the brain
  • Arteriovenous malformation — An abnormal collection of vessels in the brain or spinal cord that is prone to bleed
  • Astrocytoma — Slow-growing brain and spinal cord tumor with star-shaped cells; a type of glioma
  • Brain and spinal cord tumors— Abnormal growths inside the skull or spinal canal that may be benign or cancerous
  • Cavernous malformation — An abnormal tangle of blood vessels in the brain or spinal cord that occasionally leaks slowly or bleeds
  • Chiari malformation — Condition in which part of the brain protrudes into the spinal canal
  • Craniofacial disorders — Malformations or injuries involving the bones of the face and skull
  • Craniopharyngiomas — Benign brain tumors that occur at the base of the brain and can affect vision and endocrine function
  • Craniosynostosis — Malformation that happens when the bones of the skull fuse too early
  • Dystonia — Sustained muscle contraction that causes abnormal movement or posture
  • Epilepsy — Repeated seizures due to abnormal electrical activity in the brain
  • Ependymomas — Slow-growing tumors of the lining of the spinal cord and brain that are usually noncancerous
  • Encephalocele — Birth defect in which the brain and its covering membranes stick out through an opening in the skull
  • Glioma — A tumor originating from the glial or supporting cells of the brain or spinal cord; may be benign or cancerous
  • Head trauma — Injury to the head and brain that causes damage, bleeding and/or swelling within the skull
  • Hydrocephalus — Excess cerebrospinal fluid in the fluid spaces of the brain
  • Hyperhidrosis — Sensitivity of the nervous system that causes excessive sweating; very rare in children
  • Intracranial hypotension — Leakage of fluid from the space around the brain often resulting in headaches
  • Medulloblastoma — Type of brain cancer that is most common in children and teens
  • Meningiomas — Tumors in the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord
  • Moyamoya — Disorder that causes constriction of the main arteries that deliver blood to the brain
  • Pituitary and neuroendocrine tumors — Abnormal growths in the pituitary gland or the cells that transmit information between the glands and nervous system
  • Scoliosis — Side-to-side curvature of the spine that often appears at puberty
  • Spina bifida — Occurs when the spinal cord and or bones of the spine do not develop fully before birth, potentially exposing a portion of the spinal cord
  • Spine and spinal cord trauma — Injury to the back that damages the spinal cord or nerves (or the protective bones surrounding them)
  • Syringomyelia — Fluid-filled cyst that forms in the spinal cord, occasionally associated with Chiari malformation
  • Tethered spinal cord syndrome — The spinal cord is “caught” in the spinal cavity and pulled too tight due to a tumor, spinal abnormality or other condition
  • Vertebral osteomyelitis — Fungal or bacterial infection of the spine, vertebral discs and/or the area around the spinal cord



At Children’s, we know how important reliable information about conditions and illnesses is.