About US

The Department of Neurosurgery at Massachusetts General Hospital provides a complete range of surgical services for the diagnosis, surgical treatment and rehabilitation of neurologic disorders of the brain and spine.

Unique Scale and Experience
Massachusetts General Hospital’s Department of Neurosurgery is one of the hospital's largest departments and one of the nation’s leading neurosurgery centers, treating 70 to 90 patients a day and performing more than 2,500 neurosurgical procedures each year. This unique scale means that when patients bring a neurosurgical problem to Mass General - even a relatively rare one - our doctors have the experience and expertise needed to provide the best possible treatment.
Multidisciplinary Team
Our team includes 32 neurosurgeons, 15 of whom are residents-in-training, and 2 interventional neuroradiologists. We have 4 dedicated operating rooms and a 17-bed, continuously staffed Neurosurgical Intensive Care Unit.
Specialized Expertise
Our staff specializes in all phases of neurological surgery for comprehensive management of brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerve diseases and disorders.
All the Neurosurgical Subspecialties
The service is divided by subspecialties, each staffed by surgeons and clinicians with intensive expertise and focus in an area of specialization. These areas include:
Top in National Rankings
U.S. News & World Report ranked Mass General as the #1 Hospital in the Nation and as #3 in Neurology & Neurosurgery for 2012-2013.
Dr Bob CarterCollaborating Toward Better Care
Our surgeons work closely with other specialists across the spectrum of care - Nursing, Hematology, Radiology, Neuro-oncology, Neurology, Physical Therapists and many others - to come to an accurate diagnosis and determine the best course of treatment. - Bob Carter, MD, PhD  Chief, Department of Neurosurgery
In addition to traditional, “open” surgical techniques, patients also may be treated with more advanced, less invasive procedures, such as:
  • Catheter-based surgery
  • Radiation-based surgery (gamma knife, proton beam)
  • Heat/radiofrequency surgery
  • Computer-guided surgery
  • Endoscopies
State-of-the-Art Technology
The Hospital has excellent staff in Nursing, Hematology, Radiology, Neurooncology, Neurology & Neurosurgery and many other services. The Hospital has excellent staff in Nursing, Hematology, Radiology, Neurooncology, Neurology & Neurosurgery and many other services. Our surgeons work with a highly-trained support staff and use state-of-the-art technology and methods. The goal is to make sure every patient has access to the most advanced treatments needed and gets the comprehensive care they need.

Neurosurgical Service

[MGH Neurosurgical Service] HJistory of Neurosurgery @ MGH - This is an illustration of the Bulfinch Building, the first home of the Massachusetts General Hospital, which opened in 1823. The operating room of the hospital, now known as the Ether Dome, is visible in the center of the building's top floor. In this operating theater general anesthesia for surgery was demonstrated to the world's medical community for the first time.

Lithographfrom an original ink wash and watercolor by Robert J. Leanna II. (used with permission). We use Mr Hinkley's painting of the first ether operation as a link to our Neurosugery Grand Rounds.

The East and West Neurosurgical Services are named after the wings of the Bulfinch building. The South Surgical Service also dates to the time of Harvey Cushing's Internship at Massachusetts General Hospital.

[Neurosurgery Rounds]We use the symbol of the Bulfinch Building as a link to the MGH Neurosurgery homepage.

Neurosurgical Grand Rounds at MGH are presented in the Ether Dome Amphitheater located in the dome of the Bulfinch Building each Thursday from 8-9 a.m.

The Department of Neurosurgery has surgeons who specialize in all phases of neurological surgery for comprehensive management of brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerve diseases and disorders. The subspecialties of the neurosurgical department include:

  • AneurysmAVMBrain Aneurysm & AVM Center - The Endovascular and Open Vascular Neurosurgery Program at Massachusetts General Hospital specializes in Neuroendovascular problems of the brain and spinal cord, including brain aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) and carotid disease.
    For patients with aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) as well as other neurovascular problems of the brain and spinal cord. Including the Neurovascular News; - A newsletter with information regarding carotid endarterectomy to prevent stroke, transient ischemic attack or TIA; brain aneurysms; arteriovenous malformations and other vascular lesions affecting the brain and spinal cord with information on the MGH Brain AVM and Aneurysm Center. Information on the MGH Interventional Neuroradiology Center.
    ...
  • BrainTumorMGH Brain Tumor Center - The Stephen E. and Catherine Pappas Center for Neuro-Oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital offers the most advanced care for patients with brain tumors and nervous system tumors.
    A coordinated, multidisciplinary approach to the care of adult and pediatric patients with tumors of the nervous system as well as neurologic complications of cancer.
    Malignant Tumors: Information regarding malignant tumors of the brain, spine, and peripheral nerves. Benign Tumors: Information about benign brain tumors including meningioma, epidermoid, dermoid, hemangioblastoma, colloid cyst, subependymal giant cell astrocytoma, pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma, and craniopharyngioma.
    ...
  • CranialBaseCenterMGH / MEEI Cranial Base Center - Run jointly by Massachusetts General Hospital and the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI), the Cranial Base Center treats tumors and other cranial nerve disorders.
    A joint program of the Departments of Otolaryngology, Neurosurgery, and Radiation Oncology dedicated to the evaluation and treatment of patients with cranial base lesions.
    A Multidisciplinary Approach to Rare, Complex Tumors - Because of their location close to a dense concentration of critical structures (the cranial nerves, spinal cord, and major blood vessels to and from the brain), neoplasms of the cranial base — the bony interface separating the brain from the structures outside the cranium — are among the most complex and challenging conditions to treat. Whether benign or malignant, cranial base tumors may be equally problematic; depending on their location, they can affect vision, hearing, olfaction, speech, swallowing, movement, or cognition.
    ...
  • PituitaryTumorPituitary Tumor & Neuroendocrine Clinical Center - The Neuroendocrine Surgical Service at Massachusetts General Hospital evaluates, treats and manages care for patients with pituitary and hypothalamic tumors and other complex disorders. Treatment for adenomas sometimes includes transsphenoidal surgery.
    A multidisciplinary approach to patients with pituitary and hypothalamic disorders. Including the Neuroendocrine Center Bulletin - A newsletter with information regarding pituitary tumors. Information on acromegaly, Cushing's disease or syndrome, prolactinoma, chromophobe or nonfunctioning pituitary adenoma, and thyrotroph adenomas.
    ...
  • NeuroSpineNeurosurgery Spine Service - The Neurosurgical Spine Service at Massachusetts General Hospital specializes in neurosurgical treatment of the entire spectrum of spine disorders, providing services from diagnosis through surgery and rehabilitation.
    Neurosurgical evaluation of neck and back pain, nerve compression syndromes, herniated intervertebral discs, and spinal cord compression syndromes. Information regarding peripheral nerve (including nerve compression such as carpal tunnel syndrome) and spine surgery.
    - Neurosurgical Service's Spine Evaluation Unit
    - Disc & Spinal Cord Compression
    - Spine & Spinal Cord Tumor
    - Brian D. Silber Spine Tumor Clinic
    ...
  • PediatricNeurosurgeryPediatric & Developmental Neurosurgery - The Pediatric Neurosurgical Service, part of MassGeneral Hospital for Children in Boston, diagnoses and treats all neurosurgical conditions of infants, children and adolescents.
    A multidisciplinary team including pediatric neuroncologists and pediatric medical oncologists for the surgical treatment of pediatric brain and spinal tumors. Surgery of developmental anomalies presenting prenatally, in infancy, childhood, or adulthood including tethered spinal cord, spina bifida, syringomyelia, myelomeningocele, hydrocephalus, craniosynostosis, lipoma, dermal sinus, encephalocele, aqueductal stenosis, myeloschisis, lipomyelomeningocele, split cord malformation, diastematomyelia, Klippel-Feil syndrome, CSF shunts, Dandy-Walker cyst, and Arnold-Chiari malformation.
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  • InterventionalNeuroRadiologyMGH Interventional Neuroradiology Center - A minimally invasive approach in the treatment of vascular diseases of the central nervous system. Conditions in the past that would have required surgical intervention such as aneurysms, vascular malformations, and tumors of the brain, spine, head and neck can be considered for treatment by using an endovascular approach to reach the lesion.
    The Purpose of this Center is to provide a complete range of services for the diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of patients with neurovascular problems of the brain and spinal cord. Patients may be referred for consultation only, care in partnership with referring physician, or complete management
    ...
  • NeuroImagingNeuro Imaging Resources - Three-dimensional, 2D and functional imaging to visualize cerebral anatomy to enable neurosurgeons to plan procedures to spare crucial cortical areas, improve patient care and reduce operating room time.
    Three-dimensional visualization of cerebral vasculature from CT angiography provides increased confidence in planning surgical intervention in life-threatening aneurysm cases. 3D views of MRI cortical surface and underlying tissues, with optional functional MRI fused with 3D anatomical display, enables neurosurgeons to plan procedures to spare crucial cortical areas, improve patient care and reduce operating room time.
    The MGH Radiology department with specialized units for Neuroradiology, Interventional Neuroradiology and Radiology 3-D Imaging work as multidisciplinary teams with a focus on neurological conditions.
    ...
  • ProtonBeamRadiosurgeryProton Stereotactic Radiosurgery (Neurosurgery) Center - The Proton Beam Unit was founded in 1962 and has the largest experience with stereotactic radiosurgery of any center in the United States. Information regarding non-invasive proton beam radiosurgery and fractionated radiosurgery for brain and spinal tumors and arteriovenous malformations.
    The Proton Stereotactic Radiosurgery Center provides a complete range of services for the diagnosis and non-invasive proton beam radiosurgery and fractionated radiosurgery treatment for brain and spinal tumors and other vascular malformations.
    ...
  • PeripheralNervePeripheral Nerve Service - The Peripheral Nerve Surgery Service at Massachusetts General Hospital treats peripheral nerve injuries, tumors and other disorders affecting the network of nerves that link the brain and spinal cord to other parts of the body.
    Advanced Treatment of Peripheral Nerve Issues. One of the only centers in the northeastern United States specializing in surgical treatment of peripheral nervous system disorders, the Peripheral Nerve Surgery Service at Massachusetts General Hospital offers advanced treatment options to restore sensation, movement and motor skills.
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  • FunctionalNeurosurgeryFunctional and Stereotactic Neurosurgery Center - The Functional Neurosurgery Center at Massachusetts General Hospital provides expert evaluations and surgical treatment for patients with movement disorders, epilepsy and psychiatric conditions such as obsessive-compulsive disorder and chronic pain.
    Functional and Stereotactic Neurosurgery Center: Including electrophysiologically monitored pallidotomy for medically refractory Parkinson's disease, obsessive compulsive disorder, cancer-related- and chronic-pain syndromes, thalamotomy for disabling tremor and epilepsy surgery for the surgical treatment of medically refractory seizures.
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  • NeurogeneticSurgeryNeurogenetic Surgery Center - Surgical and non-surgical multidisciplinary management of inherited neurologic syndromes including neurofibromatosis type I (Von Recklinghausen's disease) and II, tuberous sclerosis, and Von Hippel-Lindau disease.
    The Center offers a comprehensive initial evaluation to all persons in whom a diagnosis of neurogenetic associated diseases has been suggested or confirmed. In addition to a neurological examination this includes a dermatological evaluation and referral for neuro-ophthalmological evaluation and imaging studies.
    - Neurogenetics Clinic
    - Neurofibromatosis Clinic
    - Von Hippel-Lindau Clinic
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  • NeuroScienceCareNeurosciences Intensive Care Unit - Neurosciences Intensive Care Unit (Neuro ICU) patients receive intensive medical and nursing management for post-surgical and post-interventional conditions, as well as stroke, cerebral hemorrhage, seizure, and head and spinal cord injuries.
    Information on the Neurological Intensive Care Unit (NICU) which provides comprehensive care for seriously ill neurological and neurosurgical patients and Inpatient Information from the Neuroscience Care Units Guest Information System which encompass the Neuroscience, Neurology and Neurosurgery clinical system.
    The MGH Neurointensive Care Unit is a state-of-the-art 18 bed ICU supported by 6-8 full time dedicated Neuro ICU fellows, 8 intensivist faculty, 24 hour video-EEG, portable CT capability, 64-slice helical CT and 1.5-3.0 T MRI with 3D imaging available at all times.
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  • NeuroORNeurosurgery Operating Rooms - Innovative use of technologies to assist surgeons in complex neurological procedures. Information on new intra-operative MRI Imaging, and CT Imaging systems. Use of Stereotactic Neurosurgery for Surgical Case Planning and Optical Tracking Systems (OTS) to define optimal surgical approach.
    Intra-operative mapping by direct cortical stimulation - electrophysiological recordings systems - to map functional anatomy during surgery
    The Neurosurgery ORs features intra-operative imaging, the latest technology in brain tumor removal surgery. Intra-operative MRI and CT scanners provide real-time information, allowing surgeons to monitor a patient’s brain and measure tumor removal at any point during the procedure without moving the patient.
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  • TraumaCriticalCareTrauma, Emergency, Intensive Care, and General Neurosurgery Center - The Spinal Cord and Head Trauma Center, and the NeuroScience Care Units diagnoses and treats patients with severe spinal cord and brain disorders resulting from trauma. Information on Physical Therapy for Brain Injury.
    Massachusetts General Hospital is a Level 1 Adult and Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center. MGH has been verified as able to treat the highest severity of trauma patient. MGH admits, on average, 2,000 trauma patients and another 2,000 emergency surgery patients per year, and although the vast majority of our patients are from the Boston metropolitan area, patients are referred to our facility from all over the country.
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Other neurosurgical intervention across the spectrum of neuroscience care.

Clinical Access Nurse 617-726-2937

For general clinical information or referrals, during normal business hours, please call the Clinical Access Nurse 617-726-2937.

MGH Neurosurgical Service - Phone: 617-8581 - Massachusetts General Hospital - Fruit Street - Boston, Massachusetts 02114