Nemours Children’s Health System is recognized for providing advanced and comprehensive pediatric neurosurgery to newborns, infants, children and adolescents across the country, and around the world. Our pediatric neurosurgeons are renowned for their expertise and skill treating common to complex neurological conditions and diseases whether they are congenital (present at birth) or acquired (related to injury, other pediatric medical conditions and genetic predispositions). At Nemours, our goal is to provide healing and health for your child, and support for your entire family.
Advanced Pediatric Neurosurgery Care for Kids
Nemours’ pediatric neurosurgeons have extensive knowledge about how a child’s brain develops and work to minimize risks to future brain functioning. We perform extremely advanced and precise pediatric neurosurgery procedures for nearly every childhood brain, skull, spinal cord and nervous system condition. Together with a multidisciplinary team of specialists (neurologists, orthopedists, geneticists, urologists, developmental and behavioral experts, radiologists), Nemours provides comprehensive, compassionate care for your child’s physical, cognitive and emotional needs before, during and well after neurosurgery is performed.
Some of the neurosurgical pediatric conditions we treat include:
- achondroplasia-related and other skeletal-dysplasia-related problems (e.g., foramen magnum stenosis, lumbar stenosis and cervical instability)
- arachnoid cysts (fluid-filled sac inside the head or spine)
- arteriovenous malformations (abnormal connection between arteries and veins)
- brachial plexus injuries (to the spinal cord nerves that signal to the shoulder, arms and hands)
- brain and spinal cord trauma (injury)
- brain and spinal cord tumors
- Chiari malformation (when brain tissue extends down into the spinal cord)
- congenital anomalies of the neck and back (birth defects)
- craniofacial anomalies (facial and skull bone disorders)
- craniosynostosis (skull bones fuse together before the brain has stopped growing)
- dural fistulas (abnormal connection between arteries and veins in the outer layer of the brain)
- epilepsy (neurological seizure disorder)
- herniated discs (slipped or ruptured discs between the vertebrae)
- hydrocephalus (increased spinal fluid in the ventricles of the brain)
- idiopathic intracranial hypertension (increased spinal fluid pressure in the brain)
- intracranial hemorrhage (bleeding inside the skull)
- Moyamoya disease (blockage of the internal carotid arteries)
- neurofibromatosis types I and II (nerve tissue tumors)
- pituitary and pineal gland lesions (craniopharyngiomas, germ cell tumors)
- positional plagiocephaly (flattened head)
- scoliosis (spine curvature)
- spasticity (muscle stiffness and/or involuntary movement)
- spina bifida (neural tube defect of the spine)
- Sturge-Weber syndrome (marked by vascular birthmark and neurological abnormalities)
- syringomyelia (cyst in the spinal cord)
- tethered spinal cord (when the spinal cord is attached to the spinal column)
- tuberous sclerosis (benign lesions of the nervous system)
- vascular anomalies of the head and neck
Renowned Researchers and Neurosurgeons
The neurosurgeons at Nemours are active in researching neurological conditions in children, and publishing in peer-reviewed medical journals. Our pediatric neurosurgeons are also studying concussion treatments and developing novel neurosurgical instruments and non-invasive diagnostic technologies.
Family-Centered Care at Its Best
At the center of our care are our patients and families. We understand that no one knows your child better than you, so we always take time listen to your concerns and provide personal service and comprehensive care for your child — and family — through emotional support, education and open communication.
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- names and dosage of all medications, including over-the-counter medication, your child is currently taking
- guardianship and custody papers, if a legal guardian rather than a parent accompanies your child
Bring this form for your first appointment:
Returning Patient Forms
- Patient Presents Without Legal Guardian (PDF)
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Note: A parent or legal guardian must be with a child for a first visit.
Resources for Patients & Families
- Insurance We Accept: See accepted insurance, listed by location.
- Pay Your Bill: Use online bill pay or send by mail.
- Financial Assistance: Get help with your child's health care expenses.
- MyNemours: Access your child’s medical record online.
- Your Child's Surgery Guide (PDF) in English or Spanish: What to expect before, during and right after surgery.
As the backbone of our Nemours Neuroscience Center, the pediatric neurosurgery team at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children provides comprehensive, world-class neurosurgical care to children of all ages — even newborns only hours old — in both an inpatient and outpatient specialty care setting. Our team includes board-certified pediatric neurosurgeons, nurse practitioners and physician assistants who use advanced technologies and the additional expertise of our neurosurgeons, geneticists and radiologists to diagnose and treat children.
Pediatric Neurosurgery Care at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children
At Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children we offer general and specialized pediatric neurosurgery services including evaluation, diagnosis, surgical treatment and ongoing care for babies, children and teens. We treat children with a wide range of pediatric diseases, injuries and malformations of the skull, brain and spine (central nervous system, or "CNS"), and the peripheral nervous system, or "PNS" (nerves that connect the CNS to the rest of the body).
Our neurosurgeons are nationally and internationally recognized for their research and for performing leading-edge, technologically advanced neurosurgical procedures, including minimally invasive techniques (using small incisions and natural openings instead of large, open incisions). They treat all types of pediatric neurosurgery conditions and help preserve normal growth and development. The neurosurgical programs at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children have helped kids from all over the world lead happy, healthy lives.
Families report that they really appreciate our family-centered environment. That means our team cares about your family’s physical and emotional wellness, and values your involvement throughout the entire process. We specifically design a treatment plan based on your child’s — and family’s — needs, and that treatment plan continues after the surgery is over. We’ll be with you and your child through recovery, condition management and follow-up for as long as you need us.
Other highlights of our pediatric neurosurgery care at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children include:
- world-class facilities featuring the most advanced diagnostic techniques and equipment available
- academic medical center (which means we’re at the leading edge of treating highly complex neurosurgical conditions)
- fully-equipped pediatric neurosurgery operating rooms
- innovative surgical techniques that minimize surgery risks, recovery time and pain
- extensive imaging and navigational equipment (for precise instrument guidance)
- customized treatment plans based on research and best practices
- family-centered care without delay (which means you have seamless, rapid access to specialists)
Neurosurgeons at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children treat the whole spectrum of pediatric neurosurgery conditions, including:
- abnormal head shape and size (craniofacial anomalies, craniosynostosis, positional plagiocephaly, trauma)
- brachial plexus injuries (to the spinal cord nerves that signal to the shoulder, arms and hands)
- brain and spinal cord injuries (late effects and complications)
- brain and spinal cord tumors (gliomas, medulloblastomas)
- cerebrovascular problems (aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations, dural fistula, intracranial hemorrhage, Moyamoya disease, vascular anomalies and malformations of the head and neck)
- Chiari malformation (when brain tissue extends down into the spinal cord)
- elevated intracranial pressure (hydrocephalus, idiopathic intracranial hypertension/pseudotumor cerebri)
- epilepsy (comprehensive evaluations, resective procedures, vagal nerve stimulator)
- low back and neck pain (congenital anomalies, herniated discs, scoliosis with underlying spinal cord pathology, trauma, spinal stenosis, foramen magnum stenosis)
- neurocutaneous syndromes (neurofibromatosis I and II, Sturge-Weber syndrome, tuberous sclerosis)
- achondroplasia- and other skeletal-dysplasia-related abnormalities in bone growth (foramen magnum stenosis, lumbar stenosis and cervical instability)
- spasticity (baclofen pumps, selective dorsal rhizotomy)
- spina bifida (classic open defects, closed defects such as lipomas of the spinal cord)
- structural pathology of the brain, skull, spine and spinal column (arachnoid cyst, Chiari malformation, schizencephaly, holoprosencephaly, masses and tumors, pituitary and pineal lesions, syringomyelia, tethered spinal cord, fat-infiltrated filum terminale)
- unusual skin markings of the head, neck and back (sacral dimples, hairy patches, vascular lesions)
Expert, Coordinated Care for Your Child's Neurosurgical Condition
Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children's pediatric neurosurgery team works closely with top pediatric specialists (such as neurologists, general surgeons, orthopedists and urologists) who are experienced in treating complex medical conditions that require neurosurgical care. Many of our specialists are located on the same floor of the hospital, so we can offer the most coordinated treatment and ongoing care for your child before, during and well after a pediatric neurosurgery procedure.
We offer nearly every neurological surgical procedure, including (but not limited to):
- craniotomy (bone flap removal to treat tumors)
- intracranial pressure monitoring (critical conditions, trauma)
- intraoperative image guidance procedures (to more effectively treat brain tumors, epilepsy)
- interventional neuroradiology procedures (image-guided minimally invasive techniques to treat vascular malformations such as intracranial angioplasty, stenting and embolization)
- minimally invasive procedures (treat hydrocephalus, spina bifida and others)
- neuroendoscopic procedures (minimally invasive technique to diagnose and treat brain tumors, congenital malformations)
- procedures to treat hydrocephalus (extra fluid in the brain and spinal cord), such as endoscopic third ventriculostomy and cerebrospinal fluid shunts
- procedures to treat areas surrounding the brain and spinal cord (including foramen magnum decompression and decompression of Chiari malformation)
- procedures to treat spinal conditions (such as release of tethered cord, spinal fusions and spinal decompressions)
- reconstructive surgery (maxillofacial, oral and plastic surgery to treat congenital craniofacial abnormalities or trauma)
- selective dorsal rhizotomy and baclofen pumps (to treat spasticity)
- stereotactic neurosurgery (image-guided minimally invasive techniques to treat tumors and arteriovascular malformations)
Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children offers comprehensive diagnostic and advanced neuroradiological services, including:
- X-rays (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacral, coccygeal)
- angiography (combines X-ray and contrast dye to view inside of the blood vessels)
- myelography (combines X-ray and contrast dye to view spinal cord)
- cranial/brain ultrasound (uses sound waves to view structures)
- computed axial tomography, or “CT” or “CAT” scans (combines X-ray and computer technology — the most advanced equipment available)
- magnetic resonance imaging, or "MRI" (neuroradiological and fetal imaging)
- functional magnetic resonance imaging, or "fMRI" (MRI to view functional areas of the brain)
- magnetic resonance angiography, or "MRA" (MRI to view blood vessels)
- nuclear imaging (positron emission tomography, or "PET" and single photon emission tomography, or “SPECT”; coming soon)
Your child may see specialists from multiple medical departments, in addition to a nurse care coordinator. Depending on your child’s condition, this care team may include:
- behavioral health professionals(neuropsychologists, psychologists, psychiatrists)
- developmental pediatricians (doctors who focus on whole-child growth and development)
- geneticists (perform genetic testing and counseling)
- hematologists (doctors who specialize in blood disorders)
- interventional radiologists (perform image-guided minimally invasive procedures)
- neonatologists (newborn intensive care specialists)
- neurologists (specialize in brain and nervous system disorders)
- neuroradiologists (radiologists with expertise in diagnosing nervous system conditions)
- neuropsychologists (specialize in brain functioning)
- oncologists (cancer doctors)
- orthopedists (specialists in bones and joints)
- orthotic specialists (design, customize and fit devices like remolding helmets)
- otolaryngologists (ear, nose and throat, or ENT, specialists)
- pain management specialists (help manage pain from surgery, disease or injury)
- pathologists (diagnose diseases by examining body tissues, fluids and organs)
- radiologists (provide diagnosis through medical imaging)
- rehabilitation medicine physicians (also known as "physical medicine and rehabilitation" or "PM&R physicians," they're specially trained in helping children whose movement and communication have been severely affected by brain injury or disease)
- rehabilitation specialists (physical, occupational and speech therapists)
- social workers (help families cope and locate community resources)
- sports medicine specialists (specialize in sports injuries)
- surgeons (orthopedic, maxillofacial, plastic and general surgery)
- urologists (specialize in bladder and urinary tract diseases and disorders)
For added convenience, our pediatric neurosurgery team provides streamlined scheduling and integrated appointments with multiple specialists on the same day, at the same location. And, because your child’s care can’t wait, we offer neurosurgical appointments within a few days, not weeks (often as quickly as 24 hours). We also offer second opinions for families, and we’re available to primary care physicians 24 hours a day, seven days a week for consultation.
Specialty Multidisciplinary Neurosurgical Programs and Clinics
At Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, we offer comprehensive, multidisciplinary specialty care programs, many that are unique to our area.
Hydrocephalus is a condition that involves increased pressure in the brain due to too much cerebrospinal fluid. The neurosurgeons, neurologists and neuroradiologists at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children offer comprehensive evaluation and care for congenital fetal (while in the womb) and neonatal (newborn) hydrocephalus, as well as hydrocephalus caused by trauma (following a surgery or injury) in kids of all ages. We use the most advanced image-guided and minimally invasive neurosurgical procedures available (including neuroendoscopic techniques) to reduce the potential for damaging healthy brain tissue and increase long-term effectiveness. We have the most robust experience in treating hydrocephalus with endoscopic treatments that don’t require a shunt.
Our approach to treatment is careful and highly individualized to your child’s needs. Whether your child needs neurosurgery or follow-up condition management, the pediatric neurosurgery team at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children is here to provide the best care possible.
Craniofacial disorders include abnormalities (or defects) of the bones in the skull and face that are congenital (present at birth) or acquired. The cleft and craniofacial team at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children has more than 60 years of experience and expertise in caring for children with conditions affecting the head and face, such as cleft lip and/or cleft palate.
Our care teams include plastic surgeons, neurosurgeons, geneticists and orthotists, who work together to treat newborns and children with craniofacial abnormalities and misshapen and/or abnormal head size due to craniosynostosis (when the skull bones fuse together before the brain has stopped growing), positional plagiocephaly (flattened head) and trauma. An advanced practice nurse (APN) serves as your child’s personal care coordinator, ensuring that your family receives individualized attention and that you have someone to call whenever you have questions. Our APN also will help organize your child’s visits.
Our goal is to help kids develop and function as normally as possible — and feel good about themselves as they grow. Our pediatric craniofacial team will give your child ongoing compassionate care and support all of your family’s needs even after surgery is performed.
This minimally invasive surgical technique gives our neurosurgeons the ability to remove tumors and make repairs through small holes (less than a half an inch) and natural openings such as the mouth and nose. With a high-resolution camera on a small scope (called an "endoscope"), we’re able to precisely locate the area and use very tiny tools to either biopsy a lesion, resect or remove tumors and cysts, relieve pressure in the brain (hydrocephalus), treat vascular disorders and malformations, and more.
This image-guided, minimally invasive surgery usually means better accuracy, faster recovery time, minimal scarring and less pain and risk of infection.
If your child has received a diagnosis of a neurological condition that requires pediatric neurosurgery (or has had previous surgery and is now experiencing new symptoms), the neurosurgical team at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children is here to help you make the right decision for your family. We’ll review previous reports, diagnostic tests and treatment recommendations, discuss current surgical and non-surgical treatments (medicine therapy, rehabilitation, etc.), and help you explore every option available, including the newest technologies, therapies and research advancements related to your child’s specific condition.
The pediatric neurosurgery team offers this service for all types of conditions and symptoms related to the central and peripheral nervous system including brain tumors, spinal disorders, headache, muscle weakness and more. The team consults as needed with other Nemours specialists onsite and across our children’s health system in the Delaware Valley.
The skeletal dysplasias are a group of conditions with one thing in common — abnormalities in the growth, development, shape or integrity of the bones and cartilage. Dysplasias can lead to a wide variety of medical problems, and the most common feature among them is dwarfism (defined as having a final adult height below 4' 10").
Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children is a world leader in skeletal dysplasia and dwarfism diagnosis and treatment — offering comprehensive medical and surgical expertise spanning multiple fields.
Spasticity is an excessive muscle tightness or tension, and can result from a variety of neurological conditions and injuries. At Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, our pediatric neurosurgeons work together with neurologists and specialists in physical medicine and rehabilitation and orthotics (assistive devices) to develop a pediatric neurosurgery and rehabilitation treatment plan to best care for your child.
Treatment may include advanced selective dorsal rhizotomy (a procedure that reduces high muscle tone in the legs) and intrathecal baclofen pump implantation (a device that reduces residual pain with medicines).
Spina bifida (also called "myelomeningocele") is a defect in the way the neural tube develops — the structure that forms the back bones, spinal cord and the surrounding nerves and membranes (called the "meninges"). When the neural tube fails to close, it’s called an "open neural tube defect."
Generally, pediatric neurosurgery treatment for spina bifida protects the spinal cord by closing the opening and "remaking" a spinal cord with normal tissues around it. The neurosurgeons at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children work with a team of specialists — including orthopedists, urologists and rehabilitation medicine providers — to determine the best course of treatment, which initially includes repairing the neural tube defect as soon as possible.
We also treat damage to the nerves of the spinal cord often related to spina bifida, including paralysis and weakness in the lower extremities, tethered spinal cord (when the spinal cord is attached to tissues causing limited movement), brain abnormalities (such as Chiari malformation and hydrocephalus) and spinal deformities (such as scoliosis).
The pediatric neurosurgeons at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children work closely with a team of specialists to diagnose and treat pediatric vascular malformations of the head and neck (problems with how arteries, veins, capillaries or lymphatic vessels form), such as arteriovenous malformations, Moyamoya disease and hemangiomas. The team most often includes interventional radiologists, oncologists, plastic surgeons, general surgeons, otolaryngologists (ear, nose and throat specialists) and geneticists.
We offer advanced image-guided, minimally invasive, neurosurgical treatment (including neurosurgical radiology procedures and neuroendoscopy) to improve blood flow to the brain and reduce the risks for blood clots, hemorrhage, strokes and other complications from pediatric cerebrovascular conditions.
We Care for the Whole Child and Family
We’re committed to not only treating your child’s physical condition, but to attending to your child's emotional health and wellness too — and that goes for your entire family while you're with us. We’re here to help you every step of the way, educating you about the medical condition and treatments, helping you manage your child’s home care and providing your child and family with coping strategies for success at home, at school and out in the community.
To help make you and your child's treatment and experience with us as comfortable as possible, we provide emotional and psychosocial support and many other services for your child and family, including:
- Child Life services
- mental health counseling
- patient and family education
- social work
- spiritual care
- support groups
In addition to complete services available at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Del., our Nemours pediatric neurosurgery specialists provide inpatient care at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital for children in Philadelphia.
We also maintain regular outpatient appointment hours at satellite Nemours duPont Pediatrics locations throughout the Delaware Valley:
No matter where your child receives care at Nemours, your medical team (including your primary care provider) can keep track of your child’s progress and access your child’s medical history, test results and visit notes anytime through our award-winning electronic health record system.
You can also view parts of your child's health records, communicate with your Nemours care team, make appointments, request prescription refills and more through our MyNemours online patient portal.
What to Expect With Pediatric Surgery
If your child needs surgery, you can trust our pediatric surgical team at Nemours. Our pediatric surgical specialists (surgeons, anesthesiologists and nurses) understand what kids need, psychologically and physically. Our guidebook provides step-by-step instructions and information about what to expect before, during and right after surgery at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children.
Top 10 Things Kids Need to Know About Surgery
Take your child on a pediatric surgery video tour with Sheridan on her surgery day. This fun, kid-friendly video shows children and teens what to expect, step-by-step, if they need an operation at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children.