Children's Neurosurgery

Family-Centered Pediatric Neurosurgery

A child's brain or spine condition affects the whole family. At Sanford Health, our experienced surgeons put safety and recovery first to get your family back on track.

Sanford Children's Neurosurgery uses advanced surgical techniques for safer procedures. Our trained surgeons are experienced in all kinds of brain and spine surgeries. Whatever your child’s unique needs, Sanford Health can provide the best care.

Come to a family-friendly setting that emphasizes safety and care.

For physicians: Refer a patient to Sanford Health.


Find Care for Your Child

See Sanford Health’s team of pediatric neurosurgery experts about your child’s care. 

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What is a Pediatric Neurosurgeon?

These specialists surgically treat brain and spine problems in children. This practice treats complex brain or spine problems. These surgeons are committed to their young patients, from infants to children to adolescents. Most importantly, the sub-specialty is family-focused. When treating children, surgeons also care for the families of their patients. Our surgeons show compassion and care for the patient's whole family.


Conditions We Treat

Our neurosurgeons treat most children’s neurological conditions. We most often treat:

  • Chiari malformation: Present at birth, a Chiari malformation occurs when the lowest part of the brain pushes outside the skull and into the spinal canal. It is fixed using surgery to remove part of the skull or vertebra and create more room for the brain.
  • Epilepsy: A seizure-causing condition where nerve cells in the brain send wrong signals. Usually treated with medication, sometimes patients need surgery.
  • Hydrocephalus: A condition in which fluid builds up deep in the brain. It causes headaches, a swollen head and brain damage in some cases.
  • Spina bifida: A spine condition and birth defect where the spine doesn’t develop properly. The spinal cord can protrude and be visible under the skin.

Children can also come to Sanford Children's for treatment for:

  • Complex brain and spinal tumors
  • Endoscopic brain surgery
  • Intracranial cysts
  • Neuro-oncology
  • Skull/craniofacial anomalies
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Vascular malformations disease
  • Other general neurosurgical procedures

Providing Advanced Care

Sanford Children's offers minimally invasive surgery. We use the latest techniques and technology. All our surgeries make small incisions whenever possible. That way we can guarantee a faster recovery with less pain. Less invasive procedures are also less risky.


Find Pediatric Neurosurgery Near You

Make an appointment at a Sanford Neurosurgery clinic to get skilled care for any type of pediatric neurological condition.

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Chiari Malformation Surgery

There are two surgical options to treat Chiari malformation. In a laminectomy, trained neurosurgeons remove a part of the child’s vertebra to reduce the pressure on the spine or nerve. The other option is a decompressive craniectomy, where surgeons remove a part of the skull so the brain can swell without constriction. Sanford Health has three dedicated pediatric neurosurgeons that are specially trained in treating children with a Chiari malformation. Learn more about Dr. Eric TrumbleDr. Shawn Vuong and Dr. Tong Yang.

Endoscopic Surgery

Surgery can be frightening for children. Sanford is committed to minimizing a child's distress during treatment. Many Sanford Children's surgeries are minimally invasive. Endoscopy is a diagnostic and surgical option that reduces a patient's recovery time and pain. Endoscopic surgeons insert a scope through a small incision to see or operate on internal organs. The scopes are specialized tools with bright lights and a camera at one end. If your child needs surgery, ask your doctor if endoscopy is an option.

Epilepsy Surgery

Sanford surgeons will identify, target and remove the part of your child’s brain that causes seizures. In some cases, doctors will remove the outer layer of one side of the brain. It is most successful in children. When paired with anti-seizure medication, most patients experience significantly fewer seizures. Some become seizure-free.

Hydrocephalus Surgery

There are many options for hydrocephalus surgery in children. The fluid can be diverted to a different part of the body where it inflicts less harm. Surgeons can also insert a tube into the brain to drain the excess fluid. Talk about your child’s treatment options with your doctor.

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