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Media Contact: Janet Christenbury
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26 September 2007
Emory Crawford Long Hospital Expands Neurosurgical Service
As one of the nation's leading departments for neurosurgical patient care, teaching and research, Emory University's Department of Neurosurgery has expanded its services to better serve its patients and keep up with demand.

The department has moved aspects of its surgical neuro-oncology and intracranial neurosurgery service, including brain, skull base and spinal tumor removal, to Emory Crawford Long Hospital (ECLH).

An additional neurosurgeon has also joined the department to perform these delicate operations at ECLH.

Newcomer Constantinos (Costas) Hadjipanayis, MD, PhD, assistant professor of neurosurgery at Emory, and long-time specialist Jeffrey Olson, MD, professor of neurosurgery, are now performing surgery at Emory's Midtown campus. The doctors specialize in the removal of brain tumors (cancerous and non-cancerous), skull base tumors, spinal tumors and experimental treatments for malignant tumors.

Neurosurgery researchers will collaborate with researchers in the Brain Tumor Program at Emory's Winship Cancer Institute to develop innovative therapies to treat malignant brain tumors. Dr. Olson has led brain tumor clinical trials for several years at Emory.

"It is exciting to be able to expand this branch of our neurosurgical service to Emory Crawford Long Hospital," says Dr. Olson. "By doing this, we can shorten the surgical wait times for patients and treat them more efficiently. Recruiting Dr. Hadjipanayis to our department shows Emory's commitment to surgical neuro-oncology and other benign tumor removal."

Dr. Hadjipanayis comes to Emory from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Presbyterian Hospital. He completed his neurosurgical training at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine where he simultaneously obtained a PhD in molecular genetics and biochemistry. He studied the use of new viral agents in the therapy of malignant brain tumors in combination with radiation therapy. In addition, he spent time after his residency learning intraoperative brain mapping techniques for the removal of brain tumors located in critical areas of the brain.

"Emory has an excellent reputation for its neurosurgery program and I am pleased to be a part of it at Emory Crawford Long Hospital," says Dr. Hadjipanayis. "We hope the clinical work and research we do here will really make a difference for our patients."

Dr. Hadjipanayis's surgical focus includes mapping language function of the brain while the patient is awake (awake craniotomy) to guide the removal of tumors located within or adjacent to language centers in the brain. In addition, he is performing minimally- invasive endoscopic procedures to treat disorders in the brain and endoscopic procedures through the nose for removal of skull base tumors.

Emory's Department of Neurosurgery already utilizes ECLH for various types of spinal surgeries. Gerald (Rusty) Rodts, MD, professor of neurosurgery, heads the spinal neurosurgery efforts at ECLH and, in particular, has vast experience in complex spinal surgery.

"This expansion really emphasizes what Emory's all about -- to provide first-rate clinical care to patients while conducting promising research in our labs," says Dr. Olson. "More brains and more brain power make us a stronger team."

While physicians in the Department of Neurosurgery are trained in multiple aspects of general neurosurgery, each neurosurgeon also has a special area of interest, expertise and training. This allows for the neurosurgeons to sub-specialize in a particular condition and/or procedure, giving them the ability to only focus on one or two disorders. This approach means the best possible care for the patients.

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