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Neurosurgery Patient Stories

Our patient stories profile a number of patients who have had spine surgery or minimally invasive brain surgery at UPMC.

Although everyone’s care experience is unique, we hope that sharing these stories will help other prospective patients and their families better understand these procedures and their potential benefits.

Spine Surgery

 

Meet Dolores

When Dolores needed surgery to correct a severe curve in her spine, she turned to the experts at UPMC to help her get back to being the active and energetic person she once was.

Read more >

 

Meet Kersten 

This busy bank employee, faced with living with severe and debilitating back pain, found relief and a speedy recovery through minimally invasive XLIF® surgery at UPMC.

Read more >

Meet Hannah 

When a near fatal car accident severely fractured this high school senior’s spine, the experts at UPMC were able to correct the damage using advanced, minimally invasive surgery.

Read more >


Brain Surgery

Pituitary and Skull Base Tumor Patients

Meet Elsa

When this busy psychologist was diagnosed with a large meningioma that was pressing against her optic nerve, the experts at UPMC recommended EEA surgery to help restore her sight.

Read Elsa's story >

 

Meet Barbara

When an acoustic neuroma began affecting her hearing and balance, this busy secretary found hope and relief at UPMC.

Read Barbara's story>

 

Meet Karina

When this Mexico native and active mother of two was diagnosed with a large brain tumor that was disturbing her vision, she turned to the experts at UPMC thousands of miles away.​

Read Karina's story>

 

Meet Maria del Mar Minguez

When Spain native Maria del Mar Minguez was diagnosed with a complex brain condition, her family and friends rallied to send her to the experts at UPMC.

Read Maria's story >

 

Meet Conor 

After being diagnosed with a grapefruit-sized brain tumor, Conor McKiernan and his family found hope across the country, at UPMC.

Read Conor's story >

 

Meet Baylor 

This high school football player and his family turned to the experts at UPMC when a rare and large tumor began pushing into his nasal cavity.

Read Baylor's story >

 

Meet Allison 

After being diagnosed with a life-threatening brain cyst, this high school senior and her family turned to the experts at UPMC for treatment.

Read Allison's story >

 

Meet Acharya

When a Jain Guru with 1 million followers was losing his sight—and traditional surgery failed—his followers sought sight-saving endonasal brain surgery at UPMC in Pittsburgh.

Read Acharya's story >

 

Meet Edith

This busy registered nurse, faced with the threat of paralysis, found relief and a speedy recovery through EEA surgery at UPMC.

Read Edith's story >

 

Meet Haley

Doctors first thought Haley Spitznagel was suffering from migraine headaches, but it turned out to be something much more serious.

Read Haley's story >

 

Meet Chester

This active grandfather, faced with chronic pain and rapid degeneration, found hope, health, and a renewed life with his children and grandchildren.

Read Chester's story >

Meet Matthew

UPMC surgeons performed an extraordinary, nine-hour surgery that allowed this average 10-year-old to return to the everyday fun of being a kid.

Read Matthew's story >

Brain Tumor Patients

 

Meet Joe 

Hoping to return to his active lifestyle after treatment for brain tumors, Joe Stuckert chose Gamma Knife radiosurgery at UPMC.

Read Joe's story>

 

Meet Earl 

An apple-sized tumor in Earl Smalley’s brain was causing weight gain, depression symptoms, and low energy. He found relief through the experts at UPMC.
 
Read Earl's story >

 

Meet John 

When John Lynch was diagnosed with a potentially fatal brain disorder 25 years ago, he turned to groundbreaking Gamma Knife Radio surgery at UPMC.

Read John's story >

 

Meet Thomas 

When Thomas developed a rare cancer in his sinus cavity, UPMC neurosurgeons acted quickly to remove the mass using the EEA technique.

Read Thomas' story >

 

Meet Travis

When Travis needed surgery for a juvenile pilocytic astrocytoma, his family saw the benefits of minimally invasive Neuroendoport surgery.

Read Travis' story >

 

Meet William

Headaches, memory loss and fainting spells were signs of a life-threatening cyst in William Byrd's brain. He found relief—and a chance to get his life back—at UPMC.

Read William's story >

 

Meet Karen

This freelance writer faced the ultimate deadline, as her team of UPMC neurosurgeons raced to remove a tennis-ball sized tumor using the Neuroendoport® approach. Discharged after two days, she began the next stage of treatment and was soon back to her normal routine.

Read Karen's Story >

Neurovascular Patients

 

Meet Heather

When this busy college student suffered a series of life-threatening brain hemorrhages, she and her family turned to experts at UPMC.

Read Heather's story>

 

Meet Ashly

After Ashly suffered stroke-like symptoms from a series of brain hemorrhages, UPMC neurosurgeons were able put her back on the path to a normal life.

Read Ashly's story >

Cranial Nerve Disorder Patients

​Meet Richard Van Allen

When Dr. Van Allan's symptoms from hemifacial spasm became unbearable, he chose to fly across the country to undergo microvascular decompression surgery at UPMC.

 

Meet Gene

When this Korean War Veteran was struck with trigeminal neuralgia that was causing severe facial pain, he turned to the experts at UPMC.

Read Gene's story>

Meet Teri

When this Australian native began having symptoms of Hemifacial Spasm, she found that the most experienced surgeons for this condition were at UPMC.

Read Teri's story>

Movement Disorders Patients

​Meet David Smith

Suffering from severe Parkinson's disease symptoms, David was able to find hope - and relief - through asleep deep brain stimulation at UPMC.

Read more >

Meet Toni

When this renowned chef’s life was drastically changed after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, he turned to the experts at UPMC for treatment.

Read Toni's story>

Chiari Malformation Patients

Meet MaryMartha

An avid dancer and singer, MaryMartha faced with a lifetime of symptoms caused by Chiari malformation. She found hope – and relief – at UPMC. ​

Read MaryMartha's story>

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