Brain Surgery Success Stories

Patient stories on this page:


Pituitary and Skull Base Tumor Patients

Elsa Arce - Meningioma Patient Success Story

Meet Elsa

Meningioma patient
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 »

Barbara Giaquinto – Acoustic Neuroma Patient Success Story 

Meet Barbara

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

Read Barbara's story »

Karina Tapia – Meningioma, Optic Nerve Compression Patient Success Story 

Meet Karina

Meningioma and optic nerve compression patient
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 »

Maria del Mar Minguez – Meningioma Patient Success Story  

Meet Maria

Meningioma patient
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 »

Conor McKiernan – Angiofibroma Patient Success Story  

Meet Conor 

Angiofibroma patient
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 »

Baylor Cox – Angiofibroma Patient Success Story  

Meet Baylor 

Angiofibroma patient
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 »

Allison Ferguson - Rathke's Cleft Cyst Patient Story  

Meet Allison 

Rathke's cleft cyst patient
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 »

Archarya Yashovijaysuri - Meningioma  Patient Success Story  

Meet Acharya

Meningioma patient
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 »

Edith Smith – Odontoid Synovial Cyst Patient Success Story  

Meet Edith

Odontoid synovial cyst patient
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  »

Haley Spitznagel – Craniopharyngioma Patient Success Story  

Meet Haley

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

Read Haley's story »

Chester Ratcliff - Odontoid Pannus Patient Success Story  

Meet Chester

Odontoid Pannus patient
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 »

Matthew Carls - Angiofibroma Patient Success Story

Meet Matthew

Angiofibroma patient
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 »

Meet Sharon

Craniopharyngioma patient
Faced with the loss of her vision, this librarian found new hope with the EEA surgeons at UPMC, who gave her back the gift of sight.

Read Sharon's story »

 

Meet Elizabeth

Craniopharyngioma patient
After two previous brain surgeries, this woman found UPMC's expert team—and long-awaited relief from an aggressive tumor growing at the base of her skull near the pituitary gland.

Read Elizabeth's story »  

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Brain Tumor Patients

Joe Stuckert - Brain Metastases Patient Success Story 

Meet Joe 

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

Read Joe's story »

Earl Smalley – Meningioma Patient Success Story  

Meet Earl 

Meningioma patient
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 »

John Lynch – Arteriovenous Malformation Patient Success Story 

Meet John 

Arteriovenous malformation patient
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 »

Thomas Knox – Esthesioneuroblastoma Patient Success Story  

Meet Thomas 

Esthesioneuroblastoma patient
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 »

Travis Stangroom - Juvenile Pilocytic Astrocytoma Patient Success Story  

Meet Travis

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

Read Travis' story »

William Byrd – Colloid Cyst Patient Success Story  

Meet William

Colloid cyst patient
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 »

Karen Amato Schwartz – Glioblastoma Patient Success Story  

Meet Karen

Glioblastoma patient
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 »

Harry Shields – Meningioma Patient Success Story  

Meet Harry

Meningioma patient
When Harry developed severe personality changes due to a large tumor, he turned to UPMC to get his life back.

Read Harry's Story »

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Neurovascular Patients

Heather Abramovic – Cavernous Malformation Patient Success Story 

Meet Heather

Cavernous malformation patient
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 »

Ashly Hunt - Cavernous Malformation Patient Success Story 

Meet Ashly

Cavernous malformation patient
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 »

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Cranial Nerve Disorder Patients

Dr. Richard Van Allen – Hemifacial Spasm Patient Success Story

​Meet Richard

Hemifacial spasm patient
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.

Read more »

Gene Linck – Trigeminal Neuralgia Patient Success Story  

Meet Gene

Trigeminal neuralgia patient
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 »

Teri Cook – Hemifacial Spasm Patient Success Story

Meet Teri

Hemifacial spasm patient
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 »

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Movement Disorders Patients

David Smith – Parkinson's Disease Patient Success Story

​Meet David

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

Read more »

Toni Pais – Parkinson's Disease Patient Success Story

Meet Toni

Parkinson's disease patient
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 »

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Chiari Malformation Patients

MaryMartha Ford – Chiari Malformation Patient Success Story

Meet MaryMartha

Chiari malformation patient
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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