New MemorialCare Neuroscience Institute at Saddleback Medical Center Expands Premier Life-Preserving Care for the Brain and Spine

Thursday, Feb 07, 2019

The new MemorialCare Neuroscience Institute at Saddleback Medical Center in Laguna Hills is opening to provide highly advanced care for conditions of the nervous system, including strokes, spine conditions, brain disorders, tumors, balance and related conditions—making it the region's newest premier institute for neurological diseases.

The Neuroscience Institute's highly qualified, interdisciplinary team of renowned physician specialists, nurses, social workers, rehabilitation therapists, other clinicians and support staff comprise specialized Centers of Excellence, each with individualized expertise. These include Centers for Stroke and Neurological Interventional Treatment, Spine Health, Skull Base Brain Tumors, Neurological Rehabilitation, Fall Prevention and Balance, Parkinson's Disease and Multiple Sclerosis programs. Each Center of Excellence focuses on research, education, prevention, diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and mobility to improve strength, balance, flexibility and endurance.

Neuroscience involves the nervous system consisting of the central nervous system—brain and spinal cord—and peripheral nervous system—nerves serving the arms, legs, neck, internal organs and skeletal muscles. These critical functions control our thinking, breathing, hearing, learning and vision.

The Neuroscience team provides personalized, compassionate care plans for patients and families in the hospital, doctor's office, outpatient and community settings—closely coordinating with referring physicians and community resources to deliver exceptional services.

The Institute is unveiling groundbreaking programs, services and facilities, including a new unit tailored for spine surgery patients with private rooms and rehabilitation services in one location; advanced diagnostic and treatment technologies, robotics and exciting modalities—some unveiled for the first time in a hospital.

"These neurosurgery technological advances are expanding our opportunities for more minimally invasive surgeries and improve our ability to more accurately and dynamically correct the spine," says Jason Liauw, M.D., Neuroscience Institute Medical Director, Neurosurgeon and Spine Surgeon. "Such advances can also help reduce time in surgery and accelerate recovery."

The Institute's physicians—on the forefront of surgical and non-surgical treatments—are among the highest regarded neurologists, neurosurgeons, spine surgeons, head and neck surgeons, vascular surgeons, orthopedic surgeons, otolaryngologists, ophthalmologists, anesthesiologists, audiologists, emergency medicine physicians and medical, surgical and radiation oncologists and other specialists. Primarily Fellowship trained, specialists bring decades of renowned care from notable medical universities as Harvard, Stanford, Johns Hopkins, Mayo Clinic, UCLA, USC, UC San Francisco, MD Anderson Cancer Center and others—allowing them to care for challenging and complicated cases.

Among the Institute's award-winning programs is diagnosis and treatment of strokes, experienced by 700,000 Americans annually.

"Stroke is the leading cause of adult disability," says Radoslav Raychev, M.D., Medical Director, Saddleback Medical Center Stroke and Neurointerventional Program. "Our Stroke Center offers rapid, effective minimally invasive treatment focused on restoring brain function, shortening recovery and getting patients back to full strength. No matter when a stroke occurs, patients receive immediate treatment from MemorialCare physicians and neurology specialists."

Saddleback Medical Center is among the first three U.S. hospitals to receive Joint Commission Certification as an Advanced Thrombectomy-Capable Stroke Center--meeting rigorous standards for endovascular thrombectomy, a specialized procedure that removes a blood clot from the brain during an ischemic stroke. Other honors include American Heart Association/American Stroke Association Get With The Guidelines Stroke Gold Plus, Women's Choice Award for America's Best Stroke Centers, and Joint Commission and American Heart and Stroke Associations' Primary Stroke Center recognition.

Another Center of Excellence, Saddleback Medical Center Spine Health Center, offers comprehensive care to diagnose and treat spinal disease, deformity and trauma. Despite medical advances, for 56 million Americans affected by back pain, these conditions can be overwhelming.

"With a full range of treatment options, Saddleback Medical Center Spine Health Center is designed to relieve pain, restore independence and quickly return patients to daily activities," says spine surgeon Bryce Johnson, M.D., Medical Director, Spine Health. "Our caring physicians, nurses, physical and occupational therapists are there every step of the way—from consultation through rehabilitation with pre-surgery classes, education, guidebooks, and coaching programs for patients, families and friends."

Saddleback Medical Center awards in these areas include Becker's Healthcare Top 100 U.S. Hospital Orthopedic programs, Aetna Institute of Quality Award for Orthopedic, Spine and Total Joint Replacement and US News & World Report America's Best Hospitals regional recognition for Neurology, Neurosurgery and Orthopedics.

The Institute's Skull Base Brain Tumor Center focuses on a complex area of the body with intricate structures where specialized physician, surgeons and oncologists offer less invasive endoscopic surgery and open surgical procedures to safely remove tumors and treat vascular conditions of the skull base. "Our skull base specialists treat among the most difficult disorders found between the intracranial and extracranial structures of the brain," notes Saddleback Medical Center Neurosurgeon Chiedozie Nwagwu, M.D.

"The Neurological Rehabilitation Center offers comprehensive physical, occupational and speech therapies. Experienced, licensed therapists treat stroke, brain injuries and other neurological disorders," explains Farzad Massoudi, M.D., Saddleback Medical Center Neurosurgeon.

Additionally, Fall Prevention and Balance Program Rehabilitation therapists provide individualized evaluation and treatment to improve balance, reduce falls and increase functional mobility.

"Our expert team at MemorialCare Neuroscience Institute is dedicated in providing leading care for neurological and spine disorders," says Marcia Manker, CEO, MemorialCare Saddleback Medical Center. "Our goal is to ensure complete, compassionate and exceptional personalized care that get patients back on their feet and living life to the fullest."



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