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Neurosurgery at Methodist Willowbrook Hospital
Because Minutes Matter…
Advanced Stroke Care Close to Home

Imagine you're having dinner with a close friend at a local restaurant. Suddenly your friend's speech becomes slurred and it appears her tongue is swelling. You're unable to understand her and notice that the left side of her face is drooping. Fortunately, you recognize the signs of a stroke and call 911 immediately. Your friend is taken to the closest stroke accredited hospital – Methodist Willowbrook Hospital.

Every minute matters with the onset of a stroke, and getting to an emergency room for immediate medical care is critical. Thankfully, life-saving stroke care is available right in our community. Methodist Willowbrook Hospital provides neurosurgical procedures – ranging from the head to the neck to the lower back – under the skilled guidance of critical care experts, including Victor Kareh, MD, FACNS, board certified neurosurgeon at Methodist Willowbrook Hospital.

WHEN TIME AND TECHNOLOGY MEAN EVERYTHING
Neurosurgeons at Methodist Willowbrook Hospital work closely with other specialists, especially in the areas of neurology, neuro-oncology, neuro-radiology, critical care, orthopedics, ENT and endocrinology, so that patients have access to a broad range of expertise. The following are among the numerous health conditions treated by a neurosurgeon:

  • Stroke
  • Head trauma – including brain hemorrhages and skull fractures
  • Brain tumors
  • Epilepsy – some forms of drug-resistant epilepsy
  • Movement disorders – advanced Parkinson's disease, chorea
  • Cranial/facial/peripheral nerve pain (read more below)
  • Tumors of the spine, spinal cord and peripheral nerves
  • Spine, upper and lower, degenerative diseases or injuries

PROVIDING EXPERT NEUROSURGICAL CARE
Working closely with Dr. Kareh is Valarie Howell, RN, Director of the Methodist Willowbrook Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Ms. Howell was recently named one of the top critical care nurses in the nation by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses and speaks to the passion her team displays in their care for stroke patients and others suffering from neurological conditions. "Working together, Dr. Kareh and our highly skilled staff use state-of-the-art equipment and technology to provide the most appropriate and compassionate care for patients requiring surgical treatment of cranial, spinal and peripheral nerve disorders," says Howell.

Benefits to patients requiring neurological services at Methodist Willowbrook include:

  • Emergency Room services with 100% fellowship trained, board certified emergency medicine physicians who are expert at rapid diagnosis and initial treatment of stroke and stroke-related complications. These Emergency Room physicians, led by Scott Weisenborn, MD, work closely with the critical care Emergency Room nurses and staff who all provide care together to more than 48,000 patients annually.
  • Critical care intensive care unit with a team of fellowship trained, board certified critical care physicians and critical care nurse practitioners physically on-site in the hospital 24/7 for rapid response and expert care. This Methodist Critical Care Team is lead by Dana Martin, MD, FACCP. Dr. Martin completed her Critical Care Fellowship at MD Andersen Cancer Center and is also board certified in pulmonary care.
  • Specialized techniques such as microsurgery, minimally invasive endoscopic surgery and endovascular image-guided procedures.
  • Computer-assisted stereotactic surgery to accurately locate, remove or treat brain tumors.
  • Stroke accredited services, certified by The Joint Commission, ensuring highly qualified stroke care across all departments, from the Emergency Room to the patient floors.
  • Interventional neuro-radiologists on staff who specialize in neurological procedures.

OFFERING A HEALING PRESENCE
  • "The people and philosophy of care within the hospital are what defines a medical specialty's quality and uniqueness, even more than state-of-the-art technology," shares Dr. Kareh. "The expertise and quality of staff right here at Methodist Willowbrook means you don't have to go to the Medical Center to be seen by a neurosurgeon."
  • Central to the mission of Methodist Willowbrook Hospital is the spiritual care that is provided to our patients, their family members and our staff. Our neurology professionals, specialized nurses and spiritual care staff all work together to provide the needed support for patients and families.

If you are looking for a neurologist or would like to learn more about the neurosurgical procedures available at Methodist Willowbrook Hospital, contact us at 281-737-2500 or visit us online at MethodistWillowbrook.com.


A Specialty of Dr. Victor Kareh:
TREATING TRIGEMINAL NEURALGIA
In addition to brain, neck and lower back neurosurgical procedures, Victor Kareh, MD, neurosurgeon at Methodist Willowbrook Hospital, also specializes in treating trigeminal neuralgia, a chronic facial pain condition. Trigeminal neuralgia, also known as Tic Douloureaux, is a nerve disorder that causes abrupt, searing, electric-shock-like facial pains. Most commonly the pain involves the lower face and jaw, but symptoms may appear near the nose, ears, eyes or lips. Trigeminal neuralgia is possibly the most unbearably painful human condition, occurring when the trigeminal nerve carries sensation from the face to the brain. For patients suffering from trigeminal neuralgia, even gentle stimulation of the face – such as putting on makeup or brushing the teeth – can send a shock of excruciating pain through the nerve.

The condition is more likely to occur in women and in people over age 50. It often starts as mild twinges of pain but can accelerate to painful attacks that become more frequent and intense over time. Causes of this condition may be related to aging, the presence of multiple sclerosis or a similar disorder that damages nerve endings, or a tumor compressing the trigeminal nerve.

A complete neurological examination and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can confirm diagnosis. If diagnosed, treatment typically starts with medications to lessen or block pain signals to the brain. A combination of injections and/or surgical options may be used if the condition stops responding to medications or worsens.

Dr. Kareh received his medical training at the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine. He completed his neurological surgery residency at both the Puerto Rico Medical Center and the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine. He completed two rotations in trigeminal neuralgia, one at Massachusetts General Hospital and one at Karolinska Institute in Sweden.

Board certified in neurosurgery, Dr. Kareh has more than 20 years of experience in a wide range of neurosurgical procedures.

A consultation with Dr. Kareh can be scheduled by calling 281-737-2500.