If you have a health condition caused by irregular electrical activity in the brain, functional neurosurgery may be the right treatment for you.

The functional neurosurgery team at Baptist Health has the expertise and advanced technologies to provide life-changing epilepsy treatment and treatments for movement disorders.

Our Approach to Functional Neurosurgery

Our Approach to Functional Neurosurgery

When you choose Baptist Health Brain & Spine Care for functional neurosurgery, you get access to:

  • An expert South Florida team with specific training in the latest functional neurosurgery treatments, including deep brain stimulation (DBS)
  • Leaders in the field as we’ve completed more than 100 high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) cases
  • A full team of specialists with expert knowledge in diagnosing and treating movement disorders and epilepsy

What Is Functional Neurosurgery?

Functional neurosurgery is a type of neurosurgery performed to change brain function. While other types of neurosurgery focus on relieving nerve pressure or removing a blockage or tumor, functional neurosurgery is used to fix problems related to the electrical activity in the brain.

During functional neurosurgery procedures, our neurosurgeons use different techniques to change electrical circuits in the brain. These changes relieve symptoms like tremors or seizures. Many functional neurosurgery treatments are minimally invasive and can be done while you are awake.

What Conditions Are Treated with Functional Neurosurgery?

Our team uses functional neurosurgery to treat movement disorders and neurological conditions caused by issues with the brain’s electrical signals. These conditions include:

Types of Functional Neurosurgery

Baptist Health Brain & Spine Care offers a variety of functional neurosurgery procedures including:

  • During DBS, our neurosurgeons implant an electrode on the brain. This electrode sends signals to help control tremors, seizures and involuntary movements caused by Parkinson disease and essential tremor.

  • Focused ultrasound, or high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU), uses high-frequency ultrasound to target the specific area of the brain causing a tremor. HIFU targets and damages the problem area, preventing it from sending electrical signals.

    The procedure starts by using low-dose radiation to stun the part of your brain causing neurological symptoms, such as a tremor. If the low-dose beam helps the tremor, the team then turns up the frequency on the radiation beam and destroys the part of the brain causing symptoms.

    Baptist Health is one of fewer than 20 centers in the country offering HIFU.

  • During VNS, neurosurgeons place an electrode on the vagus nerve to help control electrical signals in the brain. This procedure is most commonly used to treat epilepsy and depression. Newer devices and VNS procedures can also be used in stroke rehabilitation and to treat migraines.

    During VNS, a stimulation device is surgically implanted under the skin on the chest. A wire is also implanted to run from the device to the left vagus nerve, which runs from the lower part of the brain through your chest to your stomach. When activated, the device sends an electrical signal along the vagus nerve to your brain. This alters the electrical signals in the brain.

    An important part of functional neurosurgery is intraoperative imaging. We use MRIs and CT scans to track brain function during functional neurosurgery. This intraoperative imaging allows our neurosurgeons to pinpoint the exact area of the brain causing problems. We use this information to precisely deliver treatment.

Photo of Pete Cotto
"I'm hoping that this operation, this deep brain stimulation, will make me a father that is proud of his daughter walking down the aisle."

Meet Our Functional Neurosurgeons

Our team includes board-certified neurosurgeons specially trained in functional neurosurgery. We also have advanced practice providers, nurses, surgical assistants and technologists who help care for patients throughout the surgery process.

Our Locations

Our functional neurosurgeons are located in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties. Find a location near you.

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