The Pediatric Neurosurgery Department at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital is equipped with state-of-the-art technology, providing specialized care for patients near and far. Our physicians are trained to provide exceptional care for problems related to your child's brain, spinal cord and central nervous system.
To make an appointment, please call 314-268-4010.
Our Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Program provides comprehensive treatment of brain tumors in children. To reach the Brain Tumor Clinic, please call 314-268-4000.
Our pediatric neurosurgeons provide care in the following areas:
Injury of the head or spinal cord
Oncology – tumors in the head or spinal cord
Functional abnormalities such as hydrocephalus (excessive fluid on the brain)
Epilepsy that is nonresponsive to medication
Cerebral Palsy Baclofen pump implantations (pump releases the muscle relaxant Baclofen directly into the child’s spinal fluid)
Chiari malformations (low-lying cerebellum that blocks the flow of spinal fluid)
Congenital malformations – birth defects causing abnormalities in the structure of the central nervous system
Craniosynostosis – flat bones of a child’s skull fuse together early, resulting in an abnormally shaped head
Arachnoid cyst – a sac filled with fluid in the head or spine
Spina Bifida – an opening in the embryonic tube caused by vertebrae that have formed abnormally
Central Nervous System infections
Signs and Symptoms
Children are most commonly referred to our Neurosurgery Department by another physician. However, parents can call directly if problems continue or they wish to seek a second opinion. This is especially encouraged if the child has been seen by an adult neurosurgeon and is considering an operation.
Common symptoms of children experiencing neurological issues include:
Seizures that are nonresponsive to medical treatment
Headache, usually associated with nausea and vomiting
Interruptions in sleep due to nausea or vomiting
Preparing for Your Visit
You have a right to request a CD-ROM of the results of digital imaging tests that your child has had previously, such as MRIs and CT scans. Our neurosurgeons prefer to see these images before your visit. You can ship the CD to the hospital or email individual image files directly to our Neurosurgery Department. If these files can not be sent ahead, you should bring the images and any other test results with you to get the most from your initial visit.
During the first visit, one of our neurosurgeons will sit down with your family to discuss your child’s conditions. Afterward, any additional digital imaging tests that have not been preformed and are necessary for your child’s symptoms will be provided and later evaluated.
A follow-up visit is then scheduled to explain the causes of your child’s symptoms and discuss a treatment plan. Everything related to your child’s medical condition is explained to him or her at an age-appropriate level. If surgery is required, it is usually scheduled following the second visit. The surgery rooms are kid-friendly, equipped with DVD players to play your child’s favorite movie, and are decorated with brightly painted murals to provide the most pleasant environment possible for your child.
It is important to keep in mind that a visit to our Neurosurgery Department does not always result in surgery. In fact, it is less likely that a child will not require it. In many instances, neurosurgery is not necessary. Only about half of trauma patients and less than ¼ of children with chiari malformations require an operation. Your child’s doctor will make an assessment of what is best for your child and discuss all the options with you.
If surgery is not required, you will be referred back to your child’s physician. Otherwise, follow up visits after an operation are determined by the conditions of your child’s diagnosis. Further digital imaging may be done to make sure the problem has been corrected.
American Association of Neurological Surgeons
Congress of Neurological Surgeons
Society of Neurological Surgeons
Meet the Team
Samer K. Elbabaa, MD, FAANS, FACS - Director
Saleem Abdulrauf, MD, FACS
Richard Bucholz, MD, FACS
Philipee Mercier, MD, PhD
Anne Gildehaus, PNP, AC - Email Anne
LaDonna Willis, Medical Secretary