Neurosurgery: Surgical care for your brain, spine and peripheral nerve conditions

When you need surgery for a brain, spine or peripheral nerve condition, the neurosurgery specialists at UW Health provide comprehensive care. We treat and manage neurological conditions in adults and children through surgery.

Programs and research

Specialized care programs

We provide services for all types of neurosurgery conditions through our specialized programs and clinics.

The thought of neurosurgery can be frightening, but our experts have your best interests in mind. Our specialists bring years of surgery experience to your care. Whenever possible, we perform minimally invasive surgery to help you recover faster and with less pain.

Our programs

We provide medical and surgical evaluation and treatment of adults with brachial plexus and other peripheral nerve injuries. One of the most important benefits of UW Health's Brachial Plexus Clinic is the multidisciplinary approach. Your care team might include providers from neurosurgery, neuroradiology, orthopedic surgery, rehabilitation medicine, plastic surgery, anesthesiology, occupational and physical therapy, specialty nursing and behavioral psychology. This collaboration is essential to creating a step-by-step plan that first enables damaged nerves to regenerate as well as possible.

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We are experienced when it comes to brain tumors and experience matters. The physicians at UW Health are leaders in the diagnosis, research and treatment of patients with all types of cancerous and noncancerous brain and pituitary tumors. We see more than 1,200 brain tumor patients annually with common, as well as rare, brain tumors and cancers.

Our program offers a truly comprehensive, team-based approach to brain tumor care. We focus on minimizing and managing the side effects of the tumor and treatments. Our goal is to make it easier for you to receive the proper care by minimizing your travel and follow-up appointments, as well as providing you with a personalized treatment plan. We will support you through your entire journey, including the decision-making process, evaluation, hospitalization, treatment and survivorship.

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The Wisconsin-based Stroke Program at UW Health has been certified as a Comprehensive Stroke Center and offers expertise to provide the most advanced care for all types of stroke. Our range of services is unmatched in the region. Our stroke specialists have advanced specialty training in stroke care and prevention and doctors are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

We are dedicated to the philosophy that the impact of stroke can be minimized by a combination of aggressive prevention, rapid and intensive acute stroke management and a positive attitude toward rehabilitation. From stroke prevention through imaging, acute stroke treatment and rehabilitation services, the UW Health stroke program offers coordinated care from a team of specialists.

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UW Health's Comprehensive Epilepsy Surgical Program offers state-of-the-art care for patients with epilepsy or whose seizures cannot be controlled with other treatments.

Our University Hospital location is accredited by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers as a Level 4 epilepsy center, which means we have the professional expertise and facilities to provide the highest level of medical and surgical evaluation and treatment for patients with complex epilepsy.

You might be a candidate for epilepsy surgery if your seizures cannot be controlled with antiepileptic drugs or if your seizures are uncontrolled for two years or more and your quality of life has been majorly impacted.

Surgical treatments for epilepsy could include:

  • Anterior temporal lobectomy

  • Extra-temporal surgery

  • Hemispherectomy

  • Laser ablation surgery for epilepsy

  • Lesionectomy

  • Multiple subpial transection

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We use deep brain stimulation (DBS) to treat and correct epilepsy, movement disorders, tremor and other neurological conditions in cases where other treatments haven’t provided relief. UW Health’s experienced team of neurosurgeons performing DBS surgery have fellowship training in stereotactic or functional surgery. The goal of the surgery is to provide our patients with a better quality of life by improving the control of movement. It could result in a reduction of tremor, rigidity, dyskinesia or dystonia.

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Neuroendovascular surgery (NES) at UW Health is an innovative neurosurgical treatment for complex brain and spinal cord vascular diseases that is performed from inside the blood vessels. Our cerebrovascular experts treat adults and children with all types of aneurysms, cerebrovascular lesions, arteriovenous and vascular malformations. We use advanced endovascular techniques that include tumor embolization and intracranial and extracranial stents.

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The UW Health Kids Pediatric Neurosurgery Program at American Family Children's Hospital provides provide pediatric specialty care to children with injuries and conditions of the brain, spine and peripheral nerves. Our trained providers offer consultation, evaluation, diagnosis and surgical treatment for children with a variety of neurological conditions.

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Our neurosurgeons treat tumors and aneurysms located at the base, or bottom, of the skull through open skull surgery or a less-invasive technique called endoscopic surgery. Endoscopic skull base surgery allows access to the tumor or lesion through the nose or mouth. This method can lead to a faster recovery.

Open skull surgery is still recommended for some cases, and we are committed to ensuring the best outcome for each of our patients. The method used will be based on a person's overall health and location of the tumor.

Our multidisciplinary team of highly experienced providers could include specialists in neurosurgery, otolaryngology (ENT), endocrinology and ophthalmology.

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Our team of nationally recognized spine surgeons use minimally invasive and endovascular procedures to treat a wide range of spine conditions and injuries. The UW Health Spine Surgery Program uses a comprehensive group of experts in neurosurgery and orthopedic surgery to diagnose and treat our patients. All surgeons at UW Health are fellowship-trained, meaning they've had advanced training specializing in spine surgery.

Surgical intervention for spine problems is required in a small minority of patients with symptoms that are unresponsive to nonoperative measures or symptoms indicating structural abnormalities of the spine or nerve compression.

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Our Neuro and Headache Center in Rockford, Ill., offers surgical and non-surgical care for neurological conditions.

Our research improves brain, spine, stroke and tumor care 

UW Health neurosurgeons work to improve surgical care for you. We research better ways to use technology to treat stroke and tumors. This work means better, more advanced care for you.

We also lead and participate in clinical trials related to brain, spine, stroke and tumor conditions. You get access to the most advanced neurosurgical treatments available. Learn more

Four UW Health neurosurgeons standing in an empty operating room
Referring a patient for neurosurgery

It is a privilege to care for your patient who might need neurosurgery. Home to one of the nation's very best neurology and neurosurgery hospitals, according to U.S. News & World Report, UW Health has consistently provided enhanced quality and quantity of life to patients who were told they were out of options. We look forward to making the referral process as easy as possible while keeping the lines of communication with your office flowing.

Conditions and treatments

Advanced, specialized evaluation and treatments

At UW Health, we diagnose, treat and manage a wide range of neurological conditions with surgical intervention.

Note: Not all tests, conditions and treatments are available at all locations.

  • Comprehensive epilepsy evaluation

  • Comprehensive movement disorder evaluation 

  • Electroencephalogram (EEG) tests

  • Electromyography

  • Muscle, nerve and skin biopsies

  • Nerve conduction studies

  • Neuropsychological assessment

  • Specialized imaging (CT, MRI, etc.)

  • Blood vessel diseases

    • Arteriovenous malformation

    • Brain aneurysm

    • Moya Moya disease

    • Stroke

    • Vascular malformation

  • Trauma

    • Brain injuries

    • Spinal cord injuries

  • Tumors

    • Brain tumors

      • Acoustic neuroma

      • Meningioma

      • Astrocytoma

    • Spine

      • Spinal cord tumors

    • Peripheral nerve tumors

    • Pituitary tumors

  • Spine disease

    • Pinched nerve

    • Herniated disc

    • Neck pain

    • Low back and leg pain

    • Myelopathy

    • Sciatica

    • Spinal cord tumors

  • Congenital neurosurgery (pediatric)

  • Peripheral nerve disease

  • Pain

    • Trigeminal neuralgia

  • Movement disorders

  • Epilepsy/ seizures

We provide neurosurgical care for many brain, spine and peripheral nerve conditions. We use the most advanced and least-invasive techniques whenever possible.

Procedures and treatments we provide include:

  • Carotid endarterectomy

  • Cerebrovascular surgery

  • Deep brain stimulation

  • Endoscopic spine surgery

  • Epilepsy surgery

  • Intrathecal baclofen pump

  • Intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging 

  • Microvascular decompression

  • Neurocritical intensive care unit

  • Neuroendovascular surgery

  • Novacure

  • Skull base surgery

  • Spine surgery

  • Stereostatic radiosurgery

  • Transsphenoidal craniotomy

  • Trauma surgery for the head, neck, nerves and spine

  • Tumor surgery for the head, spine and peripheral nerves, including brachial plexus

  • Vascular surgery

UW Health offers patients with stroke, aneurysm or other neurological conditions a modern, robotic, hybrid angiography operating room where physicians can see — with even greater precision — inside blood vessels of the brain and spine during surgery.

The Siemens ARTIS icono technology at University Hospital allows surgeons to implant, repair and perform complex, minimally invasive procedures to treat vascular disorders of the brain, spine, head and neck. It is used to re-open brain vessels to reverse a stroke or to treat ruptured brain aneurysms.

Hybrid biplane angiography suite


Neurosurgery locations

We offer neurosurgery care at UW Health clinics in Madison, Rockford, Beloit, Fort Atkinson, Green Bay and Reedsburg.

Meet our team

An expert team by your side

The neurosurgery team at UW Health includes surgeons nationally recognized for their neurosurgery expertise and teaching.


Resources to help

Find the support you need

You and your family can learn how to manage your condition and get help from our many support groups. We provide groups close to home for people living with brain tumors, movement disorders, Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injury and stroke. Find support

Meet our patients

Patient storiesConnor's story
After a night out with friends in January 2022, Connor made the decision to walk home. The next thing he remembered was waking up in March at the UW Health Rehabilitation Hospital. The chain of events that others pieced together for him is as incredible as the fact that he is still alive today.
Patient storiesMike's story
It was late May 2020 when Michael suffered a traumatic fall near Baraboo, Wis., about 60 miles from home. The resulting subdural hematoma with contusions nearly took his life. But with quick action, a dedicated care team, and an incredible will, Michael is back to living his life.
Patient storiesJoe's story
In May 2018, Joe St. Peter’s life changed forever. One night, Joe’s wife, Bryce Joslin St. Peter, woke to the sound of Joe having a seizure.
Patient storiesDan's story
An unexpected diagnosis of a brain tumor lead Dan and his wife hundreds of miles from their home in Indiana to undergo surgery with Dr. Baskaya, one of the leading neurosurgeons for glioblastoma multiforme.
Patient storiesBarbara's story
Barbara’s aneurysm put her life on the line, but quick care lead to a strong recovery.
A closeup of a family's hands holding a ceramic heart
Your charitable gift makes a difference

Perhaps you are grateful for the care you or a loved one received from UW Health. Or you cherish living so close to a world-class, research-driven healthcare system that’s always there if you need it. No matter your motivation, every gift of any size means even better care for our patients.