Pediatric neurology services in Southeast Georgia

Our pediatric neurologists at Memorial Health Dwaine & Cynthia Willett Children’s Hospital of Savannah provide the expert care your child needs when it comes to conditions affecting the brain and nervous system. From orthopedic spine injuries to brain tumors, our neurologists take time to understand your child's condition and form a treatment plan that addresses their needs.

To learn more about our pediatric neurological care, please call our Consult-A-Nurse® team at (912) 350-9355.

Pediatric neurological conditions we treat

We work one-on-one with you and your child’s primary care physician to develop a customized neurological care plan for conditions such as:

  • Arachnoid cysts
  • Arteriovenous malformations (AVMs)
  • Brain tumors
  • Cervical instability
  • Chiari malformation
  • Craniosynostosis
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Plagiocephaly (also called flat head syndrome or positional skull deformity)
  • Skull and facial fractures
  • Spina bifida
  • Spinal fractures
  • Spinal fusion
  • Spinal tumors
  • Tethered spinal cord
  • Traumatic brain injuries

Our dedicated children's emergency room (ER) has private rooms with space for you to stay with your child if they require emergency treatment for a neurological condition.

Neurosurgical treatment options

The pediatric neurosurgery team works with specialists from maternal-fetal care, neonatology, radiation therapy and pediatric oncology to ensure your child receives the most comprehensive treatment possible. The decision to perform pediatric surgery is made with parents after an extensive discussion about the risks and benefits associated with your child's procedure.

Should your child need it, our Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) provides the highest level of neonatal care in Southeast Georgia, and our children's hospital has a pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) if your child requires close monitoring following surgery.

Our pediatric neurosurgeons specialize in correcting tethered spinal cords, treating arachnoid cysts and relieving spinal fluid pressure in children with Chiari malformations.

Tethered spinal cord

A tethered spinal cord occurs when the spinal cord is attached abnormally to the tissues that surround it. It is usually caused by abnormalities in the development of the spinal cord during pregnancy. Tethered spinal cord symptoms can vary, but may include:

  • Back pain
  • Foot deformities
  • Leg pain
  • Numbness or weakness in the legs
  • Scoliosis
  • Urinary problems

Surgical treatment for a tethered spinal cord involves separating the spinal cord from its abnormal attachments and is often recommended before children experience any symptoms.

Arachnoid cysts

Arachnoid cysts are congenital (present at birth) brain cysts that form from the layers surrounding the brain early in pregnancy. In older children, most cysts do not change in size, but they are more likely to enlarge in a child who is four years old or younger.

Although most arachnoid cysts do not need treatment, some may require surgery to alleviate symptoms, such as headaches and seizures. Surgical options for arachnoid cysts include shunting to drain fluids and fenestration to create openings in the cyst's wall.

Chiari malformation

Chiari malformation occurs when there is not enough room in the skull, causing brain tissue to grow into the spinal canal. This congenital abnormality can cause fluid to build up in the spinal cord and result in headaches, sleep apnea, difficulty swallowing and dizziness. During Chiari malformation surgery, our surgeons will take pressure off of the brainstem, allowing the cerebrospinal fluid to flow freely.