Surgery (Neurosurgery)

Our team treats patients with a variety of conditions including tumours, congenital neurosurgical problems, epilepsy, spasticity, craniofacial and any neurological problems which may or may not have a surgical component.

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Our history

The Neurosurgery Program at The Montreal Children’s Hospital was founded in 1961 when Dr. John Blundell came to the MCH after training at the Montreal Neurological Institute. In 1971, Dr. Robert Hollenberg joined him and worked at the Children’s for the next decade. It was during this time that the MCH entered a new era when it acquired its first CT scanner in 1977, which allowed neurosurgeons to see actual brain lesions for the first time. It was a major step forward since neurosurgeons could now image the brain without carrying out invasive procedures.

Dr. José Montes joined Dr. Blundell in 1981 and eventually became director of the division. In 1984, Dr. Montes performed a groundbreaking procedure to treat intractable epilepsy which brought attention on McGill and the MCH as leaders in epilepsy treatments. Dr. Jean-Pierre Farmer, who is currently Chief of Surgery at the MCH, joined the Division in 1990, and Dr. Jeffrey Atkinson became a member of the team in 2002.

Our team

Dr. José Montes did his fellowship training at Boston Children's Hospital and the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto before joining the MCH Neurosurgery department. His interests are in epilepsy surgery, oncology and stereotaxis.

Dr. Jean-Pierre Farmer spent one year doing a fellowship at New York University with Dr. Fred Ebstein where he developed expertise in the management of spinal cord tumours and spasticity. He also has an interest in stereotaxis, intraoperative Magnetic Resonance Imaging (iMRI) and epilepsy.

Dr. Jeffrey Atkinson completed two years in functional MRI and then spent one year at Primary Children’s MedicalCenter in Utah where he developed expertise in congenital neurosurgery. He is interested in functional MRI, stereotaxis and navigation.

Lucy Wardell is our clinical and research nurse specialist. She helps coordinate the management of patients with tumours, follows various protocols from the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), and coordinates the referrals and management of patients from our Réseau universitaire intégré de santé (RUIS) partners as well as patients referred from the Centre hospitalier de l’Université Laval (CHUL) and Centre hospitalier universitaire de Sherbrooke (CHUS).

Katerina Parretta and Bernadette Maksoud provide administrative support to the Division.

Where the care happens

The Division of Neurosurgery team members see patients in either a clinic setting on the second floor of the hospital, or in the Pediatric Interventional Brain Suite on the third floor, which has an operating room and an MRI suite. The facility, which was the first intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging facility (MRI) in a Canadian pediatric hospital, will be moved to the new Montreal Children’s Hospital at the Glen site when it opens in 2015.

Patients who are admitted to Neurosurgery stay in the ward on the 7th floor which we share with other surgical specialties.

Programs and services

Neuro-oncology Program: We care for patients with cerebral and spinal cord tumours, including patients referred from within the McGill RUIS and from the Centre hospitalier de l’Université Laval (CHUL) and Centre hospitalier universitaire de Sherbrooke (CHUS).

Epilepsy Program: Bringing together specialists from both the Neurology and Neurosurgery teams at the MCH, we provide our patients with expertise in Electroencephalography (EEG) and other forms of neurological monitoring. We also have access to functional radionuclear facilities, and magnetoencephalography (MEG). Experienced staff in nursing, psychology, occupational, physiotherapy and speech therapy complement the team.

Spasticity Program: Patients are seen at both the Montreal Children’s Hospital, where we perform surgery, and at the ShrinersHospital where patients attend clinics and undergo rehabilitation treatment. The program brings together specialists from the departments of Neurology, Neurosurgery, Orthopedics, Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy.

Craniofacial Program: This program provides treatment to children with craniofacial disorders (affecting bones of the skull and face). The multidisciplinary team includes professionals from Plastic Surgery, Neurosurgery, Dentistry, Orthodontics, Genetics, Ophthalmology, Speech Language Pathology, Audiology, Pediatrics and Respiratory Medicine among others.

Spina Bifida: The Spina Bifida Service brings together specialists from the departments of Neurosurgery, Orthopedics, Urology and Pediatrics, Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy to provide care to children who have shunts (a tube which drains fluid from around the brain), as well as children with varying degrees of motor and sensory deficits, and children with neurogenic bladder and bowel (a condition which affects the spinal cord nerves that control bladder and bowel function).

Conditions and treatments

Our team treats patients with a variety of conditions including tumours, congenital neurosurgical problems, epilepsy, spasticity, craniofacial and any neurological problems which may or may not have a surgical component.

We offer different surgical procedures for the management of surgical problems and orthosis (artificial or mechanical aid) for patients who require limb support or correction of a cranial deformity.

How to contact us

Telephone : 514-412-4492

Refer a patient 

Room: A RC.3334 , Glen site

Phone : 514-412-4400 ext. 25224
To make an appointment : 514-412-4492
Fax : 514-412-4368