Healthy Kids - Fall 2023

The conditions under the umbrella of pediatric neurosurgery include brain and spinal cord tumors, craniofacial disorders, open and closed neural-tube defects, hydrocephalus, cerebral palsy, vascular diseases of the brain and spinal cord, and more. According to Dr. Levy, who has been with Rady Children’s since 2003, the past 20 years have seen a tremendous increase in the need for pediatric neurosurgery services based on the growth of the population the Hospital serves. “Our population has gotten bigger, which means our program

We also have a tumor board, which has been very positive at providing multidisciplinary insight on complex cases, and we publish a high number of academic papers, thanks to research conducted with other local institutes. All of this work has helped us move quickly in the right direction to provide exceptional care for our patients.” The Rady Children’s difference Reflecting on the Hospital’s U.S. News and World Report ranking—which has improved considerably over

has gotten bigger,” he says. “In addition to expanding our reach into the Inland Empire and farther north, we also have a wonderful partnership with hospitals in Tijuana, treating their pediatric patients. The work in Mexico, which is some of my favorite work, has substantially increased our patient population.” Technological advancements in the field have kept pace with the increased patient population. According to Dr. Levy, the Hospital has supported the division’s growth by providing the state- of-the-art technology. “Over the years, Rady Children’s has been very good at giving

more than a decade until breaking into the top 10 in 2022— Dr. Levy acknowledges that the honor represents his and his colleagues’ dedication to providing the best care in their specialty. “What the rankings show is that we have proven ourselves to be better than anyone in California,” he says. “It’s nice when you see you’ve done well because it supports the belief that what you’re doing is working.” Still, while Dr. Levy is proud of the division’s nationwide success and widespread recognition, he’s also

We treat a lot of complex cerebrovascular malformations, and we offer a lot of things surgically speaking that many other hospitals can’t. From robotics to congenital disorders, tumors to peripheral nerve injuries, there is nothing we don’t do. MICHAEL LEVY, MD, PHD, CHIEF OF PEDIATRIC NEUROSURGERY AT RADY CHILDREN’S

passionate about the impact Rady

Children’s pediatric neurosurgery has on a smaller scale.

us the things we need to remain competitive. From advanced microscopes to 3D modeling and imaging, there is nothing we don’t have or won’t use so we can perform at a higher level,” he says. “Additionally, along with our neuro- oncology program, we were one of the first pediatric medical centers to provide precision medicine, thanks to the work of the Rady Children’s Institute for Genomic Medicine.

“In our service, we are directly involved in an individual’s life—we are doing something significant that really makes a difference,” he says. “When you talk to patients and their families, you are talking about very real, very important health issues. I like the types of surgeries we do, and I like working on kids, but it’s the impact that this work has on families that is truly important to me.”


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