Surgery for Spinal Schwannomas

There are a number of surgical techniques, which may be used alone or in combination, for the treatment of schwannomas. Some schwannomas will require just one of these therapies and others will require a combination. Treatments include:

Microsurgery: This is a minimal access surgery requiring the use of ultrasound guidance and lasers. It is the surgical option used by neurosurgeons for schwannoma removal.

Stereotactic Radiosurgery: Without entering the back, neurological surgeons can use stereotactic radiosurgery (highly targeted radiation beams from multiple angles) to treat a schwannoma. This technique is highly effective and minimally invasive. Side effects are usually moderate and limited and the procedure carries a very low risk of infection or other complications that can occur after open surgery.  This is a rapidly developing technique, requiring the most highly trained surgeons utilizing the most sophisticated equipment — such as the Gamma Knife, CyberKnife, proton beams, and linear accelerators — and is usually only available in major medical centers. (see Doctors Who Treat Spinal Schwannomas.)

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Our Care Team

  • Hansen-MacDonald Professor of Neurological Surgery
  • Director of Spinal Surgery
Phone: 212-746-2152
  • Associate Professor of Neurological Surgery, Spinal Surgery
  • Co-Director, Spinal Deformity and Scoliosis Program
  • Director, Spinal Trauma/Adult and Pediatric Spinal Surgery
Phone: 212-746-2260
  • Clinical Associate Professor of Neurosurgery
  • Attending Neurosurgeon
Phone: 888-922-2257
  • Assistant Professor of Neurological Surgery
Phone: 646-962-3388
  • Assistant Professor of Neurological Surgery, Spine Surgery
Phone: 718-670-1837 (Queens) / 888-922-2257 (Manhattan)
  • Assistant Professor, Neurosurgery 
Phone: (888) 922-2257
  • Assistant Professor of Neurological Surgery
Phone: 866-426-7787 (Manhattan) / 646-967-2020 (Brooklyn)
  • Chair and Neurosurgeon-in-Chief
  • Margaret and Robert J. Hariri, MD ’87, PhD ’87 Professor of Neurological Surgery
  • Vice Provost of Business Affairs and Integration
Phone: 212-746-4684
  • Assistant Professor of Neurological Surgery
Phone: (718) 670-1837
  • Associate Professor of Neurological Surgery, Spine Surgery
Phone: 718-780-3070

Reviewed by: Eric Elowitz, MD
Last reviewed/last updated: September 2020

Weill Cornell Medicine Neurological Surgery 525 East 68 Street, Box 99 New York, NY 10065 Phone: 866-426-7787