The Neurosurgery Practice at Valley Children’s Hospital specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of a variety of diseases and conditions of the central nervous system for infants, children, and adolescents. We provide inpatient, outpatient and emergency care to over 1,000 patients annually. Each year our neurosurgeons perform about 400 surgeries such as craniotomies, insertion or revision of ventricular shunts, insertion of Vagus Nerve Stimulators and repair of Myelomeningoceles. Neurosurgery is also part of several multidisciplinary teams at Valley Children’s.

Children with brain and spinal tumors receive treatment in Valley Children’s Neuro-oncology program, and neurosurgeons work with the craniofacial program, the spina bifida clinic, the trauma service, spasticity clinic, and the epilepsy team. The team performs more than three hundred surgical procedures annually in the largest pediatric surgical facility in Central California. The most common operations are for the treatment of hydrocephalus and include insertion or revisions of shunts and endoscopic third ventriculostomies.

Other procedures include craniotomies for brain tumors and trauma, repair of congenital malformations, insertion of vagal nerve stimulators, insertions of intrathecal Baclofen infusion pumps, cranial reconstruction, and release of tethered cords. Advanced equipment is always available. Valley Children’s installed an advanced 64-slice CT scanner and a new operating microscope that can be guided by a frameless neuronavigation.

The “Brain-Lab” system is being used for craniotomies, and lasers and endoscopes are available for minimally invasive neurosurgery. In addition, programmable valves and Siphon Regulatory Devices are utilized to treat hydrocephalus. The team has access to pediatric anesthesiologists for diagnostic and imaging tests if needed.

Congenital malformations treated by Pediatric Neurosurgery include Neural Tube Defects like tethered cord syndrome, spina bifida, myelomeningoceles, lipomyelomeningoceles, dermal sinus tracts, split cord malformations, diastematomyelia, and encephaloceles.

The team treats disorders of the Cerebrospinal Fluid Circulation including hydrocephalus, CSF shunt malfunctions, syringomyelia, Chiari malformations, pseudotumor cerebri, aqueductal stenosis, and arachnoid cysts. Head and spine deformities treated include positional molding of infancy, plagiocephaly, craniosynostosis, craniofacial anomalies, and macrocephaly. The team also treats central nervous system tumors, head and spine trauma, central nervous system vascular malformations, spasticity, and epilepsy.

Services Offered & Conditions Treated


  • Micro vascular surgery of arteriovenous malformations and intracranialaneurysms
  • Intracranial and spinal neoplasms that are both benign and malignant
  • Epilepsy - Vagal Nerve Stimulation
  • Spasticity:
    • Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy
    • Baclofen Pump Insertion
  • Craniofacial Disorders:
    • Benign Positional Molding
    • Craniosynostosis
  • Hydormyelia
  • Hydrocephalus:
    • Most advanced valve systems:
      • programmable valves
      • siphon regulatory devices
    • Treatment/procedures:
      • shunts
      • third ventriculostomies
  • Working with the Hospital's Infectious Disease team for infections of the central nervous system.
  • Neuroendoscopy

Disturbances of cerebrospinal fluid circulation

  • Hydrocephalus
  • Benign Intracranial Hypertension (Pseudotumor Cerebri)
  • Chiari Malformations
  • Syringomyelia
  • Arachniod cyst

Central nervous system infections

  • Brain/spinal abscess

Congenital malformations

  • Neural tube defects
  • Spina Bifida Aperta
  • Encephaloceles

Most advanced technology

  • Laser surgery
  • Zeiss and Leica microscopes
  • Frame based and frameless steroetactic neurosurgery
  • Neuronavigation
  • Brain lab system
  • Neuro-endoscopes

Advanced nuero-imaging

  • Pediatric sedation
  • MRI Scans
  • 64-slice CT Scanner

Physician Referral Guidelines

Pediatric Neurosurgery Referral Guidelines

Multidisciplinary Services

  • Part of the Hospital's Trauma team.
  • Working closely with the Craycroft Cancer Center at Children's for managing tumors of the central nervous system and UrologyOrthpaedic Surgery, and Physiatry for the management of complex spine problems.
  • Multidisciplinary Clinics
  • Neuro-Oncology Clinic - oncology, radiology, neurosurgery and rehabilitation
  • Epilepsy Clinic - neurology and neurosurgery
  • Spasticity Clinic - orthopaedics, rehabilitation and neurosurgery
  • Craniofacial Anomalies Clinic - plastic surgery, oral surgery, neurosurgery and speech therapy
  • Spina Dysfunction Clinic - neurology, orthopeadics, rehabilitation and neurosurgery


Our Specialists

Patricia Clerkin, MD

Prithvi Narayan, MD