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St. Jude/LeBonheur Brain Tumor Program

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For decades, pediatric neuro-oncologists at St. Jude have pioneered safer and more effective surgeries. Surgical techniques designed here have changed how doctors everywhere treat and remove brain tumors in children, adolescents and children.

When your child has brain tumor surgery, he or she benefits from expertise of not one, but two hospitals. St. Jude has partnered with neighbor LeBonheur Children’s Hospital. Together, we have created one of the largest pediatric surgical brain tumor programs in the country. This partnership directly supports our founding mission: Finding cures. Saving children.

Why St. Jude for your child's surgery

Advanced cancer treatment technology at outstanding facilities

St. Jude and LeBonheur constructed a specialized facility, just for children with brain tumors to have surgery. It is located at Le Bonheur, about a mile from St. Jude. It includes:

  • A multimillion dollar interoperative MRI unit. This state-of-the-art room allows your care team to scan to see where your child’s tumor is, and immediately perform the exact surgery needed—all in the same location. In most hospitals, children go one place to get scans of their tumor, and then go to another place for surgery. This is not ideal for children with brain tumors.
  • A six-bed Neurosurgical Intensive Care Unit (Neuro ICU). After surgery is over, your child will go to the Neurosurgical Intensive Care Unit (Neuro ICU). LeBonheur is one of only a few children’s hospitals with such a unit. The Neuro ICU is specially designed for the care of children following brain tumor surgery. It is staffed with nurses specifically trained in post-brain surgery recovery. A room for parents is connected to the ICU. This parent room lets you see your child during the recovery period.

Advances in technology have revolutionized pediatric brain tumor surgery. We use state-of-the-art equipment and the most advanced procedures to achieve the best outcome possible for your child. Like you, we want your child to have every advantage possible.

The combination of advanced diagnostic technology and experience is unmatched by any other children’s hospital. This gives your child an advantage in getting the most accurate diagnosis and treatment.

What to expect at each step when your child has brain tumor surgery.

Exceptional pediatric neuro-oncology care team

The medical and nursing staff of the pediatric surgical center/operating room complex care exclusively for children. Our experience and sensitivity to the special needs of children with cancer enable us to perform this exceptional level of care. The operating room and surgery team allow us to offer children superior care, using cutting-edge procedures and state-of-the-art equipment for achieving the best outcomes possible.

Your child’s care team

Your child’s surgical team starts with world-class pediatric neuro-oncologists, pediatric neurosurgeons and pediatric radiation oncologists, but it extends far beyond the pediatric neurosurgeons who will perform the brain tumor surgery.

Every child has a full diagnosis and treatment team to help you and your family through each step of surgical treatment. This team includes oncologists, radiation therapists, pathologists, radiologists, hematologists and basic scientists.

Your child will have experts from both St. Jude and LeBonheur on the team. For instance, pediatric neurosurgeons from LeBonheur may work with neuro- and radiation oncologists from St. Jude.

Your child will also supported by doctors from even more specialized areas. This includes radiology, neuropsychology, neuropathology and neuroendocrinology, as well as pediatric oncology nurses, rehabilitation specialists, pharmacists, nutritionists and audiologists.

If your child needs chemotherapy or radiation therapy after surgery, it will occur at St. Jude.

Your child's expert team

Through this multi-hospital collaboration, each child's care is supported by physicians representing radiology, neuropsychology, neuropathology and neuroendocrinology, plus specially trained nurses, rehabilitation specialists, pharmacists, nutritionists and audiologists.

Follow-up care

Your child’s care does not end with surgery. You and your treatment team will receive the support needed for your child. We provide support through all of our multidisciplinary team members and ancillary staff.