Although many of these specialists work directly with Dr. Chesler in the pediatric neurosurgery program, others come from the hospital’s many diverse programs and departments, such as the 12-bed PICU, which can provide intensive monitoring and the provision of critical care medicine to patients after surgery.
“Patient outcomes aren’t only affected by our ability to deliver results in the OR,” Dr. Chesler says. “They are very much dependent on the ability of our excellent nurses and intensivists in the PICU to provide the medical care and support patients’ needs after surgery to help them recover.”
Stony Brook Children’s Hospital also has a robust Child Life program that contributes to reducing anxiety among children waiting for diagnostic exams, surgeries and other treatments. Child Life specialists employ different forms of therapy, including animal, music and play therapies. For example, the “kitten scanner,” a popular toy used in play therapy to calm children before diagnostic imaging procedures, is a miniature mock CT scanner that helps Child Life specialists explain the device and procedure to children.
CT scans account for just a fraction of the imaging technologies available to Dr. Chesler and the pediatric neurosurgery program.
“We have MRIs, diagnostic catheter-based angiography and spectroscopy scans as well,” Dr. Chesler says. “All of these imaging modalities help everyone within the hospital make the proper diagnoses while also providing me and other surgeons with enough anatomic information to effectively perform surgery.”