Find below a list of FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) about Brain Surgery and Spine Surgery. The answers provided do not replace the advice of your physician. It is important that you seek medical advice directly from your physician about your condition and procedures.

General FAQ

  • We need your complete medical history
  • We will ask you to provide a copy of your medication list
  • We would like to have the contact information for your primary doctor
  • We need a copy (usually on a CD) of your most recent MRI or CT scan
Depending on your insurance plan, most brain and spine surgeries are covered by insurance carriers. To find out more about your insurance coverage, call you insurance company or contact our office at (949) 383-4185 so we may be able to assist you regarding your insurance coverage.
Robert Louis,MD is an award-winning and fellowship trained neurosurgeon who specializes in minimally invasive Brain Surgery and Spine Surgery. His field of expertise include:

Brain Surgery

  • Conventional Craniotomy
  • Endoscopic Endonasal Approach
  • Endoscopic Transsphenoidal Surgery
  • CyberKnife® Robotic Radiosurgery
  • Minimally Invasive Keyhole Brain Surgeries
  • Retromastoid Approach
  • Supraorbital Eyebrow Craniotomy

Spine Surgery

  • Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion
  • Cervical and Lumbar Spine Arthroplasty
  • Cervical and Lumbar Kyphoplasty
  • Posterior Cervical Fusion with Instrumentation
Short term or immediate success of minimally invasive brain surgery or spine surgery is well established. Minimally invasive surgery allows faster recovery and return to work or sports activities, less post-operative pain, less trauma to surrounding tissues and nerves, shorter hospital stay and less chances of infection.

Brain Surgery FAQ

Compared to traditional or craniotomy, most of our patients who have undergone Minimally Invasive Keyhole Brain Surgeries complain less about pain and being uncomfortable. As such, they only require mild pain relievers, such as acetaminophen. The most common complaint is the post-operative nasal compressible packings after Endoscopic Endonasal Approach, which is removed within one week after the procedure.
Depending on the patient and procedure, patients are generally seen every few weeks initially for examination and for checking the nasal cavity and removal of nasal crusts after Endoscopic Endonasal Approach (EEA). Additional follow up visits are scheduled depending on the diagnosis, need for additional therapy, and post-surgery symptoms.

Most patients are instructed to avoid strenuous activities that increase pressure of spinal fluid inside the head (bending, lifting, straining, nose-blowing) for about a month after brain surgery to minimize the risk of a spinal fluid leak. A spinal fluid leak is a clear fluid that drains from the nose. If spinal fluid leak occurs, your neurosurgeon can address this using endoscopic surgical techniques. Most patients will also notice a decrease in smell and taste several months after the EEA procedure due to decreased air flow through the nose, which often improves as healing occurs.

The length of Endoscopic Endonasal Approach (EEA) procedure varies depending on the patient and the complexity of the case. Most commonly, EEA takes up to two hours from the time anesthesia is administered. With more complex cases, surgery may take from four to six hours or more.
There are still some situations in which a traditional approach or craniotomy is still required or the only option. Dr. Louis also performs 360° surgery around the skull base for specific lesions, combining endonasal and open approaches, and for best possible outcome.

We prefer not to force one angle of surgical approach. If a specific tumor can be totally removed using a single approach, such as endonasal surgery, then we will use that approach. However, if part of the tumor is located on the other side of important structures, such as blood vessels and nerves, we prefer to remove the residual portion using a different corridor, which can be a focused traditional approach. There are also situations in which only a focused traditional approach is necessary.

Our surgeons are experienced in all types of skull base surgery and utilize a variety of surgical approaches and techniques to design the best operation for each patient.

Spine Surgery FAQ

Most spine surgeries today are performed with some aspects of minimally invasive surgery. Dr. Louis will assess the right type of surgery depending on your diagnosis and overall health condition. There are certain spine conditions that still require standard open surgery, such as severe or high-degree scoliosis and tumors (cancerous and/or non-cancerous). Dr, Louis performs both minimally invasive spine surgery and standard open surgery.
Minimally invasive spine surgery is one of the most successful surgeries performed in the country today. The procedure allows patients to benefit from smaller incisions and reduced tissue, muscle and nerve interference. These benefits simply means there is less blood loss during surgery, shorter procedure time, less painful, less risk of infection and shorter post-operative recovery period.

With any surgical procedures, it is important to trust your surgeon. Dr. Robert Louis is an award-winning and fellowship-trained Orange County Brain and Spine Surgeon. He is an advocate of minimally invasive surgery for its benefits to the patients, and strives to make the experience comfortable and with the best possible.

Dr. Louis’ decision on the course of treatment and procedure starts with an accurate diagnosis of the condition. Complete evaluation of your spine condition using imaging techniques, such as MRI, X-ray, or electrodiagnostic tests (ECG, EEG) will be conducted to help assess the severity of the your pain. He will discuss the test results and whether spine surgery is the right option for you.

After undergoing minimally invasive spine surgery, patients are are advised to avoid lifting heavy objects for several weeks or months to avoid post-operative pain. It is helpful to arrange and place regularly used items within easy reach to reduce bending or reaching.

As an award-winning and fellowship-trained minimally invasive spine surgeon, Dr. Louis is an expert in treating a number of cervical spine conditions, such as Cervical Osteoarthritis, Cervical Tumors, Lumbar and Cervical Herniated Disc, Radiculopathy, Spinal Stenosis, Back Pain and Neck Pain. Whenever possible, Dr. Louis performs minimally invasive approach to benefit patients. Learn more about Cervical Conditions »