Brain Tumor

As Orange County's leading brain tumor program, Hoag offers a unique multi-modality diagnostic and treatment program for patients suffering from benign and malignant brain tumors.

Hoag's multidisciplinary team of brain tumor specialists are committed to providing the latest and most effective diagnostic imaging studies, surgical techniques, clinical research and management strategies for each patient.

Experience and expertise is what sets Hoag's brain tumor program apart. Treating more than 300 brain tumors each year, Hoag neurosurgeons offer a significant level of experience. And while many hospitals offer either craniotomy or stereo-tactic radiosurgery, Hoag clinicians specialize in both surgical brain tumor management and Gamma Knife, and are therefore uniquely equipped to approach each case with an unbiased opinion regarding treatment modality.

Hoag also became home to what will be the county’s leading dedicated Pituitary Tumor Program​, offering the most advanced care for one of the most sub-specialized areas of neurosurgery.

Gamma Knife

Imagine undergoing brain surgery as an outpatient with reduced pain, a brief recovery period and no incision. The Gamma Knife Center at Hoag Hospital is the only Orange County facility providing this valuable treatment option for patients with brain disease.

Hoag Gamma Knife Center has drawn patients from throughout the country and even across the world, treating benign and malignant brain tumors, vascular malformations, trigeminal neuralgia and Parkinson’s disease. And since the Center’s opening in 1997, Hoag has built one of the strongest and most accomplished Gamma Knife programs in the United States.

Unsurpassed expertise is what sets the Center apart—and this experience is directly reflected in its impressive outcomes. Currently, the multidisciplinary team of specialists perform more than 200 radiosurgeries at Hoag Gamma Knife Center annually, offering patients a noninvasive and effective therapy for treating brain disease.


When surgical intervention is necessary, Hoag neurosurgeons employ image-guidance, which provides enhanced navigation using computer-generated 3D images of brain anatomy. This technology allows for smaller incisions and less tissue dissection through enhanced preoperative planning.

Hoag neurosurgeons also specialize in awake craniotomy. During this procedure, functional mapping is performed using electrodes to stimulate the brain tissue around the tumor in order to identify critical areas to be avoided during surgery. This allows the surgeon to reduce operative risk, while maximizing the volume of tumor that can be removed.

During surgery, intraoperative navigational equipment further assists in identifying the parts of the brain critical for motor, sensory, speech, visual and memory functions. These two technologies combined mean neurosurgeons can remove more tumor with less impact to the patient.

Minimally Invasive Techniques

Whenever possible, Hoag neurosurgeons employ minimally invasive brain surgery (MIBS) techniques, including image-guided tumor resection, neuroendoscopy and stereotactic interventions. Our specialists have access to some of the most advanced technology available to assist in MIBS, including biomedical electronics, sophisticated neuronavigation systems, computers, videos, neuroendoscopic equipment and microsurgical tools. MIBS has helped reduce deaths and complications previously associated with complex neurosurgery, while increasing the accuracy of tumor removal and allowing for faster recovery with less trauma and emotional stress. Minimally invasive neurosurgery has helped reduce complications and increase the accuracy of tumor resection, allowing for faster recovery, with less trauma and emotional stress.

Endoscopic Neurosurgery

For the removal of pituitary tumors​, Hoag neurosurgeons specialize in minimally invasive endoscopic neurosurgery, as opposed to the traditional, invasive approach. In this complex procedure, an endoscope is placed through the nose, instead of making an incision through the gum. The scope is carefully maneuvered to the back of the sinus cavity where there is a natural opening that provides access to the pituitary gland. This technique provides superior visualization of the operative site, while offering patients a much more comfortable procedure with significantly less risk for complications.

Appointments and Referrals

For more information on Hoag Brain Tumor Program contact the Gamma Knife Center​.