New Address Beginning October 1

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Dear patients,
As of Thursday, October 1, 2020, East Bay Brain & Spine/BASS Neurosurgery will be moving to a new location!  We will still be in the same complex, but will be in a different building – Building 2. Our new address will be:
130 La Casa Via
Building 2, Suite 210
Walnut Creek, CA 94598
We look forward to seeing you in our new space!

Covid-19 Update

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Dear patients,
East Bay Brain & Spine/BASS Neurosurgery is dedicated to providing outstanding neurosurgical care to our community and simultaneously upholding the highest public health standards. We continue to follow the novel coronavirus and associated COVID-19 illness situation very closely. We currently are providing office consultations and performing necessary procedures while adhering to national, state, and local guidelines.
Sincerely,
Max Merkow M.D. and Matt Piazza M.D.

Disc surgery leads to better improvement than non-operative treatment in recent New England Journal of Medicine study.

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Best management of sciatica (leg pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness) caused by a herniated disc in the lumbar spine is challenging. We spine surgeons incorporate several factors into our decision-making: severity and duration of symptoms as well as imaging findings just to name a few. At East Bay Brain & Spine/BASS Neurosurgery we aim to avoid surgery when a patient will likely improve with physical therapy and other “conservative” treatments. On the other hand, we perform surgery when discectomy will improve a patient’s pain, numbness/tingling, and strength outcome.

This recent study from the New England Journal of Medicine studies patients (a randomized trial) who have sciatica from a herniated disc and do not undergo surgery right away. When these patients do undergo discectomy surgery four to twelve months from when the leg symptoms began, their sciatica, back pain, and level of disability improve as compared to others who were assigned physical therapy, epidural steroids, or other non-surgical treatments. 

This study provides further evidence that surgery for persistent sciatica and herniated disc in the low back is better than non-operative treatment.

Covid-19 Update

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Dear patients,

The SARS-CoV-2 virus and associated COVID-19 illness are major public health threats both locally and globally. Your well-being is our highest priority, and thus East Bay Brain & Spine/BASS Neurosurgery is postponing all non-emergency surgeries and routine office visits. This temporary policy is in line with our values of caring for you as well as the American College of Surgeons recommendations. Limiting your exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus will protect you, your families, and our community. We will work diligently to perform your surgery and evaluate you in our office as soon as is medically safe.

If you develop new or quickly worsening neurologic symptoms please contact our office. If you cannot reach our office please present to an emergency room for evaluation.

We thank you for your understanding as we respond to these unusual circumstances.

Sincerely,
Max Merkow M.D. and Matt Piazza M.D.

Dr. Max B. Merkow lectures at the Cancer Support Community about laser treatment of brain tumors

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Dr. Merkow spoke the East Bay cancer community about the role of laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT) in the treatment of brain tumors. He discussed the common reasons to use LITT in lieu of more traditional surgical or non-surgical interventions. Dr. Merkow believes this cutting-edge tool is an important component in the neuro-oncology armamentarium to fight brain tumors. Dr. Merkow lectured with Drs. Gigi Chen and James Rembert who composed the remainder of the expert panel. Drs. Chen and Rembert discussed updates on medical oncology and radiation oncology, respectively.

VIDEO FEATURE: Dr. Max Merkow speaks about minimally invasive spine techniques

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Dr. Merkow addresses the philosophy behind modern spine procedures that are commonly classified as “minimally invasive.” The tenets of these surgeries include minimizing tissue injury, utilizing neuronavigation (computer/imaging guidance), and maintaining normal spine motion. Examples include tubular retractor systems, artificial disc replacement, and lateral approaches to the spine. These surgeries shorten traditional recovery times. Dr. Merkow believes, when used appropriately, minimally invasive spine surgery improves clinical outcomes by decreasing pain, increasing strength, and raising one’s overall quality of life. East Bay Brain & Spine surgeons couple the latest in surgical technology with sound clinical judgment to better the lives of their patients.