For over 28 years, Dr. Richard Hartwell has provided a broad range of neurosurgical services to the residents of Ocean and Monmouth Counties including microsurgery for spinal stenosis pain and radiculopathy, minimally invasive deep brain biopsy, non-invasive brain tumor surgery with stereotactic Cyberknife™ radiosurgery, surgery for traumatic brain injury, and intracranial programmable shunts for normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH) and gait disorders.
There are three misconceptions regarding neurosurgical care in our community.
Eligibility“A person is “too old” to undergo elective surgery.”
– Dr. Hartwell treats many elderly patients whose quality of life is limited by gait disorders and cognitive dysfunction. These symptoms are often incorrectly attributed to the “aging” process without first completing an evaluation for treatable conditions such as spinal stenosis or normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH). The early diagnosis and treatment of these disorders can give these patients a better quality of life and reduce their need for custodial care.
Referral“Patients with neurosurgical diseases must be referred to university centers.”
– Many patients who can be treated routinely in the Ocean County area are being referred to distant cities for neurosurgical care. This causes a travel hardship for the patient and their families while impairing post-operative coordination of care with their primary care physician. Ocean and Monmouth County residents who have been treated elsewhere often return to our area with postoperative complications and need for further treatment of their disease process that could have been managed at initial diagnosis right here in their home town. Certainly, if their condition cannot be managed in the Ocean County area, then a referral to another institution would be appropriate.
Hospitalization“Hospital inpatient care is always necessary.”
– Without compromising care, hospitalization can be avoided by using outpatient testing and treatment options for many neurosurgical conditions. An outpatient evaluation with Dr. Hartwell can begin the evaluation and treatment process for conditions such as chronic subdural hematomas, normal pressure hydrocephalus, brain tumors, spinal stenosis and radiculopathy.