The prospect of having brain or spinal surgery can be daunting, but patients of George DePhillips, MD, can be assured they will be as prepared and comfortable as possible and receive the best care the 25-year health care veteran can provide.
The neurosurgeon is joining the four-hospital Franciscan Alliance northern Indiana medical staff in March and at first, primarily will focus his duties at Franciscan St. Anthony Health-Crown Point and at its sister facility in Michigan City.
Dr. DePhillips assures his patients compassionate treatment and individual attention.
“The focus is patient care, with a goal of relieving symptoms and providing improved outcomes,” he said, adding, “I keep an open mind as to the best treatment options for each patient, listen to their concerns, review the options and then recommend what I think might be the best option. I try to provide them the right expectations.”
Improved technology during the years vastly has improved surgical procedures and patient outcomes, he said.
“We are seeing lower infection rates, shorter hospital stays, less lost work time and reduced post-operative pain,” Dr. DePhillips said, citing an example of how years ago, removal of a ruptured disc in the back necessitated a three-day hospital stay, while now, with minimally invasive procedures, patients often go home the same day.
Another advancement, stereotactic radiosurgery of the brain, improves outcomes by aiming radiotherapy beams squarely at the tumor area, providing a high dose of radiation to a small, precise location, while another minimally invasive technique, endovascular coiling, eliminates the need for a skull incision to treat brain aneurysms.
Dr. DePhillips estimates he has performed more than 2,000 spinal procedures and 200 to 300 involving the brain, with the latter number seeing reductions due to advances that often alleviate the need for surgery.
Many patients fear they won’t survive a procedure, but Dr. Phillips said that has not been the case in his experience (“my patients always wake up”).
“I am a good listener and approachable. I explain the condition, the procedure and the risks. Even if a patient has an undesired outcome, I will stick with them throughout the post-op process and do the best for them I can,” he added.
Dr. DePhillips is accepting new patients. For more information or to make an appointment, call (219) 769-8340.