Neurosurgeon Mina Foroohar, MD, Leads Chicago-Area Northwest Community Hospital in Minimally Invasive Neck Disc Surgery

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Board-certified neurosurgeon Mina Foroohar, MD, performs more than triple the number of neck disc surgery procedures than the combined total performed by all other spine surgeons at Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Most of Dr. Foroohar’s patients go home the day after minimally invasive anterior cervical discectomy surgery.

Mina Foroohar, MD, FACS

Mina Foroohar, MD, FACS

Neurosurgeons offer precise microsurgical techniques. When we do neck surgery, we treat the spine like the brain.

Mina Foroohar, MD, FACS, a Chicago-area board-certified neurosurgeon, does more than three times more anterior cervical discectomy with fusion surgery procedures than the combined total performed by all other spine surgeons at Northwest Community Hospital. Research shows that surgeons who perform a given procedure more often tend to have fewer complications and better patient outcomes.

“Most people think of brain surgery when they think of neurosurgeons,” says Dr. Foroohar, whose private practice, Northwest Neurosurgery Institute, LLC, is in Arlington Heights, Illinois, 25 miles northwest of Chicago. “But neurosurgeons also perform surgery on the spine, including the neck and back.

“Neurosurgeons offer precise microsurgical techniques,” Dr. Foroohar explains. “When we do neck surgery, we treat the spine like the brain. Neurosurgeons are very meticulous and pay special attention to freeing the nerve and spinal cord, making sure the nerve and spinal cord are fully visualized.”

Dr. Foroohar has incorporated the North American Spine Society’s new clinical guidelines for cervical radiculopathy, or pinched neck nerves, into her neurosurgery practice.

“Anterior cervical discectomy with fusion, or ACDF, is a minimally invasive procedure to relieve the pain of herniated discs and spinal stenosis in the neck,” she explains. “I use a bone graft, or sometimes a cage, in the inner space where the disc was removed. And I use a small titanium plate to help stabilize the cervical spine.

“ACDF is done through a very small incision in the front of the neck,” says Dr. Foroohar. “During healing, the bone graft knits together with the spinal vertebrae above and below it to form a new bone mass known as a fusion.”

Last October, Susan Sambor, a 58-year-old Chicago-area human resources director, had ACDF surgery to relieve her recurring neck and shoulder pain.

“My internist referred me to Dr. Foroohar when an MRI showed I had degenerative disc disease and spinal stenosis,” she recalls. Sambor took her time and tried physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medications for a year and a half before deciding to have surgery.

“Susan had cervical spondylosis, which is degeneration of the joints in the neck,” Dr. Foroohar explains. “She also had herniated discs and spinal stenosis—a narrowing of the spinal canal—in two levels of her upper spine.

“My goal with surgery is to free the nerve and the part of the spinal cord that is being pinched,” she adds. “If the patient has a herniated disc and during surgery we find a compression from bony narrowing, as in Susan’s case, I will address that to keep the spinal structures from pinching the nerve.”

Sambor had surgery on a Monday morning. “I was the first patient at 7:30,” she recalls. “Next thing I knew, I was waking up. It was about 1:00 in the afternoon.

“I never had any pain,” she recalls. “I never got sick once. I stayed overnight in the hospital. Dr. Foroohar came to see me about 7:00 a.m. the next day. I was released by about 7:30.
“I looked at my incision today—it’s not even an inch,” says Sambor. “Typically, I think the bones fuse in six months after surgery. Mine fused in five. I feel great!”

For more information on anterior cervical discectomy with fusion, visit

Northwest Neurosurgery Institute, LLC, is a private neurosurgery practice founded by Mina Foroohar, MD, FACS, in 2006. Dr. Foroohar, who has been in practice since 2001, is board-certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery and is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons. For more information, call Northwest Neurosurgery Institute at 847.398.9100 or visit


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