Treatment of the Brain, Spinal Cord and Nerves

Neurosurgeons at South Texas Health System McAllen specialize in the treatment of disorders of the brain, spinal cord and nerves, including:

  • Brain aneurysms
  • Chronic low back pain
  • Brain and spinal tumors
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Peripheral nerve disorders

Learn more about our Neurosciences Program for treatment of complex disorders of the brain, neck and spine.

Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Minimally invasive spine surgery is the performance of surgery through tiny incisions, usually with the aid of microscopes or endoscopic visualization (very small devices or cameras designed for viewing internal portions of the body). Minimally invasive spine surgery was developed to effectively treat disorders of the spinal discs with minimal muscle-related injury and enable rapid recovery.

These techniques offer several advantages including a few tiny scars instead of one large scar, minimal muscle-related injury, a shorter hospital stay, reduced post-operative pain, a shorter recovery period and the ability to return to work and daily activities much sooner.

Learn more about the advanced navigation and imaging system used by our neurosurgeons to help them maintain seamless visualization of the spine during surgery >

Individual results may vary. There are risks associated with any surgical procedure. Talk with your doctor about these risks to find out if minimally invasive surgery is right for you.

Brainlab Curve

Curve by Brainlab is "the ultimate command and control center" for information-guided neurosurgery. Using sophisticated ergonomics, touch terminals, digital DC, hi-fi and wi-fi, the Curve's advanced technology provides for better surgeon collaboration and likely improved patient outcomes.

Spinal Tumors

Spinal tumors may be cancerous (malignant) or noncancerous (benign). The treatment of benign tumors depends on patient symptoms such as pain or lack of mobility, and may be treated with a watch and wait approach, various medications, radiation or surgery. Malignant tumors can be treated with radiation and chemotherapy, and surgery can often be used in addition to these treatments to relieve pain, stabilize the spine and improve quality of life.

Spinal tumors that arise from the spine itself are divided into three categories, depending on where they originate in the spinal cord. Many spinal tumors are benign and cause problems largely because they interfere with nerve conduction or with the structure of the spine.

The spinal tumor categories are:

  • Extradural: schwannoma, metastatic cancer
  • Intradural-extramedullary: menigioma, schwannoma, neurofibroma, nerve root tumors
  • Intramedullary: astrocytoma, ependymoma, lipoma

Diseases of the Brain

A brain tumor is an abnormal growth of tissue in the brain that can originate in the brain or travel to the brain from another part of the body. They fall into two categories: benign (non-cancerous) and malignant (cancerous).

Benign tumors usually do not recur once they are removed and do not invade surrounding tissue. However they cause symptoms similar to cancerous tumors because of their size and location in the brain.

Malignant brain tumors contain cancer cells. They are usually fast growing and invade tissue, but they rarely spread to other areas of the body. Malignant tumors can recur after treatment. Sometimes, brain tumors are not cancerous, but they are called malignant because of their size and location. Also, they can damage vital functions of the brain.

Meet Our Neurosurgeons

Sohum Desai, MD


2121 Pease St., Suite 1D
Harlingen, TX 78550
Phone: 956-389-4060



Alejandro Betancourt, MD

Alejandro Betancourt

597 W. Sesame Dr., Suite D
Harlingen, TX 78550
Phone: 956-425-3706



Syed Hussain, MD

Syed Hussain

1910 E. Griffin Parkway
Mission, TX 78572
Phone: 956-519-3523


For more information, call us at 956-630-7788.