Neuroscience Institute

Overview

Spine, Cranial, and Endovascular Surgery

At Montclair Neuroscience Institute, our multidisciplinary team provides exemplary and comprehensive medical care for a myriad of spine and brain related conditions. Our doctors and staff are trained to address your unique needs. Our goal is to educate and involve our patients in their treatments by communicating in clear, understandable language and get you involved in your own recovery.

Our fellowship-trained, board-certified physicians with sub-specialties in spine and brain (open and endovascular) are experienced and skilled in the full scope surgery including minimally invasive, simple, complex and revision procedures.

Our physicians specialize in:

  • Minimally invasive spine surgery
  • Endoscopic spinal surgery
  • Microdiscectomy surgery
  • Kyphoplasty/Vertebroplasty procedures
  • Laminectomy surgery
  • Spine fusion surgery
  • Spine deformity/scoliosis correction surgery
  • Vertebral and spinal cord tumor surgery
  • Spinal vascular lesion surgery
  • Complex revision spine surgery
  • Complex spinal reconstruction surgery
  • Neurostimulator placement and revision
  • Stroke
  • Cerebral aneurysms
  • Skull base tumor surgery
  • Cerebrovascular surgery
  • Endovascular surgery
  • Arachnoid cysts surgery
  • Arteriovenous malformation (AVM)
  • Encephalocele (cerebral spinal fluid leak)
  • Facial nerve disorders
  • Meningioma surgery
  • Trigeminal neuralgia surgery
  • Vascular decompression surgery
  • Vascular malformations surgery
  • Chiari Malformation surgery
  • Brain and Spine Trauma

Mountainside Medical Center is a Primary Stroke Center

Clinical Trials

Our physicians participate in nationally recognized clinical trials to improve cervical and lumbar spine care, as well as acute stroke interventions, while combining medical advances with optimal patient care.

Please call our office at (973) 429-6770 to schedule an appointment.

The Montclair Neuroscience Institute is located at 1 Bay Avenue Montclair, New Jersey, in the Harries Pavilion, 2nd Floor, Suite 5.

Stroke Care

Advanced Stroke Program at Hackensack Meridian Health Mountainside Medical Center

Meet our Skilled Stroke Team

Ahsan Sattar, MD

Director of Neuroendovascular Surgery

Kelsey Vander Werff, PhD, MS, ATC

Director of Neurosciences

Melissa Santoro, RN, BSN, NVRN-BC

Stroke Coordinator

What is a Stroke?

A stroke is a decrease in blood supply to the brain, affecting the oxygen and nutrients delivered to the tissues. As a result, the brain cannot get the blood and oxygen it requires and affected territories of the brain die.

Stroke Signs & Symptoms

Strokes have abrupt and alarming symptoms. Even if any of these last only a few moments and disappear, they may be signs of a serious condition that requires medical care:

  • Numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion or trouble speaking or understanding speech
  • Sudden vision difficulty in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness or loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause

Types of Strokes

  • Ischemic Strokes, about 87% of all strokes, occur when a clot or mass, often a fatty plaque deposit, clogs a blood vessel cutting off the blood flow to brain cells.
  • Hemorrhagic Strokes result when a weakened vessel ruptures and bleeds into the surrounding brain tissue. The blood accumulates and forms a bruise within the brain tissue, compressing brain cells and causing them to die.
  • Transient Ischemic Attacks (TIAs), often called “mini strokes,” produce stroke-like symptoms. A TIA is caused by a clot but unlike a stroke, the blockage is temporary and usually causes no permanent damage to the brain. TIA's are medical emergencies that require immediate treatment and are commonly a warning sign of a stroke. Individuals who suffer from a TIA are 10 times more likely to experience a stroke.

Prevention is the Best Medicine

Approximately 80% of stroke are preventable, small lifestyle changes may reduce your stroke risk. High blood pressure is the leading cause of stroke and the most important controllable risk factor.

  • High blood pressure
  • Diet and Exercise
  • Cigarette Smoking
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes

Mountainside Medical Center’s Stroke Program is Good as Gold

Did you know Mountainside Medical Center is a recipient of the 2019 "Stroke Gold Plus" Performance Achievement Award from "Get with the Guidelines" the highest level of distinction?

Stroke Honor Roll Graphic
Joint Commission Gold Seal Graphic

The Joint Commission

Meets standards for

Primary Stroke Center

Stroke Certification

Mountainside Medical Center has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's Get With The Guidelines® Gold Plus and Target: Stroke℠ Honor Roll Quality Achievement Awards. The Gold Plus Award recognizes the hospital's commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

Montclair Spine Center

Neck and Back Pain at Hackensack Meridian Health Mountainside Medical Center

About the Spine

The human spine is comprised of 7 cervical (neck) bones (called vertebrae), 12 thoracic (mid back) vertebrae, 5 lumbar (low back) vertebrae, and 1 fused sacrum. Together the spine provides protection around the spinal cord, while also allowing us to stand upright, bend, twist, and absorb shock.

Do you suffer from neck or back pain?

  • Have you had pain for more than three months?
  • Has your pain affected your ability to work, caused a disability or interfered with your independence?
  • Have you experienced a fall, motor vehicle accident, or injury that has deteriorated your quality of life or hampered your mobility or ability to perform daily activities?
  • Have you failed conservative treatments such as physical therapy, chiropractic care, and steroid injections?
  • Does your pain or symptoms radiate into your arms or legs?
  • Are you experiencing any weakness in the arms or legs? Difficulty walking or performing daily tasks?

If you are suffering from neck or back pain after a light game of tennis, pain after prolonged walking, standing, or sitting, we can relive your suffering and help you live your life to the fullest.

Siemens Biplane Endovascular Suite Image

Prevention:

  • Once the severity of pain has decreased with rest, ice, and NSAIDS, a rehabilitation program to strengthen your abdominal and back muscles can help prevent recurrences.
  • Posture! The goal is neutral spine, not slumped or over-arched.
  • Proper body mechanics, especially when lifting (use your legs).

At The Montclair Neuroscience Institute, our multidisciplinary team provides exemplary and comprehensive medical care for a myriad of spine related conditions. Our doctors and staff are trained to address your unique needs. Our goal is to educate and involve our patients in their treatments by communicating in clear, understandable language and get you involved in your own recovery.

Many times surgery is not the immediate answer, our providers work closely with our Comprehensive Pain Management Center, offering comprehensive strategies relative to pain control including; physical therapy, chiropractic care, steroid injections, non-opioid medications, and other alternative to fit your individual needs.

Our fellowship-trained, board-certified surgeons with sub-specialties in spine are experienced and skilled in the full scope surgery including minimally invasive, simple, complex, and revision procedures.

Our physicians specialize in treating:

  • Spinal stenosis
  • Herniated/bulging discs
  • Spinal instability
  • Spinal deformity
  • Chiari malformation
  • Spinal cord tumors

Montclair Neuroscience Institute Procedures:

  • Minimally invasive spine surgery
  • Endoscopic spinal surgery
  • Microdiscectomy surgery
  • Kyphoplasty/Vertebroplasty procedures
  • Laminectomy surgery
  • Spine fusion surgery
  • Spine deformity/scoliosis correction surgery
  • Vertebral and spinal cord tumor surgery
  • Spinal vascular lesion surgery
  • Complex revision spine surgery
  • Complex spinal reconstruction surgery
  • Neurostimulator placement and revision
  • Arachnoid cysts surgery
  • Arteriovenous malformation (AVM)
  • Encephalocele (cerebral spinal fluid leak)
  • Chiari Malformation surgery
  • Spine Trauma

Post-Operative Care

Our Intensive Care Unit and Medical Surgical floor provide 24/7 round the clock specialized care for our patients to maximize each patient’s chance for a full recovery. Additionally, our physicians, nurses, and house staff receive specialized training for our neurosurgery and orthopedic spine surgery patients and are experienced in caring for our post-operative spine patients.

Post-Operative Rehabilitation

After spine surgery, we provide follow-up care based upon individual patient needs, including restrictions with cervical collars and spine bracing. If rehabilitation therapy is required, our skilled physical, occupational, and speech therapists can provide meaningful, personalized assistance.

Research Clinical Trials

Our physicians participate in nationally recognized clinical trials to improve cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine care, while combining medical advances with optimal patient care.

Location and Hours of Service

Please call our office at (973) 429-6770 to schedule an appointment The Montclair Neuroscience Institute is located in Suite 5 on the second floor of the Harries Pavilion at 1 Bay Avenue Montclair, New Jersey.

Where do I park?

Free parking is provided for appointment, tests, and procedure patients in the parking lot conveniently located across the street from the Harries Pavilion entrance on Highland Avenue. Patient will receive a free parking token from our staff upon return of their visitor badge. Complimentary Valet parking is also available, if preferred.

Emergency Department

The entrance to the Mountainside Emergency Department is located on Walnut Crescent across from the main parking deck. Patient care is provided to our patients 24 hours a day, seven days per week. At Mountainside Medical Center, one of our Neurosurgeons is on call 24/7/365 for acute and urgent matters.

Location

Mountainside Medical Center’s Primary Stroke Center

Specialized 24/7 Emergency Care

Our Primary Stroke Center offers 24/7/365 skilled stroke care by our expert team of Stroke Neurologists, Interventional Neurologists, Endovascular Neurosurgeons, Cerebrovascular Neurosurgeons, and Neurointensivists. Mountainside offers t-PA (tissue plasminogen activator), the FDA-approved clot-dissolving drug therapy for stroke. Our physicians are experienced in performing Acute Stroke Thrombectomy procedures, a technique used to remove the clot from the blocked artery in the brain, as well as a myriad of other specialized stroke procedures. The addition of our brand new state of the art Siemens Biplane Endovascular Suite enables our physicians to perform minimally invasive and cutting edge treatments to our patients. Our Intensive Care Unit provides 24/7 round the clock specialized care for our critically ill patients to maximize each patient’s chance for a full recovery.

Post-Stroke Care & Rehabilitation

In the aftermath of stroke, we provide skilled follow-up care based upon individual patient needs. If rehabilitation therapy is required, our skilled physical, occupational, and speech therapists can provide meaningful, personalized assistance.

Location and Hours of Service

The entrance to the Mountainside Emergency Department is located on Walnut Crescent across from the main parking deck. Patient care is provided to our patients 24 hours a day, seven days per week.

Time is BRAIN when symtoms of a stroke occur.

Rapid and innovative treatment can save lives reducing the incidence of long term disability.

Neuroscience Institute Location Graphic

To schedule an outpatient stroke appointment, please call 973-429-6770.

Meet Our Doctors

Robert F. Heary Profile Image

Robert F. Heary, M.D., Chief Division of Neurosurgery

Dr. Heary earned his medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and completed a residency in Neurological Surgery at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Following his residency, Dr. Heary completed a spine fellowship at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Board certified in Neurological Surgery, Dr. Heary specializes in revision spine surgery, spine and spinal cord injury, spine and spinal cord tumors, and spinal deformity.

Dr. Robert Heary is currently the Vice President of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS). He also serves on several other nationally recognized boards and committees; Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS), Cervical Spine Research Society (CSRS), Lumbar Spine Research Society (LSRS), and Neurosurgical Society of America. He has authored 135 peer-reviewed journal articles, 100 abstracts, and 60 book chapters and has been on the faculty of over 300 instructional courses at national neurosurgery meetings.

Ahsan Sattar Profile Image

Ahsan Sattar, M.D., Director of Neuroendovascular Surgery & Vascular Neurology

Dr. Sattar earned his medical degree from the Aga Khan University of Karachi, Pakistan in 2007, and his residency training in Neurology at the University of Wisconsin in 2013. He completed his fellowship training at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Vascular Neurology and Endovascular Surgical Neuroradiology. Dr. Sattar is board certified in both Vascular Neurology and Neurology.

Dr. Sattar is an Endovascular Interventional Neurologist specializing in cerebrovascular disease treatment and prevention. He specializes in neuro-interventional procedures such as acute stroke thrombectomy, cerebral aneurysm coiling and embolizations, arteriovenous malformation and intracranial tumor embolizations, extracranial and intracranial angioplasty and stenting. Dr. Sattar has authored over 15 peer-reviewed journal articles, 20 abstracts, and presented at dozens of regional and national Neurointerventional meetings. He is an active members of several national societies such as the Society of Vascular Interventional Neurology (SVIN) and the Society of Neurointerventional Surgery (SNIS).

Mark Drzala Profile Image

Mark Drzala, M.D.

Dr. Drzala received his medical degree and completed his residency at the University of Medicine and Dentistry (UMDNJ). Dr. Drzala also completed a fellowship in spine surgery at Sutter Maternity and Surgery Center. Certified by the American Board of Orthopedic surgery, Dr. Drzala specializes in osteoarthritis, spinal fractures, spinal stenosis and vertebroplasty. He has received the "Top Doctor" award from New Jersey Monthly Magazine for over 10 consecutive years.

Heidi Hullinger Profile Image

Heidi Hullinger, M.D.

Dr. Hullinger received her medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine, completed her residency at the University of Medicine and Dentistry (UMDNJ), and completed a fellowship in orthopedic spine surgery at the University of Texas at Houston. Certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery, Dr. Hullinger specializes in orthopedic surgery and orthopedic spine/spinal reconstructive surgery.

Reza Karimi Profile Image

Reza Karimi, MD

Dr. Karimi earned his medical degree at UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School, and his residency training in Neurological Surgery at New Jersey Medical School-University Hospital, Hackensack University Medical Center and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. Dr. Karimi completed advanced fellowship training in both microvascular neurosurgery and endovascular neurosurgery at North Shore University Hospital in New York.

Board certified in Neurological Surgery, Dr. Karimi specializes in both microvascular neurosurgery and endovascular neurosurgery. He is a senior member of the Society of Neurointerventional Surgery (SNIS) and an active member of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS). Dr. Karimi has published a myriad of clinical research in the fields of cerebrovascular neurosurgery, neurocritical care, neurosurgical anatomy, flow dynamics of intracranial aneurysms and biomechanics of the spine.

Henry Moyle Profile Image

Henry Moyle, M.D., Ph.D

Dr. Moyle received his medical degree from the University of California, Los Angeles David Geffen School of Medicine, and completed his residency at UCLA in Neurosurgery. He also obtained his Ph.D. at the University of Southern California prior to his medical training. Dr. Moyle completed his fellowship training in Endovascular Neurosurgery at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine where he practiced and instructed residents for five years. Dr. Moyle is a board certified general neurosurgeon with 15 years of post-residency experience in all disorders of the brain and spine.

Dr. Moyle’s practice includes most aspects of general neurosurgery, including brain and spinal trauma, degenerative disease and tumors. His practice utilizes the most current technologies, including minimally invasive approaches to the spine. Over the last five years, his emphasis has been in the treatment of neurovascular disease using minimally invasive endovascular techniques. This includes brain and spinal arteriovenous malformations, aneurysms, carotid stenosis and intervention for acute stroke.

Giorgio J. Rotoli Profile Image

Giorgio J. Rotoli, D.O.

Dr. Rotoli received his medical degree from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, and completed his residency in neurosurgical surgery at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, New Jersey. He completed a Neurosurgical Oncology fellowship at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, one of the top 10 Cancer Centers in the country.

Dr. Rotoli is a board certified neurosurgeon specializing in the surgical and radiosurgical treatment of brain and spine tumors, as well as the full spectrum of adult neurosurgery. He is uniquely certified in both Cyber Knife and Gamma Knife therapy for the treatment of neurologic malignancies. Dr. Rotoli has been published in multiple peer-reviewed journal articles, received the Excellence in Research Award, and has presented his work at the American Association of Neurosurgeons Annual Meeting. Dr. Rotoli is an active member of the American Association of Neurosurgeons, Congress of Neurological Surgeons, and the Walter Dandy Society.

Daniel Walzman Profile Image

Daniel Walzman, M.D.

Dr. Walzman completed his medical degree at Rutgers University/Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and his residency in neurosurgical surgery at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. He completed an additional two years of subspecialized training in endovascular neurosurgery and interventional neuroradiology. Board certified in neurological surgery, Dr. Walzman specializes in cerebrovascular disorders, dedicated to the advancement of endovascular neurosurgery.

Dr. Walzman was a pioneer for clot retrieval devices for the treatment of ischemic strokes, and minimally invasive embolization procedures for the treatment of intracranial aneurysms and AVM's. Dr. Walzman is a principal investigator for multiple clinical trials involving the treatment of strokes and aneurysms. He is an active member of the American Association of Neurological surgeons, Congress of Neurological Surgeons, New Jersey Medical Society, New Jersey Neurosurgical Society, New Jersey Spine Society and the Bergen County Medical society.

Jonathan Yun Profile Image

Jonathan Yun, M.D.

Dr. Yun received his undergraduate degree in Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience from The Johns Hopkins University, and completed his Doctorate of Medicine at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. He completed his residency and fellowship in Neurological Surgery at The Neurological Institute of New York at Columbia University Medical Center/New York-Presbyterian Hospital.

Dr. Yun specializes in open and minimally invasive approaches to spine pathologies, ranging from minimally invasive decompressive procedures to instrumented spinal fusions and deformity correction. He also specializes in stereotactic surgery and radiosurgery of the brain and associated structures. Dr. Yun has authored over 20 neurosurgical publications and has given 13 presentations at national neurosurgical conferences. He is continuously driven by advances in neurosurgery that allow him to treat diseases with less surgery or none at all.