Meet Dr. Amin Kassam

Meet Dr. Amin Kassam

A Leader in Innovation

As Vice President of Neurosciences at Aurora Health Care, Dr. Kassam is a board-certified, world-renowned neurosurgeon whose accomplishments have advanced the field of neurosurgery. He was the driving force behind the establishment of the Aurora Neuroscience Innovation Institute (ANII) in 2014, where he collaborates with an experienced team of scientists, engineers, clinicians and cell biologists. These neuroscience specialists work together to provide comprehensive clinical care and groundbreaking research for the next wave of neurological innovation.

Shaping Tomorrow’s Care

Dr. Kassam has been recognized globally as a top neurosurgeon and has contributed to profound advancements in skull base surgery and minimally invasive approaches. His neurosurgical breakthroughs have made medical history. 

Developing New Techniques

The innovations that have marked Dr. Kassam’s career as a neurosurgical specialist are helping to improve the quality of life for patients with brain cancer and other subcortical abnormalities. His most notable accomplishments include:

  • The Expanded Endonasal Approach (EEA): A minimally invasive technique used to treat deep-seated tumors and lesions at the base of the skull and under the brain. It’s also used to repair aneurysms in a major blood vessel in the neck.
  • The Transpalate Approach: Dr. Kassam used this modified version of EEA to successfully remove a large teratoma tumor from the skull base (the area of the head behind the nose and eyes) of a newborn baby.
  • The Minimally Invasive Approach: Dr. Kassam developed an innovative way to treat brain tumors that were once considered inoperable. 

Innovating Medical Firsts

Dr. Kassam has played a key role in making medical history with several surgical breakthroughs by means of the Expanded Endonasal Approach (EEA).

  • Repaired a vertebral artery aneurysm through the nose using EEA. (A vertebral artery is a major blood vessel in the neck, and an aneurysm is a weak spot in an artery wall that can cause the blood vessel to burst.)
  • Removed a large teratoma (type of tumor) from the skull base of a newborn baby using a transpalate approach (a modified version of EEA).
  • With surgeons in Argentina, reconstructed a skull base using EEA.
  • Removed an arteriovenous malformation (an abnormal connection between arteries and veins) through the nose.
  • Performed surgery to remove a patient’s second vertebra using the EEA approach.
  • Removed retrosellar lesions from the pituitary gland (located in the base of the brain) through the nose using EEA.

Dr. Kassam was the Neurosurgeon of record when these breakthroughs in minimally invasive brain surgery were discovered.

  • 1999: First pediatric EEA (12-year old child)
  • 2000: First EEA olfactory groove meningioma surgery
  • 2001: First endonasal infratemporal tumor surgery
  • 2001: First Neuroendoport surgery for ventricular tumor (colloid cyst)
  • 2002: EEA for the youngest patient ever (3-year-old child)
  • 2003: First Neuroendoport surgery for intraparenchymal tumor (in substance of the brain)
  • 2004: First endonasal odontoid resection
  • 2005: First endonasal aneurysm surgery
  • 2005: UPMC hosts 1st World Congress for Endoscopic Surgery of the Brain, Skull Base and Spine
  • 2008: 1000th endoscopic endonasal surgery at UPMC

Advancing Education

In addition to having written more than 300 peer-reviewed articles and two textbooks, Dr. Kassam speaks all over the world about neurological innovation – not just about what’s happening today, but also about what he envisions for the future. He encourages fellow doctors to think critically about the kind of care they give to each patient and to pay attention to the clinical and economic value of each new procedure.

Redefining Patient Care

At Aurora, Dr. Kassam has pioneered a patient care model that integrates multiple specialties for complex treatment plans – all while prioritizing the patient’s comfort and authority. Along with this model, he has partnered with several exceptional physicians. As a patient, you can feel comfortable knowing that all of the neurosurgical specialists on your team are equally qualified to provide the best care possible. Everyone on your team has the same goal, and that’s getting you well soon.

Groundbreaking Neurosurgery 

Minimally Invasive Approach 
Dr. Amin Kassam outlines his minimally invasive approach, which he helped pioneer in order to access subcortical tumors.
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Latest Innovations

Defining Tomorrow’s Standards of Care

At the Aurora Neuroscience Innovation Institute, Dr. Amin Kassam leads a multidisciplinary team dedicated to advancing the field of neuroscience with groundbreaking research and advanced procedures.

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