Friday, March 8, 2019

If you’re told you need to see a neurosurgeon, your first thought is probably that you need brain surgery, but this isn’t Grey’s Anatomy and that’s not always the case with Norman Regional Health System’s neurosurgeons, Stephen J. Eichert, DO, and D. Clay Cochran, MD.

“We evaluate patients in our clinic—we get to know them, we get to know what’s important to them and we get to know about their illness and how it is related to them as a whole,” Dr. Eichert said. “Then based on that knowledge and a physical exam, we decide on a course of action to treat them. If you just treat the illness in isolation, people don’t get better because they’re more than just their illness, they’re a whole person.”

Neurosurgery is specifically a branch of medicine which focuses on diseases of the nervous system that can be potentially treated with surgery.

Dr. Eichert said that although as a neurosurgeon, he usually focuses on diseases that can be treated surgically, he looks at the whole person and decides what course of action is best for them, which is not always surgical.

“The vast majority of patients I see potentially have diseases that can be cured by surgery or they potentially can be treated with other things more easily than surgery, but what they really need is a direction for treatment from a professional,” he said.

Another misconception of neurosurgeons is that they just perform brain surgery, but Dr. Eichert said they do all types of surgeries on the spine, on the brain, and on the peripheral nervous system. Many of the things he treats are related to trauma, but some are for people who are stressed.

“It can be frightening to see a neurosurgeon, you want to know that they’re a real person too. I face many of the same issues that my patients do and I have to set priorities for my own life. I have a life outside of medicine and I have to find balance in that with my wife, my love for gardening and my bulldogs. I’m a well-rounded person and I’m interested in my patients as a whole,” Dr. Eichert said.

Norman Regional Neurosurgery Associates is located at 724 24th Ave. N.W., Suite 220 in Norman. They also have a satellite location at Norman Regional Moore, located at 700 S. Telephone Rd., Suite 200 in Moore. Call 405-307-3300 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Eichert or Dr. Cochran.