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Dr. McLaughlin was interviewed on Magic 98.3 during their feature broadcast series "Meet The Nurses from CentraState Medical Center". Here's the entire interview.
Host: My next guest here is Dr. Mark McLaughlin. Dr. McLaughlin how are you sir.
Dr. M; I'm doing great thank you thank you.
Host: Thank you for being here. We were just talking about your schedule today. You're on call. You're seeing patients and you have a conference at 7 o'clock this morning.
Dr. M: Yes a full day of patients
Host: And you seem like you're ready to go
Dr. M: I've been up for two hours and had a couple of cups of coffee so I'm ready to go
Host: So what is your specialty here?
Dr. M: I'm a I'm a neurosurgeon here at CentraState. I'm the director of Neurosurgery and I am also a physician at Princeton Brain and Spine Care.
Host: Now I don't know exactly how to get into this, because Dr. Mark has given me some terms which I've heard for the first time today; which is nice
Host: Tell us about trigeminal neuralgia.
Dr. M: Well that's one of the rare conditions that affects people with severe Facial Pain. Take a step back. So when you're a neurosurgeon, we do General Neurosurgery here at CentraState. We take care of brain and spine conditions.
Host: So you're a brain surgeon?
Dr. M: Yes I am.
Host: And I'm a rocket scientist. Nice to meet you. (Laughter)
Dr. M: So we take care of things like that and spine pain and she had sciatica and neck and arm pain. We also take care of cranial conditions like tumors and Trauma which causes subdural hematomas and fluid build up on the brain; something called normal pressure hydrocephalus
And I have a particular area of expertise in trigeminal neuralgia. So trigeminal neuralgia is severe excruciating facial pain that is caused by a blood vessel that pinches one of the nerves inside the head.
This causes referred pain on to the face. So there are a number of ways to treat it, and if it's refractory to medications, sometimes we need to do surgery, and the surgery moves that blood vessel away from the nerve.
Host: You make it sound so simple, but then again, I'm glad you do.
Host: What is Chiari malformation?
Dr. M: So that's another condition that causes headaches in patients so they get neck pain and headaches because the canal where the skull meets the spine is slightly narrowed, so that there's a little bit of pressure right at the base of your skull. It causes headaches and radiating pain in the back of people's heads. An MRI scan can diagnose it and there is a surgery to make more room in the back of the head.
Host: Wow! I just went to a chiropractor for that yesterday but you may be my next stop.
Dr. M: Happy to take a look at you. I mean you would certainly need an MRI scan. An MRI scan diagnoses it, and then for certain people with those kinds of symptoms, surgery can certainly be helpful.
Host: What about occipital neuralgia?
Dr. M: Well that's another pain condition that neurosurgeons take care of. I trained at the University of Pittsburgh under Dr. Peter Jannetta and that was one of his specialties. Occipitla Neuralgia is pain on one side of the back of the head. It's usually caused by a whiplash or an injury to the neck, and it's a pinched nerve that goes through the muscles in the back of the neck and we just have to release that nerve to relieve the pain.
Host: Well I should have come to you yesterday. You recently performed a new procedure here at CentraState called artificial disc replacement. What's that about?
Dr. M: When we take care of people with neck and arm pain the typical treatment is called a fusion. We remove the disc that's pinching the nerve and we put a device in to lock the spine in place. That's called a cervical discectomy and fusion.
But a newer procedure; a more restorative procedure; is now that we can remove the disc and take the pressure off of the nerve and we insert a device that is sort of like a ball socket or hinge. This then it allows the spine to move more freely and naturally as opposed to the traditional Fusion procedure.
So it gets the same results but it gets you more motion. It also allows a patient to get back their movement more quickly.
Host: Dr. Mark McLaughlin; neurosurgeon here at CentraState in Freehold. So this was the easiest thing you'll be doing today?
Dr. M: I don't know about that, 'll have to think about it.
Host: Thank you very much for stopping by and have a great day.
LastUpdate: 2016-08-21 16:20:07