Leslie Munzer Neurological Institute

Hi all, Dr. Ramin Rak here with another blog post about neurosurgery.

Some of my past blog posts have focused on complex neurosurgical techniques that I use, but I do not spend all of my time in the operating room. Part of my success can be attributed to the education along the way, from my eight years of undergraduate and medical schooling at the Free University of Brussels to the countless residencies I completed in hospitals throughout the United States. For this reason, I make it a priority to give back to the medical community by educating them on the techniques that I use. One way that I do so is by keeping up this blog, but I also present lectures at medical seminars across the country.

Back in 2009 I was asked by the Leslie Munzer Neurological Institute (LMNI) to speak at a comprehensive educational seminar on Brain Tumor and Stroke Awareness.

This two hour seminar took place at the Jefferson’s Ferry Lifetime Retirement Community’s Community Center in New York, and lecture topics included, “Stroke- Treatment, Recovery, and Prevention,” “Current Treatments of Brain Tumors,” “A Stroke Overview,” and “New Chemotherapy Options for the Treatment of Brain Tumors.” My lecture was titled “Advancements in Brain Tumor Surgeries” and I discussed advanced microneurosurgical techniques like awake craniotomies, the Gamma Knife procedure, and the CyberKnife system.

The Leslie Munzer Neurological Institute was formed in 2006 by Neurological Surgery, P.C. and at the time was called The Long Island Neurological Institute, Inc.

This organization coordinated funds for research related to the brain and spinal cord while supplying information to patients and the medical community about neurological ailments.

The organization changed its name in 2008 in memory of Leslie Munzer, who passed away in 2004 from a ruptured arteriovenous malformation (AVM).

Shortly after her passing, the Munzer family had formed a charity in her name to raise funds for AVM research and awareness, and in 2008 donated the collected funds to The Long Island Neurological Institute, Inc.

You can learn more about my efforts to educate the neurosurgical community with The Leslie Munzer Neurological Institute and with other organizations by viewing my other blog posts.

Thank you for reading,

Dr. Ramin Rak

Ramin Rak at May 2009 Seminar

Dr. Ramin Rak (second from the right) and the other speakers asked to present a lecture for the May 2009 Leslie Munzer Neurological Institute (LMNI) seminar.

CyberKnife System

Hi all, Dr. Ramin Rak here with another blog post about an advanced method that I use to complete neurosurgery.

I am one of a select few neurosurgeons who have been certified in the use of the CyberKnife System.

The CyberKnife Robotic Radiosurgery System is a treatment for cancerous and non-cancerous tumors located anywhere in the body.

This treatment shoots rays of radiation at the tumor to offer an alternative to invasive surgery. This procedure is the first and only robotic radiosurgery system that is designed to treat tumors without any cutting. It is also preferred by patients because the treatment offers a pain-free, surgery-free method of addressing inoperable or surgically complex tumors.

CyberKnife SystemI complete the CyberKnife procedure by first imaging the patient’s brain and surrounding area using a high-resolution CT scan.

This map of the patient’s head allows me to determine the size, shape, and location of the tumor. This image is then brought into the CyberKnife workstation so that I can begin to plan the treatment. In formulating a plan, I will determine the desired radiation level for the location of the tumor while ensuring that no radiation reaches the surrounding area. Once the treatment plan has been formulated, it is time to prep the patient for surgery.

Once the patient arrives to my facility, he or she will be placed onto the treatment table so that the CyberKnife can be positioned.

The CyberKnife is computer controlled, so the robot will move around the patient’s head to each of the locations where it will deliver radiation. The robot’s image guidance system allows the machine to track and continually adjust treatment while enabling the patient to breathe normally. The length of the session, as well as the number of required sessions, will differ on a case-by-case basis.

Thanks for reading, and let me know if you have any questions about the CyberKnife system.

Dr. Ramin Rak


Hi all, Ramin Rak here again with another blog post.

I am a neurological surgeon affiliated with Neurological Surgery, P.C. in New York. I specialize in using microneurosurgical techniques for the treatment of brain tumors and complex spine diseases. I also perform skull-based surgery and awake craniotomies.

Recently at Huntington Hospital, which is part of the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Hospital System, I had a chance to combine neuronavigation and microsurgery to treat a patient named Roger Sencer.

While out driving, Roger suddenly forgot where he was, who he was, and even forgot recent events in his life. He was brought to Huntington Hospital where he was diagnosed with a large tumor resting on the brain: a condition called meningioma.

The next day I met with Roger and we bonded quickly over our interest in spiritual matters.

The surgery took nearly 12 hours but luckily at the end of surgery I was confident that he had been cured. Roger’s wife explains the wait below in this excerpt from an article from Huntington Hospital’s website:

Jane, on the other hand, remembers every detail – the nearly 12 hours in the surgical waiting room surrounded by friends and loved ones, being impressed by the technology in place throughout the hospital, the compassion of the entire hospital staff, and most importantly, the serene look on Dr. Ramin Rak’s face when he finally emerged from the operating room and said, “This is one of those times when I can confidently say the patient is cured.” Their entire contingency of family and friends erupted in applause.

The surgery took so long because Roger’s tumor was at the base of the skull surrounded by essential neurovascular structures.

Using pre-operative navigation planning the day before the surgery, I was able to create a three-dimensional map of his head. This allowed me to avoid injury to blood vessels and preserve the olfactory nerve during surgery.

Fortunately, neuronavigation was possible thanks to this map and my neurosurgical techniques.

Three months later Roger returned to work.

In the future I will speak more about some of the intricate surgeries I have performed.

Thank you for reading,

Ramin Rak

Ramin Rak Neuronavigation

Brain Tumor Walk and Neurological Surgery, P.C.


My name is Dr. Ramin Rak and this is my first blog post. I am a Neurological Surgeon and I work for Neurological Surgery, P.C., which is the largest neurosurgical group in New York. I am also the Chief of Neurosurgery in the Neurological Surgery, P.C. office located in Rockville Centre, New York.

I am writing this blog post because some of my colleagues at the Long Island Brain Tumor Center (part of Neurological Surgery, P.C.) are sponsoring the second annual “Run for Rob” walk this Sunday, October 28th.

This annual fundraiser was created to honor the memory of Dr. Robert Bernstein, an obstetrician and gynecologist. At the time I wrote this blog, “Run for Rob” had already raised over $50,000 to fund research for brain cancer. The walk will take place at Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale, New York, with registration beginning at 9 AM. It is not too late to make a donation; simply head to the “Run for Rob” website to make a general donation or to donate to a specific team.

“Run for Rob” is organized by Voices Against Brain Cancer!

This organization was established in loving memory of Gary Lichtenstein, a 24-year old options trader at Wolverine Trading who lost his battle with brain cancer on October 1st of 2003. Gary’s family started “Voices Against Brain Cancer” to advance scientific research, increase awareness in the medical community, and to support patients and family members affected by this terrible disease. Funds raised by Voices Against Brain Cancer pay for research at Universities such as:

  • Columbia
  • Cornell
  • Duke
  • Harvard
  • John Hopkins
  • MD Anderson
  • Memorial Sloan Kettering
  • Yale

Voices Against Brain Cancer also sponsors a number of support groups including the New York Non-Malignant Brain Tumor Support Group, and support groups for family members and caregivers of brain cancer patients.

If you are able to donate to “Run for Rob,” your donation will help fund research that will uncover new methods of treating brain tumors.

Thank you for time, and be sure to stop by again to learn more about my work with Neurological Surgery, P.C.

Dr. Ramin Rak

Ramin Rak Brain Tumor Walk