Pediatric Neurosurgery | UC Davis Children's Hospital

Pediatric Neurosurgery

Advanced clinical care and surgical interventions

Our pediatric-trained neurosurgeons are experts in disorders and injuries of the brain, spinal cord and nervous system in children.

Conjoined twins who were separated.
Dr. Zweinenberg with family of Kyle

Pediatric neurosurgery

Our neurosurgery specialists at UC Davis Children’s Hospital are committed to setting the standard for the surgical treatment of infants and children with neurologic diseases.

Neurosurgical problems seen by pediatric neurosurgeons are often quite different from those commonly seen by adult or general neurosurgeons. Because pediatric neurosurgical problems often are present for life, children with nervous system problems frequently require close, ongoing follow-up from childhood—sometimes as early as the newborn period—through the teenage years. As a result, pediatric neurosurgeons have special, long-term relationships with their patients and their families.

Conditions we treat

In cooperation with pediatric experts across other specialties, our pediatric neurosurgeons provide advanced clinical care and surgical intervention for children suffering from diseases that affect the developing brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nervous system, including:

  • Problems and injuries of the brain, spine, or nerves
  • Gait abnormalities (spasticity)
  • Birth injuries (weakness of arms and legs)
  • Epilepsy and movement disorders
  • Brain and spinal cord tumors
  • Neurovascular disorders
  • Spina bifida
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Craniosynostosis
Our specialists
  • Pediatric neurosurgeon

    Marike Zwienenberg, M.D.

    Health Sciences Associate Clinical Professor

    Dr. Zwienenberg, a specialist in pediatric neurological surgery, is fellowship-trained and board certified by the American Board of Pediatric Neurosurgery. She is an expert in treating brain tumors, hydrocephalus, craniofacial disorders, epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, and spinal dysraphism (spinal cord abnormalities caused by malformation of the spinal column during fetal development). She is part of the fetal surgery team performing intra-uterine repair of myelomeningocele and routinely uses minimally invasive surgery (endoscopy) to treat disorders such as craniosynostosis and hydrocephalus.

    View full bio for Dr. Zwienenberg
  • Dr. Michael Edwards
    pediatric neurosurgeon

    Michael Edwards, M.D.

    Dr. Edwards specializes in treating pediatric neurosurgical disorders, including pediatric brain and spinal tumors, and managing congenital hydrocephalus. Widely recognized as the leading academic pediatric neurosurgeon in Northern California for the last three decades, he brings renowned surgical skills, unparalleled commitment to patient care, superb teaching, and regional outreach.

  • Yin Allison Liu, M.D., Ph.D.

    Assistant Professor, Department of Ophthalmology & Vision Science | Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology

    Dr. Liu is a neuro-ophthalmologist offering care to children with neurological conditions that affect vision. Her research focuses on using the eye as a window to the brain. By applying novel ophthalmic imaging technologies, Dr. Liu strives to establish biomarkers for disease activity monitoring and visual outcome prediction in several neuro-ophthalmic conditions, such as giant cell arteritis, brain tumors, and skull base conditions.

    View full bio for Dr. Yin Allison Liu
An important distinctionA level I Children’s Surgery Center
ACS badge

UC Davis Children’s Hospital was the first hospital on the West Coast, and only the fourth in the nation, to earn verification as a level I Children’s Surgery Center by the American College of Surgeons (ACS), the world standard bearer for surgical quality.

Level I centers have children’s surgeons in every discipline, with pediatric anesthesiologists and dedicated operating rooms for children available 24 hours a day.

A closer look at the surgery center