Physician Profile - Dr. Steven Will
Born in New Orleans and raised in Alabama, Dr. Will is a graduate of Williams College who recently found his way back to the Berkshires to practice neurosurgery at Berkshire Medical Center. While he treats conditions of both the brain and spine, he is especially intrigued by the spine and the potential for treatment that can dramatically ease pain for patients and improve their quality of life.
“There are great rewards in spinal surgery for patients with some condition,” he said. “It provides the opportunity to get back to the life they want and enjoyed in the past.”
Yet, everyone’s needs and goals are different, which is why Dr. Will listens closely to his patients, and almost always recommends non-surgical procedures as a first step in treatment whenever possible.
“By nature, I’m a fairly conservative surgeon. Not every condition is best resolved with surgery,” he said. “There are other modalities such as injections that can dramatically ease pain for chronic conditions. If those solutions do not provide a quality of life that is satisfactory, we then select the right surgical option. It’s very important to treat patients, and not just the image of their condition on a film.”
He noted that neurosurgical technology has advanced to the point where patients with certain conditions such as herniated discs are good candidates for minimally-invasive procedures which result in smaller incisions, less tissue dissection and less blood loss.
At BMC, the neurosurgical team uses the BrainLab image guidance navigation system which allows placement of surgical instruments and hardware in the brain and spine with pinpoint precision. This remarkable technology enables the surgeon to reach his targets with better than 1 mm of accuracy.
“The neurosurgical equipment in the OR is right up there with the some of the best hospitals,” Dr. Will noted. “In addition, the different services such as neurology, rehab, and pain management, all work together with neurosurgery to provide integrated care for the patient. We have a great system here at BMC.”
Dr. Will is board certified in Neurological Surgery and completed fellowship training in Spinal Neurosurgery at The Cleveland Clinic. He received his medical degree from Cornell University in New York and completed his residency in neurosurgery at New York Presbyterian Hospital-Cornell Medical Center. He earned his undergraduate degree from Williams College.
Prior to joining BMC, Dr. Will served at South Shore Hospital in Weymouth and also provided neurosurgical coverage to fill community needs at many other medical centers, including BMC.
He specializes in spinal surgery, from simple decompression to complex instrumented fusion; intracranial surgery for tumors, trauma and ventricular-peritoneal shunts, as well as peripheral nerve decompressive surgery.
He is an avid nature photographer, who has captured striking wildlife images on trips to Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania, and national parks throughout the United States. He and his wife live in Lenox.