Dr Sarah Olson

Neurosurgeon


FRACS MPHIL MBChB


NB: For an appointment for Dr Olson, please phone her rooms on 3117 2766


Special Interests

Brain tumours

I currently perform approximately 70 brain tumour operations a year.  I chair the multidisciplinary brain tumour meeting at Princess Alexandra Hospital and we pride ourselves on excellent surgical outcomes.

I have a strong interest in developing minimally invasive brain surgery operations and perform several “keyhole” operations. I have spent some time working with computer navigation of the brain to ensure the least possible complications from surgery with the best resection.

I am a neurosurgical member for COGNO - the collaborative Australian research group for brain tumours meaning  my patients can be participate easily in promising brain tumour trials. 

It has been our opinion that with such vigilant dedicated treatment as we can provide through our multidisciplinary brain tumour meeting that patients are doing much better than they have ever done before.  The group includes neurosurgeons, medical oncologists, pathologists, radiation oncologists, palliative care physicians, clinical nurses, occupational therapists, neuropsychologists, social workers and scientists all dedicated to the well being of our patients.

Pituitary tumours

I am currently the surgical advisor for the Australian pituitary foundation and currently perform a large number of pituitary operations via a key hole approach each year. Together the ENT team, endocrinology team, radiologists, pathologists and radiation oncologists  all patients are discussed at the combined pituitary meeting each month.  This enables us to give each individual patient what we believe is the best care for them.

I was the cocordinator of the neurosurgery society of Australasias pituitary meeting in 2009 in Melbourne.

Movement disorders

Together  with neurologists and another neurosurgeon Dr Bruce Hall we perform deep brain stimulation for patients with parkinsons disease and other movement disorders.  This is a very rewarding subspecialty with patients often experiencing lifechanging results.

Trigeminal neuralgia

Trigeminal neuralgia is a terrible condition for some patients and as neurosurgeons we can help.  I have studied the 200 microvascular decompressions for trigeminal neuralgia done at Princess Alexandra Hospital and found that 90% had an excellent outcome and were able to come off medication.  70% were still pain free at 10 years.  In the last three years I have I believe vastly improved a computer navigation system to ensure excellent results which will be reported in the literature shortly.

Education

As the neurosurgical supervisor of training I am heavily involved in education of neurosurgery registrars and other personnel.  We have a very high percentage pass rate for the final exams which I hope partly is due to my weekly teaching at six am on Thursdays!
I believe that when our registrars (neurosurgeons in training) leave the hospital I work for they are a reflection of that hospital and their teaching.  I endeavour to make them very good and capable registrars.

Research

I completed my masters in 2005 which won several prizes.  I continue to be involved in research with 6 studies running currently.  I endeavour to help set up trials and funding for neurosurgery trainees who spend one year in research of their six year training

I am currently a reviewer for the editor of the Journal of Clinical Neuroscience.

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