Women's and Children's Hospital, Adelaide


The Neurosurgery Department is the major provider of paediatric neurosurgery services within South Australia.  Our patients are 0-17 years of age and may live in South Australia, Northern Territory, Western New South Wales and Western Victoria.

We look after children with neurological conditions they were born with or later acquired including:

  • Hydrocephalus
  • Head injury
  • Tumours of the Central Nervous System
  • Vascular disorders (arteriovenous malformations (AVM), aneurysms, cavernomas, Moya Moya disease, Vein of Galen malformations)
  • Spinal dysraphism
  • Chiari Malformation
  • Intracranial haemorrhage
  • Craniofacial deformities

Neurosurgical procedures include:

  • Ventricular shunt insertion/revision
  • Craniotomy
  • Brain and spinal tumour resection
  • Craniocervical decompression
  • Untethering of spinal cord
  • Endoscopic Third Ventriculostomy
  • Skull base surgery
  • Epilepsy surgery
  • Vagal Nerve Stimulator insertion
  • Arteriovenous malformation treatment: surgery, endovascular and radiosurgery
  • Treatment of aneurysms (surgical and endovascular treatment)
  • Cerebral revascularisation for Moya Moya disease
  • Treatment of Vein of Galen malformation
  • Trauma surgery
  • Peripheral nerve surgery
  • Combined craniofacial and neurosurgical procedures
  • Intrathecal baclofen insertion

How to access the service

For emergency assistance, your child should be brought to the Hospital's WCH page link iconEmergency Department for assessment. If necessary a referral will be made to the Neurosurgical team. In rural or remote areas, it may be wise to be seen by your local doctor or local emergency department first. Your doctor will consult with the Neurosurgical team for advice or to arrange for your child to be brought to the WCH.

Information for Health Professionals

For urgent referrals contact Neurosurgery Medical Officer via WCH switchboard (08) 8161 7000. 

Outpatient appointments to Neurosurgery require WCH page link iconreferral letter. Clearly mark for referral to Neurosurgery Outpatient’s Department and fax to: (08) 8161 6246

PDF iconPaediatric Ventricular Shunt Alert factsheet (106kb)

Please indicate if an interpreter is needed.

Appointment details will be forwarded on receipt of the referral.

Information for Families

Each child is clinically assessed and appropriate investigations (such as CT and MRI scans) will be arranged if required. A plan is then discussed with you and your child to best manage their particular problem.

Shunt Fact Sheets

PDF iconShunt Hydrocephalus (161kb)

PDF iconShunt General Information (255kb)

PDF iconShunt Baby/Toddler (209kb)

PDF iconShunt Child/Teen (322kb)

PDF iconShunt FAQs (112kb)


Procedures are performed in the WCH page link iconRogerson Theatre Complex.

Patients will be cared for in the WCH page link iconDay of Surgery Admissions (DOSA) Ward.

Long stay cases will be cared for in the appropriate ward for their age:

WCH page link iconRose Ward - age less than 6 months

WCH page link iconKate Hill Ward - most children

WCH page link iconAdolescent Ward - adolescents


Elective surgery and outpatient review is undertaken during normal working hours.

For emergency care, the WCH Paediatric Emergency Department is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A member of the Neurosurgical Unit can be contacted by the Emergency Department or local doctor as required.

Paediatric Neurosurgery team

Paediatric Neurosurgeons

  • Mr Stephen Santoreneos, Neurosurgery Unit Head
  • A/Professor Amal Abou-Hamden, Senior Neurosurgeon
  • Dr Xenia Doorenbosch, Senior Neurosurgeon

The WCH Paediatric Neurosurgery Service is a multidisciplinary team also consisting of:

  • Research Assistant
  • Clinical Practice Consultant (RN): Ms Yvette Cartwright
  • Administration Assistant
  • Outpatient Clinic Enrolled Nurse: Lisa Salisbury
  • Registrar, Resident Medical Officer (RMO)
  • Social Worker: Ms Allison Liakimis
  • Other Allied Health professionals: Physiotherapist, Occupational Therapist, Speech Pathologist and Dietician.

Neuropsychology, general psychiatric and psychological services are accessed via the Department of Psychological Medicine.

The Neurosurgery Service works closely with other units including Paediatric Neurology, Paediatric Rehabilitation and the Australian Craniofacial Unit.

Research Activity

  • Ongoing clinical review
  • Quarterly Paediatric NeurosurgeryAudit
  • Current research programs
  • Publications

Resources for Families

Link iconNeurosurgical Society of Australasia

Link iconAustralian Pituitary Foundation

Link iconPaediatric Rehabilitation Department (Women's and Children's Hospital)

Link iconNeurosurgical Research Foundation

Consumer Health Information

PDF iconNeurological Observation (1.4mb)

PDF iconExternal Ventricular Drain (294kb)

PDF iconLumbar Drain (220kb)

Link iconMagnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Link iconComputerised Tomography Scan (CT)

Resources for Children

Link iconHydrocephalus - Get inside my head (ShineUKCharity)

Link iconHydroKids

Contact and Location Information


Level 2, Queen Victoria Building

Mailing Address

Department of Neurosurgery
Level 2, Good Friday Building
Women's and Children's Hospital
72 King William Road
North Adelaide
South Australia 5006

Phone / Fax/ Email

  • Phone: (08) 8161 7000 - Switchboard will contact the Emergency Department or on-call Neurosurgeon in emergencies
  • Phone: (08) 8161 7230 - Department Administrative Assistant
  • Fax: (08) 8161 7057  

Email cywhsneurosurgerydept@health.sa.gov.au

last modified: 15 Apr 2021