Mark H. Bilsky, MD

Mark H. Bilsky, MD

Neurosurgeon

Titles

William E. Snee Endowed Chair; Vice Chairman of Clinical Affairs, Neurosurgery; Chief, Multi-Disciplinary Spine Tumor Service

Clinical Expertise

Metastatic and Primary Malignant Spine Tumors; Benign Spine Tumors (Schwannoma, Meningioma, Neurofibroma); Intramedullary Spinal Cord Tumors (Ependymoma, Astrocytoma); Brain Tumors

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Accepted Insurance Providers

Dr. Bilsky accepts the following list of insurance providers. Select your insurance provider to see more details.

Contact and Location

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Find a Convenient Location

Memorial Sloan Kettering has locations throughout New York City, Long Island, New Jersey, and Westchester. These locations offers many services, including screening, chemotherapy, and medical testing.

About Me

Education

MD, Emory University

Residencies

Neurosurgery - New York Hospital/Cornell Medical Center

Fellowships

Neurological Surgery - University of Louisville

Board Certifications

Neurological Surgery

I have been a neurosurgeon at Memorial Sloan Kettering my entire career, since completing neurosurgical residency and spine fellowship in 1995. I specialize in the care of patients with primary and metastatic tumors of the spine and spinal cord.

I am the director of Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Multidisciplinary Spine Tumor Center, which evaluates and treats over 1,500 spine tumors a year. Our goal is to create an individualized treatment plan for each patient that is most effective for improving neurologic function and mobility, stabilizing the spine, controlling tumor growth, and ultimately improving quality of life. Every member of our team specializes in spine tumors. This group of experts from different areas meets weekly to discuss individual patients’ cases and optimize the delivery of timely, coordinated care. These efforts have helped us develop treatment models that include advanced radiation techniques, surgery, and interventional procedures. These models have been adapted by many centers worldwide.

I operate on more than 150 spine and spinal cord tumors each year, but the majority of patients can be effectively treated non-invasively with stereotactic radiation therapy, an advanced type of external radiation therapy that delivers extremely precise, very intense doses of radiation to eliminate tumors. Additionally, many patients can benefit from proton beam therapy, which uses proton particles instead of x-rays to kill cancer cells and keep nearby tissue healthy. Sometimes radiation is combined with percutaneous kyphoplasty, a technique in which a radiologist inserts bone cement into a vertebra through a minimally invasive procedure in order to provide support and relieve pain.

For patients who require open surgery, we have made enormous strides in treatment. We’ve developed and refined tumor-specific surgeries, such as separation surgery, that are much less invasive and require shorter operating times than previously used techniques. Combining separation surgery with radiosurgery has revolutionized our ability to provide effective tumor control, reduce complications, shorten hospital stays, and return patients to systemic therapy quickly.

I am the author of more than 170 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters and a lead author of the book Tumors of the Spine. I have delivered over 300 lectures across the United States and internationally. I am also on the editorial board of the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine, Neurosurgery, and Annals of Surgical Oncology.

I often meet people at a really complicated time in the course of their illness and know that placing trust in a new physician is not easy. For those reasons, I consider it an absolute privilege to be a part of their care and work hard to make them feel cared for and safe.

Outside of work, I love spending time with my wife and daughter. We are all avid runners, although they are significantly more talented than I am. Over the past five years, I have also been involved in efforts to prevent sports-related concussions.

Awards and Honors

  • Castle Connolly: New York Magazine Best Doctors (2005-2018)
  • Castle Connolly: America’s Top Doctors (2005-2016)
  • America’s Top Doctors for Cancer (2005-2015)
  • Patient’s Choice Award (2011-2012, 2014)
  • Compassionate Doctor Recognition (2011-2015)
  • Super Doctors, New York Times Magazine (2008-2016)
  • Orthopedics This Week: Top 28 spine surgeons in the US (2014)
  • Willet F. Whitmore Award for Clinical Excellence, MSK (2014)

Colleagues

Doctors at Memorial Sloan Kettering work as teams, with specialists from all different areas. This allows us to consider all your needs together, and to give you the best possible care.

Clinical Trials

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Find a Clinical Trial for You

Memorial Sloan Kettering's doctors and scientists are constantly developing new treatments for cancer. MSK is typically running hundreds of clinical trials at a given time.

You may be able to participate in a clinical trial even if you are new to MSK. Search our online directory to find trial information and see more about who can participate.

Research and Publications

Publications on PubMed

Visit PubMed for a full listing of Dr. Bilsky’s journal articles. Pubmed is an online index of research papers and other articles from the US National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.