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Eric L. Zager, MD Surgeon

Neurosurgical Professor in Academic Excellence

Languages spoken:

  • Spanish

Dr. Zager is a Penn Medicine employed physician.

In New Jersey, providers are affiliated with Penn Medicine through Clinical Health Care Associates of New Jersey.

About Dr. Eric L. Zager

Recognized by America's Top Doctors, 2010, 2012-14

Recognized by Best Doctors in America 2003-2004, 2005-2006, 2007-2008, 2009-2010, 2011-2012, 2013-2014

Recognized in Philadelphia Magazine's 2002 and 2010 - 2015 Top Docs issues

Clinical Specialties


  • Neurosurgery

Programs & Services:

  • Cancer
    • Brain Metastasis
    • Brain Tumors
    • Spinal Cord Cancer
  • Neurosurgery

Board Certification:

  • Neurological Surgery, 1992

Conditions & Treatments:

  • aneurysm
  • Arteriovenous Malformations (AVM)
  • astrocytoma
  • brachial plexus - nerve injury
  • brachial plexus - tumor
  • brain cancer - metastasis
  • Brain Metastasis
  • Brain Tumors
  • Cancer Surgery
  • carotid endarterectomy
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • cavernoma
  • cervical spine surgery
  • gamma knife/radiosurgery
  • glioma
  • meningioma
  • neuro-oncology
  • peripheral nerve disorders/repair
  • Spinal Cord Cancer
  • spinal cord compression
  • spine surgery - stenosis
  • spine tumors
  • tic douloureux - minimally invasive
  • trigeminal neuralgia
  • vascular malformations

Clinical Interests

Cerebrovascular surgery: microsurgical repair of cerebral aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations, arteriovenous fistulas, carotid atherosclerosis/endarterectomy.

Peripheral nerve surgery: peripheral nerve tumors, entrapments (carpal tunnel syndrome, ulnar entrapment neuropathy, thoracic outlet syndrome, etc.), and injuries (including brachial plexus) requiring nerve repair, grafting or nerve transfers.

Microvascular decompression surgery for trigeminal neuralgia, hemifacial spasm, etc.

Cranial and spinal tumor resection: including pituitary adenomas, meningiomas, metastases, gliomas, hemangioblastomas, neurofibromas, schwannomas, craniopharyngiomas, etc.

Spinal surgery for degenerative disc disease, radiculopathy, myelopathy.

Practice Locations and Appointments

Insurance Accepted

  • Aetna US Healthcare
  • Cigna
  • Cigna HealthSpring
  • Devon Health Services (Americare)
  • Gateway Health Plan
  • Geisinger Health Plan
  • HealthAmerica / HealthAssurance, a Coventry Plan
  • HealthPartners
  • HealthSmart
  • Highmark Blue Shield
  • Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey
  • Humana / Choicecare
  • Independence Blue Cross (Keystone East)
  • Intergroup
  • Keystone First
  • Multiplan
  • NJ Amerihealth
  • NJ Medicaid
  • NJ Medicare
  • NJ Qualcare
  • Oxford Health Plan
  • PA Medicaid
  • PA Medicare
  • Preferred Care
  • Rail Road Medicare / Palmetto GBA
  • Tricare
  • United Healthcare
  • UnitedHealthcare Community Plan
  • US Family Health Plan

Education and Training

Medical School: Stanford University School of Medicine
Residency: NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center
Residency: Massachusetts General Hospital
Fellowship: Louisiana State University Medical Center
Fellowship: Toronto Hospital


American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), National American Association of Neurological Surgeons, National American College of Surgeons, National American Medical Association, National American Society for Peripheral Nerve Education and Nominating Committees, National American Society for Peripheral Nerve, National Brain Attack Coalition, National Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS), National Council of State Neurosurgical Societies: Medico-legal Committee, Young Physicians Committee, Pennsylvania Delegate, National International Society for Neuroemergencies, International International Stereotactic Radiosurgery Society, International Joint Section on Cerebrovascular Surgery (AANS/CNS), National Joint Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves (AANS/CNS), National Joint Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves (AANS/CNS), National Joint Section on Neurotrauma and Critical Care (AANS/CNS), National National Task Force for Peripheral Nerve Surgery, National Pennsylvania Medical Society, Local Pennsylvania Neurosurgical Society, Local Pennsylvania Neurosurgical Society, Local Philadelphia County Medical Society, Local Philadelphia Neurological Society, Local Stroke Council, American Heart Association, National United Brachial Plexus Network – Medical Resource Directory, National


Dr. Zager is a Penn Medicine employed physician.

Hospital Privileges:

  • Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania: Has privileges to treat patients in the hospital.
  • Penn Presbyterian Medical Center: Has privileges to treat patients in the hospital.
  • Pennsylvania Hospital: Has privileges to treat patients in the hospital.


Research Interests:

Clinical/translational research focuses on peripheral nerve repair and regeneration, as well as a variety of projects in cerebrovascular surgery. Collaborative research includes evaluation of safety and efficacy of xenon-CT for cerebral blood flow monitoring in subarachnoid hemorrhage and trauma; evaluation of a noninvasive near-infrared spectroscopy device for detection of intracerebral hematomas; evaluation of brain oxygen tension monitoring in subarachnoid hemorrhage; arterial spin-labelling MR in AVM shunt visualization; MRI evaluation of carotid plaques and hemispheric blood flow before and after carotid endarterectomy; cost-effectiveness analysis of imaging in carotid endarterectomy and cerebral aneurysm repair; clinical outcomes for surgical treatment of patients with intractable occipital neuralgia.

Selected Publications:

Cullen DK, Huang JH, Zager EL, Browne K, Zhang J, Groff R, Smith DH: Long-term survival and integration of transplanted engineered nervous tissue constructs promotes peripheral nerve regeneration Tissue Eng 15 (7): 1677-85,2009.

Rohan R, Stiefel M, Udoetuk J, Spiotta A, Levine JM, Kofke WA, Zager E, Yang W, Leroux P: Brain oxygen tension and outcome in patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage J Neurosurg 109 (6): 1075-82,2008.

Wolf RL, Wang J, Detre JA, Zager EL, Hurst RW: Arteriovenous shunt visualization in arteriovenous malformations with arterial spin-labeling MR Am J Neuroradiol 29 (4): 681-687,2008.

Ranalli NJ, Kline DG, McGarvey ML, Boulis NM, Zager EL: Clinical Problem-Solving: Brachial Plexus Closed Injury and Reconstruction Neurosurgery 62 (6): 1330-1339,2008.

Heuer GG, Stiefel MF, Nagpal S, Basil AK, Smith DS, Zager EL: Carotid endarterectomy under regional anesthesia: A primer for the uninitiated Neurosurg Q 18 (3): 201-206,2008.

Stein S, Burnett M, Riina H, Sonnad S, Zager EL: Completion angiography for surgically-treated cerebral aneurysms: An economic analysis Neurosurgery 61 (6): 1162-1169,2007.

Whitmore RG, Simon SL, Hurst RW, Nisenbaum HL, Kasner SE, Zager EL: Bow hunter’s syndrome caused by accessory cervical ossification: posterolateral decompression and the use of intraoperative Doppler ultrasonography Surg Neurol 67 (2): 169-171,2007.

Pfister BJ, Huang JH, Kameswaran N, Zager EL, Smith DH: Neural engineering to produce in vitro nerve constructs and neurointerface Neurosurgery 60 (1): 137-141,2007.

Magge SN, Chen HI, Zager EL: Dystrophic calcification and infraclavicular brachial plexopathy: case report. Neurosurgery 58 : 1216,2006.

Storm PB, Zager E, Magge S: Surgical clipping of a PICA aneurysm in a 6-month-old child. Pediatr Neurosurg 42 : 406-8,2006.

Academic Contact Info

HUP - 3 Silverstein
3400 Spruce Street

Philadelphia, PA 19104
Phone: (215) 662-3497
Fax: (215) 349-5534
Patient appointments: 800-789-PENN (7366)

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