Fahed Saada, MD, FAAN, wants to practice neurology in a small community, and the new Cayuga Health Medical Building in Cortland provides just that opportunity. His office opened in July and offers a convenient location at 260 Tompkins St. for him to see patients close to where they live. His goal is to improve local neurology services so patients can avoid making long trips to a large metropolitan hospital for specialty neurologic care.
Dr. Saada, with Cayuga Neurologic Services of CMA, has seen the problems patients have when then can’t find neurologic care close to home. For many patients, juggling job and family responsibilities make traveling out-of-town for neurologic care impractical. Other patients do not get the care they need because neurologic illnesses are complex and can be easily misdiagnosed as another condition.
Faulty diagnosis involved a memorable case for a young woman who Dr. Saada saw several years ago. She had been misdiagnosed and unsuccessfully treated for schizophrenia, a serious mental health disorder that can involve unusual behaviors in a person, including laughing fits. Since she was a child, the young woman Dr. Saada saw would burst into laughter for no apparent reason. The laughing bouts continued, and after several years prompted the young woman’s mother to seek treatment for her daughter from a team of neurologists that included Dr. Saada. After weeks of diagnostic tests, brain-wave monitoring showed epileptic seizures caused the laughing episodes. When the underlying epilepsy was treated, the young woman’s laughing outbursts faded and allowed her to enjoy a more normal life.
Dr. Saada is certified as a neurologist by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He has a keen interest in epilepsy and has two specialty certifications in treating neurological disorders. One certification is in neuromuscular diseases, such as Muscular Dystrophy (MD) and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), which affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control muscle movement. The second certification is in electrodiagnostic medicine that is used to diagnose neuromuscular diseases, nerve injuries and degenerative nerve conditions.
“While I have specialty certifications, I think of myself as a general neurologist,” Dr. Saada says. “I enjoy treating patients for a variety of neurological disorders. If I specialize in one area of neurology, I think I am doing a disservice to patients who come in with strokes, migraines, brain tumors or epilepsy who need the care of a general neurologist but may be unable to get an appointment with a specialty neurologist for months or travel out of town for care.”
Connecting with patients to teach them about their conditions and practicing neurology in an underserved area also attracted him to Cortland.
“A part of that attraction is that I came from a hard-working family with eight children who lived near Chicago in a community that is much like Cortland,” he says.
The sophisticated diagnostic services that Cayuga Heath has developed in Cortland convinced him he could deliver high-quality care to patients.
“If one of my patients needs an MRI or a CT, they can have it done in at Cayuga Health’s Cortland Imaging Center,” Dr. Saada notes.
Advanced laboratory services are available down the hall from Dr. Saada’s office, so patients can get lab tests done on the same day as their neurology appointments. A renovated Cayuga Epilepsy Monitoring Unit opened in July at Cayuga Medical Center with a new director and an expanded program where adults are evaluated in private, inpatient suites for up to five days. It is the only epilepsy monitoring facility in the Southern Tier and operates each weekday with advanced neuroscience technology to evaluate patients.
“Cayuga has made significant investments in neurologic care and has recruited additional neurologists to develop a program that greatly improves the neurology care for patients in this region,” Dr. Saada says. “There is a huge need for local neurologists to treat patients in their home community, so care is easily accessible and prevents long waits for care at large neurology programs in university hospitals at Rochester or Syracuse. When patients need advanced care, such as specialty neurologic surgery at a major hospital, I can do their pre-surgery workups and their post-surgical continuing care in Cortland.”
To make an appointment with Dr. Fahed Saada, call (607) 428-8004.
Fahed Saada, MD, FAAN
Education: Doctor of Medicine: St. Matthew’s University School of Medicine (Grand Cayman British West Indies)
Internship: Cleveland Clinic Fairview Hospital (Cleveland, OH) – Internal Medicine
Residency: University of Florida College of Medicine (Jacksonville, FL) – Neurology
Fellowship: University of Rochester Medical Center (Rochester, NY) – Neurophysiology
Board Certifications: American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology – Clinical Neurophysiology, American Board of Electrodiagnostic Medicine, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology
Prior to coming to Cayuga Health, Dr. Saada has most recently been a general neurologist at CNY Neurological Consulting, East Syracuse, NY and neurohospitalist at St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center, Syracuse.