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Colorado Chiari Institute

Colorado Chiari Institute (CCI) at The Medical Center of Aurora is the only center of its kind in the region. CCI combines the art and science of medicine to diagnose and treat those suffering from Chiari I Malformation (CM-I) (pronounced kee-ar'-ee). The Institute is dedicated to the evaluation, care and treatment of patients that have been recently diagnosed with Chiari I Malformation and our team offers medical expertise and advanced technology for the singular focus of treating these particular neurological disorders. We concentrate on educating not only patients, but also their families about these less common neurological diseases.

At Colorado Chiari Institute at The Medical Center of Aurora, Dr. John Oró, neurosurgeon and Chiari specialist, and his team expertly handle all aspects of care from evaluation and diagnosis to treatment and follow up. The CCI team closely consults with referring physicians throughout the course of treatment to ensure that the patient received appropriate follow up from their primary care physician or neurologist. 

Colorado Chiari Institute is located at the foot of the majestic Rocky Mountains, just minutes from Denver International Airport. 

We encourage our patients to be active participants in their care and treatment planning. Our goal is to provide the highest quality care to help heal body and mind.

Treatment for Chiari

For some patients, a Chiari diagnosis is the missing puzzle piece after years of struggling with headaches, dizziness, pain and other symptoms. 

The first step in the diagnostic process is a thorough neurological evaluation by a neurosurgeon and nurse practitioner. The evaluation assesses cognitive and cerebellar function, reflexes, sensory and motor skill and cranial nerve function. 

If not already complete, labs and imaging studies will be performed to create an anatomical picture of the brain and spinal cord. These imaging studies may include MRI or CINE MRI flow analysis.

If Chiari 1 malformation is confirmed, Dr. Oró will discuss the various treatment options available. If necessary, neurosurgical decompression and reconstruction can be performed to reshape the opening at the base of the skill, thereby relieving pressure on the protruding brain tissue. Research results show 84 percent of patients experience significant improvement in their symptoms one year after surgery.

Not everyone with Chiari will need to have surgery. Conservative treatments will be considered including medications to help manage the symptoms, dietary recommendations, and lifestyle changes.

Patient may be referred to CCI by a neurologist or primary care physician if there is MRI evidence of Chiari. 

Please note that Colorado Chiari Institute does not treat children younger than 14 years of age or patients who have previously had Chiari surgery.

If you have previously had Chiari surgery please refer to the following sites: