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John Y.K. Lee, MD Surgeon

Medical Director, Gamma Knife Center
Associate Professor of Neurosurgery at the Pennsylvania Hospital
Associate Professor of Otorhinolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery

Languages spoken:

  • Korean
  • Spanish

Dr. Lee is a Penn Medicine employed physician.

About Dr. John Y. Lee

Recognized in Philadelphia Magazine's annual Top Docs issue, 2011-2016

Recognized by Best Doctors in America - 2013-2014

Clinical Specialties


  • Neurosurgery

Programs & Centers:

Board Certification:

  • Neurological Surgery, 2009

Clinical Expertise:

  • Acoustic Neuromas
  • Brain Metastasis
  • Brain Tumors
  • Cancer Surgery
  • Cavernous Malformation (Cavernoma)
  • Cranial Base Surgery
  • Gamma Knife®
  • Glioma
  • Glossopharyngeal Neuralgia
  • Hemifacial Spasm (HFS)
  • Meningioma
  • Minimally Invasive Endoscopic Surgery
  • Neuro-Oncology
  • Radiosurgery
  • Skull Base Surgery
  • Spinal Tumor
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia (Tic Douloureux)

Description of Clinical Expertise

Dr. Lee has a passion for minimally invasive ways to treat brain and skull base tumors. This passion is expressed as a commitment to endoscopic approaches to remove pituitary, clival, acoustic neuromas and other skull-base tumors. Another expression of his interest in minimally invasive methods is his devotion to stereotactic radiosurgery, eg. "incision-less" brain surgery.

In addition to brain tumors, Dr. Lee is committed to the comprehensive treatment of patients with craniofacial neuralgias, including trigeminal neuralgia, glossopharyngeal neuralgia, and hemifacial spasm. Dr. Lee uses minimally invasive, fully endoscopic surgical procedures including microvascular decompression (Jannetta procedure) and stereotactic radiosurgery to cure these disorders.

Practice Locations and Appointments

Insurance Accepted

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

Education and Training

Medical School: University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey
Residency: University of Pittsburgh
Fellowship: Cleveland Clinic Foundation


American Association of Neurological Surgeons, National Congress of Neurological Surgeons, National North American Skull Base Society, National Pennsylvania Medical Society, Local Pennsylvania Neurosurgical Society, Local

Hospital Affiliation

Dr. Lee 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.


Selected Publications:

Sandhu S, Lee JYK: Measurement of Trigeminal Neuralgia Pain. Penn Facial Pain Scale. Neurosurgery Clinics of North America 27 (3): 327-336,2016.

Piazza M, Lee JYK: Endoscopic and Microscopic Microvascular Decompression Neurosurgery Clinics of North America 27 (3): 305-313,2016.

Craig JR, Petrov D, Khalili S, Brooks SG, Lee JYK, Adappa ND, Palmer JN: The nasofrontal beak: A consistent landmark for superior septectomy during Draf III drill out American Journal of Rhinology and Allergy 30 (3): 230-234,2016.

Craig JR, Zhao K, Doan N, Khalili S, Lee JYK, Adappa ND, Palmer JN: Cadaveric validation study of computational fluid dynamics model of sinus irrigations before and after sinus surgery International Forum of Allergy and Rhinology 6 (4): 423-428,2016.

Farquhar D, Kim L, Worrall, D, Chiu A, Lee JY, Khalili S, Grady S, O'Malley BW, Kennedy DW, Newman JG, Palmer JN, Adappa ND: Propensity score analysis of endoscopic and open approaches to malignant paranasal and anterior skull base tumor outcomes Laryngoscope : 2016.

Chowdhury IH, Ojerholm E, McMillan MT, Miller D, Kolker JD, Kurtz G, Dorsey JF, Nagda SN, Geiger, GA, Brem S, O'Rourke DM, Zager EL, Gangadhar T, Schuchter L, Lee, JYK, Alonso-Basanta M: Novel risk scores for survival and intracranial failure in patients treated with radiosurgery alone to melanoma brain metastases Radiation Oncology 10 (1): 2015.

Ghosh A., Hatten K, Learned KO, Rizzi MD, Lee, JY, Storm, PB, Palmer JN, Adappa ND: Pediatric nasoseptal flap reconstruction for suprasellar approaches Laryngoscope 125 (11): 2451-2456,2015.

Vogel J, Ojerholm E, Hollander A Briola C , Mooij R, Bieda M , Kolker J , Nagda S , Geiger G, Dorsey J, Lustig R , O'Rourke DM , Brem S, Lee JYK, Alonso-Basanta M: Intracranial control after Cyberknife radiosurgery to the resection bed for large brain metastases Radiation Oncology 10 (1): 2015.

Lee JYK, Sandhu S, Miller D, Solberg T, Dorsey JF, Alonso-Basanta M: Higher dose rate Gamma Knife radiosurgery may provide earlier and longer-lasting pain relief for patients with trigeminal neuralgia Journal of Neurosurgery 123 (4): 961-968,2015.

Craig JR, Lee JYK, Petrov, D, Mehta S, Palmer JN, Adappa ND: Two versus Four-handed techniques for endonasal resection of orbital apex tumors American Journal of Rhinology and Allergy 29 (5): 383-388,2015.

Academic Contact Info

Department of Neurosurgery
Pennsylvania Hospital
Washington Square West Building
235 S. 8th Street

Philadelphia, PA 19106
Phone: (215) 829-5189
Fax: (215) 829-6645
Patient appointments: 800-789-PENN (7366)

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