Alain C.J. de Lotbinière MD, CM, FACS, FRCSC

A Career Dedicated to Relieving Pain Through Surgical Innovation

Dr. Alain de Lotbinière is a pioneering neurosurgeon specializing in the surgical treatment of complex pain disorders. He has spent his accomplished career helping his patients find relief through innovative surgical methods and technological advancements. He is a thought-leader in his field and a sought after speaker, with a talent for sharing his knowledge with others.

Early and Research Career

Dr. Alain de Lotbinière attended medical school at McGill University. During his time there, he was greatly influenced by the revolutionary work of Ronald Melzack, who with Patrick Wall is well-known for his origination of the Gate Control Theory of Pain. This theory upended previously held beliefs about pain and brain interaction, proposing that pain is not interpreted uniformly by the brain, but rather by a balance of signal inputs that can either increase or decrease the transmission of pain impulses to the brain. The Gate Control Theory holds that the spinal cord’s dorsal horn regulates pain signals before they reach the brain by either magnifying the signal (gate open) or inhibiting the signal (gate closed) causing differences in pain perception and intensity.


While still in medical school, Dr. Melzack invited Alain de Lotbinière to collaborate on a research project to study patients who underwent a surgical procedure called cordotomy for cancer pain. It was the perfect introduction and the start of a lifetime of study in the field of pain research.


During his residency at the Montreal Neurological Institute, Dr. de Lotbinière trained under several neurosurgeons who specialized in the treatment of complex pain disorders, as well as in other areas of functional neurosurgery. Upon completion of his training, he was recruited to Yale University to start a program of Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery, and spent seventeen years building a program that continues to thrive, providing top-tier education and research opportunities to resident neurosurgeons and teaching medical students.

Private Practice

In 2006, Dr. de Lotbinière chose to join Brain & Spine Surgeons of New York and has continued practicing in the field of neurosurgical treatment of chronic pain conditions. Dr. de Lotbinière patients have usually exhausted the usual medical pathways, including oral medications, injections, physical therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic manipulation, and alternative medicines. Having spent a lifetime studying pain and its effects, Dr. de Lotbinière is uniquely positioned to provide empathetic, compassionate, and personalized care. He works closely with each patient to understand their medical history, prior surgeries, and personal pain experiences to find the right diagnosis and a corrective solution.

Alain C.J. de Lotbinière MD, CM, FACS, FRCSC

• Associate Professor of Neurological Surgery, New York Medical College 

• Director of Gamma Knife Center, Northern Westchester Hospital 

• Director of Functional and Stereotactic Neurosurgery 

• Former US Representative to the Society of French Speaking Neurosurgeons 

• Past President of the Leksell Gamma Knife Society

Hospital Affiliations