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Prescription Refills
Medications will be refilled during normal office hours only. The on-call physician will not refill medications after hours or on weekends. We do not refill medications for patients we have not seen. We do not manage chronic pain, and we only manage narcotic pain medications in the immediate post-operative period.
In the event your insurance requires a referral to a specialist, please contact the primary care physician listed on your insurance card and give them the date of your appointment and the physician you will be seeing at our office. This referral will be needed prior to your visit with us to insure that your insurance processes and pays your benefits accurately. The referral can be faxed to our office at (770) 422-7797.

Facility Information

Location & Phone Numbers
61 Whitcher Street
Suite 3110
Marietta, GA 30060

Phone: (770) 422-2326
Fax: (770) 422-7797

Hours of Operation
Monday - Friday:
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM

General Directions

From I-75: Exit Canton Road toward Marietta (#267B) toward Marietta. Travel southbound for approximately 1.5 miles. After passing Kennestone Hospital, turn right on Whitcher Street. Turn left into the Kennestone Physicians Center building. We are in the 61 building Suite 3110. Please allow ample time for parking and be prepared to pay a parking fee. Valet parking is also available.

Appointments & Cancellations

For appointments call (770) 422-2326. Our fax is (770) 422-7797. If you must reschedule or cancel an appointment, please notify us at least twenty four hours in advance. If your insurance carrier requires a referral, please make arrangements to have that referral forwarded to us before your appointment. It is imperative that you bring copies of all X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans that pertain to your problem. Reports alone are not sufficient, and a final neurosurgical opinion and recommendation cannot be given without a complete review of all pertinent studies. Please do not rely on referring physicians to send the films.

If possible, please complete new patient evaluation forms prior to your appointment. Return forms can be completed either before or at your scheduled appointment.

Please bring copies of all medication lists with you. These lists should include medication name, dosage, and frequency.

Insurance and Payment

We are committed to meeting your health care needs. Our goal is to keep your insurance or other financial arrangements as simple as possible.

WellStar Medical Group participates in most major insurance plans. For a complete list of insurance participants at this practice please call the practice main line. We will file your insurance for you if we are a participating provider of your plan.

All co-payments, deductibles, and self pay payments are due at the time of service. We accept all payment types. Please remember to bring your insurance card (HMO, CMO, PPO, etc.) and picture ID with you to each appointment.



Do not eat after midnight on the day you are having surgery. You will be instructed when to come to the hospital for your operation. It is customary to come to the hospital at least two hours before your scheduled procedure. If your operation is later in the day, please understand that the start time for your procedure may be earlier or later than scheduled. This is because operations scheduled after seven-thirty in the morning, are scheduled “to follow” earlier procedures. If you are having a cranial (brain) operation, you may be scheduled for a pre-operative MRI. This will be done with plastic markers that will be stuck to the skin around your face, ears, and scalp. Do not remove these markers, and if one or two fall off, simply bring them with you on the day of surgery. You may be given a disc after this MRI is done. Please bring this with you on the day of surgery. Do not forget to bring all of your imaging studies on the day of surgery.

Do not eat after midnight on the day of surgery. You may take your regular medication with a small sip of water on the day of surgery. Certain medications are discontinued several days before surgery. These medications include Plavix (clopidogrel), aspirin, and Coumadin (warfarin). You should have been instructed to discontinue these medications at least five days before your operation.

You will always see your surgeon before surgery, and any last minute questions will be thoroughly answered. Your family will be updated regularly while you are in surgery, and as soon as you are in recovery, your surgeon will speak with them. We will speak with whomever you authorize us to communicate with.

When you get home, you may engage in normal, reasonable activity. Walk as much as you can, and stay well hydrated. Call our office with any questions. In general, you can treat your surgical wound as you would treat any other area of your body. For wounds closed with skin staples, you may shower, and get the incision wet. Let soap run over the wound, and gently wash it with a wash cloth. You may wash your hair with the shampoo you normally use. Do not color your hair or place chemicals in it until after the skin staples have been removed. Do not place saves or creams on your wound. If your wound is covered with a blue glistening sealant (Dermabond), you may shower and clean it as described above for wounds closed with staples. If your wound is closed with steri-strips (small white strips of tape), you will be given gauze and clear dressings (tegaderm) to use in the shower. Remove the clear dressing after your shower. Do not bathe, immerse your wound in free standing water such as a pool or hot tub, or swim until your first post-operative visit.

Please call us if you notice increasing pain around the wound, redness, drainage, or a foul smell. We would rather see you and reassure you that a wound is healing normally, then miss an infection that could have been easily treated.

If you are discharged with a collar or brace, wear it when active. You do not need to wear it in bed, when lying flat, or in the shower.

When you get home from the hospital, please call our office to schedule a post-operative appointment. Generally, we want to see you two weeks after surgery so that the wound can be checked, and the staples or sutures can be removed.

About Us

WellStar Neurosurgery’s entire team is focused on the patient. We spend time with our patients and talk with them, not at them. We strive to treat each patient as if they were our own family. We understand that some neurologic disorders can be incredibly overwhelming to patients and their families. Our care goes beyond the operating room as we work tirelessly with our patients to give them the very best of care.

We are conveniently located next to Kennestone Hospital.

William Benedict, M.D.

Board Certified Neurosurgery & Spine Surgery.

Specializes in: Brain tumor surgery; neuro trauma; pituitary surgery; complex/minimally invasive spine surgery

Dr. Benedict joined WellStar Neurosurgery Medical Group in 2010, after three years as an Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery at Emory University. He attended medical school at Loyola University in Chicago, Stritch School of Medicine with a residency at Loyola University Medical Center.

Said Elshihabi, M.D.

Board Certified in Neurosurgery & Spine Surgery.

Specializes in: General Neurosurgery, Complex/Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery, Neuro Trauma, and Brain Tumor surgery

Dr. Elshihabi joined Wellstar Neurosurgery Medical Group in 2008. He attended medical school at University of Texas Health Sciences Center – San Antonio, TX and completed a General Surgery Internship at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little rock, AK. Dr. Elshihabi completed his Neurosurgical Residency ad the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, in Little rock, AK and completed a Masters in Healthcare Administration, at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.

Rishi Gupta, M.D., MBA

Board Certified in Neuro Critical Care and Neurology & Vascular Neurology.

Specializes in: Cerebral Aneurysms, Vascular Malformations, Intracranial Atherosclerosis and Extra Cranial Atherosclerosis, Ischemic and Hemorrhagic Stroke

Dr. Gupta joined WellStar Neurosurgery Medical Group in 2013 after 3 years as Associate Professor at Emory University. He attended medical school at Meharry Medical College, Nashville TN. Dr. Gupta holds degree in Chemical Engineering: Columbia University, NY and a Global Executive Masters in Business Administration: Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta.

Andrew K. Johnson, M.D., MS

Board Eligible in Neurosurgery

Specializes in: Intracranial aneurysms, brain and spine arteriovenous malformations, epilepsy surgery, and skull base tumors.

Dr. Johnson joined WellStar Neurosurgery Medical Group in 2014. He attended Medical School at Columbia University in New York followed by a neurosurgical residency and endovascular neurosurgery fellowship at Rush University in Chicago.

Ahmad Khaldi, M.D., M.S.

Board eligible in Neurosurgery.

Specializes in: Cerebrovascular and Endovascular Neurosurgery and brain tumors

Dr. Khaldi joined WellStar Neurosurgery Medical Group in 2012, from George Washing University. He attended Medical School at the Medical College of Virginia (VCU) followed by a neuro surgery Residency at Loyola Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois and an Endovascular Neurosurg fellowship with the University of Florida.

Franklin Lin, M.D.

Board Certified in Neurosurgery & Spine Surgery.

Specializes in: Complex spine surgery, Neurological trauma, Sports-related head and spine injuries

Dr. Lin joined WellStar Neurosurgery Medical Group in 2013, after six years as an Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery at Emory University. He attended Medical School at University of Florida with a residency at Emory University. Dr. Owada joined WellStar Medical Group Neuroscience in 2014. She attended Medical School at University of Southern California in Los Angeles with residency and Vascular Neurology fellowship at Emory University.

Katrina Joyce MSN, NP-BC, CCRN

Katrina Joyce is a neuroscience nurse practitioner with more than ten years of neuroscience critical care experience. She graduated from Georgia State University and holds a Master’s degree in Adult Nurse Practitioner and Critical Care Clinical Nurse Specialist.

She has written many articles in the WellStar Vision and WellStar Critical Care Newsletter. She was a nominee for the AJC award and was a finalist for the March of Dimes award. Katrina is currently working on a research project titled “Nurse Grief in the ICU” that will be disseminated throughout the US in fall 2015.