News for members of the Western Neurosurgical Society

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Spring 2016


2016 Annual Meeting

For our 62nd meeting, the Western returns to the San Diego area we last visited in 2004. The 2016 Annual Meeting, Friday September 9th--Monday September 12th, will be held at the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort in Carlsbad which is 32 miles North of San Diego International Airport (SAN).  From atop a high ridge on the shore of Batiquitos Lagoon, a beautiful wildlife sanctuary overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Park Hyatt Aviara is a Forbes Five Star and AAA Five Diamond resort.  It boasts all the amenities we have come to expect at our meeting venues and at a daily room rate of $289 (plus $32/day in taxes).  That rate includes in room internet and complimentary valet parking.  Getting to Aviara (7100 Aviara Resort Drive, Carlsbad, CA, 92011) by prescheduled airport shuttle is $66/person round trip ( or car rentals are available at the airport.

As you know, a good portion of the scientific program is dictated by the papers submitted by members, candidates for membership, residents, the Cloward Award recipient and Ablin lecturer and the Presidential address but Marvin Bergsneider, our program director, is planning two symposia.  One will be entitled The Future of Spine Neurosurgery with the second addressing a neurocritical care update for the practicing neurosurgeon.

In addition to the meeting’s organized afternoon events (craft beer tour with lunch on Saturday, winery tour with lunch on Sunday), with a rental car you can nip over to Legoland or the ocean less than 5 miles away, the Birch Aquarium (21miles), the main San Diego Zoo (31 miles) or the Temecula wine country (40 miles).  If fly into San Diego fairly early and rent a car, an immediate side trip to the USS Midway Museum very near the airport would be a pleasant place to have lunch and tour this immense ship before heading north to the Aviara.
For our Local Night on Saturday September 10th, we have arranged an evening at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in Escondido which is included in the meeting registration fee.

Our usual Friday night casual reception and Sunday night black tie (optional) banquet will be on site at the resort and they are also included in the meeting registration fee.

Registration forms for the meeting will be forthcoming later in the spring.
The online room reservation link at Aviara is: 
Aviara’s phone number is 855 924 9288.

Dr. Marvin Bergsneider, the 2016 annual meeting Program Director, has announced the first call for papers for presentation at the Carlsbad meeting.  Accepted papers will be presented during the meeting's three scientific sessions, September 10th, 11th and 12th.  In addition to all WNS members and guests, residents from all neurosurgery training programs in the Western's catchment area are eligible to submit a paper.  The two residents whose papers are judged to be the best submitted will have their travel, lodging and registration paid for by the Society.  Deadline for submitting papers is May 1st, 2016.

Instructions on submitting a paper plus related forms are located on the WNS Web site ( in the Forms and Documents section. 

Medtronic, the sole Platinum Level exhibitor in Kauai, deserves the Western's thanks for making the meeting a success.

We hope our members will support the companies that support the Western.


2015 Annual Meeting Program on Website
For those of you who were unable to attend the annual meeting last year, the program booklet is available on our Website ( as a pdf file you can download.

The program without the membership list is in the clear in the menu item "Meetings" under the Kauai listing.

If you want the complete program with all members listed with addresses and phone numbers and email address, it is located in the "Member Area Login" menu item.  The password to gain access to this menu item is "Western".

New Officers for 2016


Linda Liau, M.D., PhD.

The first woman elected to be president of the Western Neurosurgical Society in its 61 years, our president is an amazingly accomplished neurosurgeon.

Linda became interested in Science early in her formative years. She graduated from Brown University with a BA in Political science and a BS in Biochemistry in 1987.   She received her MD degree from Stanford University in 1991 and went on to train in Neurosurgery at UCLA.  She did a year of fellowship in Neuro-Oncology in 1998 and at the same time completed her PhD in Neuroscience in 1999.  She has been on the faculty of the UCLA department of neurosurgery ever since where she is now Professor and Vice-Chair for Academic Affairs as well as Director of the Brain Tumor Program.  She is on the editorial board of 15 National and International scientific journals and is and has been for the last eight years the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Neuro-Oncology.  And as if this is not enough: Linda serves as a Director on the American Board of Neurological Surgery-ABNS.
Linda has been a member of the Western since 2003 and has served on the Nominating Committee, on the Program Committee and as Program chair in 2006 and Vice-President in 2009.  Linda is married to our member Marvin Bergsneider, also a UCLA professor, and they have two beautiful children: Brandon and Bianca.


Marc Vanefsky, MD

We are delighted to introduce our newly elected Secretary/Treasurer.  As you know, the ST is responsible for shepherding the Society for 3 years.  Anything that goes wrong is his fault and everything that goes right is due to the great leadership of the President.
Dr. Marc Vanefsky received his Bachelor of Science degree with distinction from the University of Rochester in New York in 1985, and his medical degree from the Chicago Medical School in 1989.  He completed internship and residency in Neurological Surgery at Stanford University in 1998.  He then went on to complete a Cerebrovascular Fellowship also at Stanford.  Since 1998, he has been Chief of Neurosurgery at the Kaiser Anaheim Medical Center. 
He is a member of the Joint Section of Cerebrovascular Surgery of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, Congress of Neurological Surgeons, California Association of Neurological Surgeons and a past president, Society of Neurological Surgeons of Orange County and a past president, and the Orange County Medical Society. He currently serves as the chairman of the Southwest Quadrant in the Council of State Neurosurgical Societies.  
Marc has been a member of the Western since 2004 and has served on the Audit and Site Selection committees and as Vice-President.  His clinical interests focus on surgical treatments of cerebral aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations.  He resides in southern California with his wife Helen and has one college age daughter, Angelika.

-Richard Chua
WNS Communications Committee

WNS Members in Print

JNS—October 2015
Gerald A. Grant, MD, and Michael S. B. Edwards, MD  Evolution of cranioplasty techniques in neurosurgery: historical review, pediatric considerations, and current trends
JNS—November 2015
Michael W. McDermott, MD  Skull base chondrosarcoma radiosurgery: report of the North American Gamma Knife Consortium
Steven Giannotta, MD  Cerebrospinal fluid reconstitution via a perfusion-based cadaveric model: feasibility study demonstrating surgical simulation of neuroendoscopic procedures
JNS—December 2015
Kim J. Burchiel, MD  Trigeminal neuralgia without neurovascular compression presents earlier than trigeminal neuralgia with neurovascular compression
JNS—January 2016
G. Michael Lemole Jr., MD  Morbidity and mortality of patients with endovascularly treated intracerebral aneurysms: does physician specialty matter?
Michael T. Lawton, MD and Michael W. McDermott, MD Volume-staged radiosurgery for large arteriovenous malformations: an evolving paradigm
Neil A. Martin, MD  Integrating risk management data in quality improvement initiatives within an academic neurosurgery department
JNS—February 2016
Michael T. Lawton, MD, and Mitchel S. Berger, MD  Surgical assessment of the insula. Part 1: surgical anatomy and morphometric analysis of the transsylvian and transcortical approaches to the insula
Mitchel S. Berger, MD  Surgical assessment of the insula. Part 2: validation of the Berger-Sanai zone classification system for predicting extent of glioma resection
Mitchel S. Berger, MD  Association of traumatic brain injury with subsequent neurological and psychiatric disease: a meta-analysis

JNS—March 2016
Andrew S. Little, MD  Comparison of outcomes between a less experienced surgeon using a fully endoscopic technique and a very experienced surgeon using a microscopic transsphenoidal technique for pituitary adenoma
Andrew S. Little, MD  Extensive traumatic anterior skull base fractures with cerebrospinal fluid leak: classification and repair techniques using combined vascularized tissue flaps
G. Michael Lemole Jr., MD  On resident duty hour restrictions and neurosurgical training: review of the literature
William T. Couldwell, MD, PhD  Malignant fungal infection of the cavernous sinus: case report VIDEO

JNS-Spine  December  2015
Christopher I. Shaffrey, MD  Reliability assessment of a novel cervical spine deformity classification system
Christopher I. Shaffrey, MD  Impact of dynamic alignment, motion, and center of rotation on myelopathy grade and regional disability in cervical spondylotic myelopathy
J. Patrick Johnson, MD  The role of sacral slope in lumbosacral fusion: a biomechanical study
Kim J. Burchiel, MD  Trigeminal neuralgia without neurovascular compression presents earlier than trigeminal neuralgia with neurovascular compression
Kim J. Burchiel, MD  Response to Letter to the Editor: Internal neurolysis for trigeminal neuralgia
JNS-Spine  January 2016
Christopher I. Shaffrey, MD  Association between preoperative cervical sagittal deformity and inferior outcomes at 2-year follow-up in patients with adult thoracolumbar deformity: analysis of 182 patients: Presented at the 2015 AANS/CNS Joint Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves
Christopher I. Shaffrey, MD  Effectiveness of preoperative autologous blood donation for protection against allogeneic blood exposure in adult spinal deformity surgeries: a propensity-matched cohort analysis
Lawrence Shuer, MD  Building an electronic health record integrated quality of life outcomes registry for spine surgery
JNS-Spine February 2016
Christopher I. Shaffrey, MD  Treatment of isolated cervical facet fractures: a systematic review

JNS-Spine March 2016
Praveen V. Mummaneni, MD  Editorial: Vascular injury during spinal procedures

Neurosurgery Focus February 2016
Praveen V. Mummaneni, MD The endoscopic transoral approach to the craniovertebral junction: an anatomical study with a clinical example
Neurosurgery September 2015
Berger, Mitchel S.  Neurocognitive Function in Newly Diagnosed Low-grade Glioma Patients Undergoing Surgical Resection with Awake Mapping Techniques
Neurosurgery December 2015

MacDonald, Joel D.  Epidemiology of Traumatic Brain Injury After Small-Wheeled Vehicle Trauma in Utah

Operative Neurosurgery  December 2015
Lawton, Michael T. 
Dual Origin of Extradural Posterior Inferior Cerebellar Artery From Vertebral and Occipital Arteries: Anatomic Case Report
Lawton, Michael T.  Aneurysm Transection and Intra-aneurysmal Clipping of a Giant Ophthalmic Artery Aneurysm: 3-Dimensional Operative Video
Operative Neurosurgery  March 2016
Lawton, Michael T. 
Microsurgical Management of Recurrent Anterior Communicating Artery Aneurysms After Endovascular Coiling: 3-Dimensional Operative Video
Lawton, Michael T.  Middle Cerebral Artery-to-A1 Anterior Cerebral Artery Intracranial-Intracranial Bypass for Ruptured Dissecting Pseudoaneurysm: 3-Dimensional Operative Video
Lawton, Michael T. 
Clipping of Ruptured Residual Anterior Communicating Artery Aneurysm After Endovascular Coiling: 3-Dimensional Operative Video
Clinical Neurosurgery August  2015 Suppl. 1
Ellenbogen, Richard G.  Return to Play: A Question of Balance
Sekhar, Laligam N.  Skull Base Meningiomas: Aggressive Resection
Lawton, Michael T.  Microsurgical Management of Residual and Recurrent Aneurysms After Coiling and Clipping: An Experience With 97 Patients
Mummaneni, Praveen V.; Shaffrey, Christopher I.  A Critical Analysis of Sagittal Plane Deformity Correction With Minimally Invasive Surgery: A 2-Year Follow-up Study of Deformity Patients Categorized by the SRS-Schwab Classification 
AANS Neurosurgeon June 2015
Mitchel S. Berger, MD 
 Patients with Incidentally Found Gliomas Should Always Be Offered Treatment

The Spine Journal August 2015
Christopher Shaffrey  
Magnitude of preoperative cervical lordotic compensation and C2–T3 angle are correlated to increased risk of postoperative sagittal spinal pelvic malalignment in adult thoracolumbar deformity patients at 2-year follow-up 
Copyright © 2016 Western Neurosurgical Society, All rights reserved.

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Newsletter Editor: Randy Smith (
Copyright © 2016 Western Neurosurgical Society, All rights reserved.

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Newsletter Editor: Randy Smith (