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Autumn 2017


2018 Annual Meeting

2018 Western Neurosurgical Society Meeting
Kohala Cost, Hawaii, HI
Fairmont Orchid Resort
September 14-17, 2018
            For our 64th annual meeting, we return to the Kohala Coast on the big island of Hawaii, this time for our first visit to the Fairmont Orchid Hawaii resort.  The resort is adjacent to the Mauna Lani hotel where we have met 4 times in the past so many of our members will be familiar with the area. 
Fairmont Orchid Hawaii is a Four Diamond resort hotel featuring an award-winning Spa, a 10,000 square foot ocean side pool, six restaurants, beach club, year-round children's program, golf, fitness center and tennis pavilion.
We have negotiated room rates to include a Fairmont garden view room for $269/night, Partial Ocean View rooms for $279 and Ocean View rooms for $299.  Taxes will add 14.4% to each room’s daily cost.  All rooms the same size and same amenities of complimentary Wi-Fi access, 42” LCD HD television with built in media hub and iPod adapter, refrigerator, Keurig coffee maker, spacious marble bathroom with separate shower and bathtub, and a private furnished lanai.
The $30/night resort fee has been waived for our group but we still will enjoy the amenities of unlimited basic internet access in guest rooms and resort public areas, self-parking for one vehicle per room, any local, domestic long distance and 1-800 access calls from your guest room, nightly housekeeping turndown service with bottled water for each registered guest, 24 hour access to the fitness center, on-demand shuttle transportation within the Mauna Lani Resort area, one-hour snorkel equipment rental (based on two sets per room, per day) and various cultural hikes including one to the nearby petroglyph field, lei making ocean side on a grassy knoll, Hawaiian outrigger canoe paddling in the open ocean, stand up paddle boarding in the bay and snorkeling adventures.
The resort is 22 miles form the Kona airport along highway 19.  A shared shuttle from the airport to the Orchid ( is about $125 plus tips for 2 persons round trip while a cab (—minivan or SUV) for up to 6 folks is $75 one-way plus tip.  Renting a full-size car at the airport will run you $270/week (Dollar).  Rental cars available at the Orchid.
The resort has a Keiki Aloha children's program designed to enhance your keiki's (child's) Hawaiian vacation experience.  Children between 5-12 can take part on a daily basis with a half day (9-12) costing $85 and a full day (9-4) going for $105.  There is also a Keiki kid friendly cuisine at Brown's Beach House, Hale Kai Restaurant, Norio's Steakhouse and Sushi Bar, and Luana Lounge.   Children five years of age and under eat for free when ordering from the Keiki Menu and dining with a registered adult guest. Children 6-12 years of age can order from the Keiki Menu or order a half portion from the regular dining menu with 50% off menu pricing.
Afternoon activities including golf and tennis are being arranged and details TBA.  A link to reserve a room is  You will be required to make a deposit consisting of the cost of two room nights plus taxes.

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

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

Pictures from the 2017 meeting in Banff, Canada
The 63rd Annual Meeting of the Western Neurosurgical Society was held at the Banff Springs hotel in Alberta, Canada, September 9-11, 2017. WNS President Charlie Nussbaum presided.
The meeting was attended by 94 members and professional guests and supported by 17 companies including Medtronic Spine at the Gold Level and Varian Medical Systems at the Silver level. It is all 17 of these companies who make the meeting possible at the level of registration fee we charge.
President Nussbaum efficiently conducted the business of the Society, both at the Executive Committee meeting and subsequently at the annual business meeting. The following issues are of note:
§  Financially, the Society remains on a solid financial footing.
§  The Executive Committee committed $5000 for creation of a more interactive Website which will allow online payment of dues and meeting registration in addition to current informational items.
§  By-laws revisions were adopted creating the position of Secretary/Treasurer-Elect to be elected in the final year of a sitting S/T three-year stint who will attend EC meetings w/o vote and automatically assume the S/T position at the conclusion of the sitting S/T tenure.
§  The 2 New Active and 3 Provisional members approved at the business meeting are presented elsewhere in this newsletter
§  Thomas Scully, President Elect and John McVicker, Vice President and Moustapha Abou-Samra, Historian were elected unanimously.
Andrew Little from the Barrow chaired the Program Committee which provided a stimulating scientific program that, in addition to the Cloward (Volker Sonntag), Ablin (Lucy Kalanithi) and Presidential presentations (Charlie Nussbaum), included invited special lectures by naturalist Jack Nesbitt on the exploration of the Canadian Rockies, an address by Bill McGirt on quality measures in spine surgery and thoughts on neurosurgery career challenges by member and essayist Richard Rapport.
The resident awards in clinical and basic science (featured in the newsletter annual meeting supplement available on the WNS website at plus two additional resident papers were chosen from among 21 abstracts submitted by residents.  Twenty-two free papers were presented by members and member candidates.  Twelve hours of Category I CME were available.
Social events:
The opening reception kicked off with a cocktail hour among the exhibitors blending into an adjacent reception area with good food featuring tastes of Canada which included moose meat. On Saturday evening, after the pall of smoke from wildfires in Washington and B.C. was cleared by a light rain which finally allowed the Rockies to be seen in all their splendor, attendees were bussed to an in-the-woods BBQ yurt-like building for good food and a Western outlaw enactment that included a faux stringing-up of our President-Elect Marty Weinand.

The on-site banquet was well attended. During the cocktail reception, Debbie McVicker led those assembled in singing the American and Canadian national anthems followed by some classical violin pieces performed by new member Claudia Martin who holds a degree in music from McGill.  During dinner, Historian Moose Abou-Samra discussed how the Society handled the cancellation of the 2001 meeting due to the 9/11 terrorist attack and how we were magnanimously treated by our 2001 Canadian venue.  The cuisine was top drawer as was the band.
Passing of the Gavel:
Charlie Nussbaum passed the gavel to Marty Weinand who along with first lady Shauna Weinand will preside over the meeting next year at the Fairmont Orchid Resort in the Kohala Coast region on the big island of Hawaii, September 14-17, 2018.
                     Wildfires play no favorites

In California, the extreme wildfires north of San Francisco have not spared Western members.
Jay Levy, long time WNS member, reports he lost his home in Napa which burned to the ground (pictures below). 

Tom Kenefick, a senior WNS member and owner of the Kenefick Ranch Winery in Calistoga, had to evacuate on short notice.  He reports his winery, home and daughter Caitlin are all well and were not singed by the fires.
Tom has supplied some of his excellent wines to Western activities over the years.
We send most heartfelt good wishes to these beleaguered members.
VARIAN--Silver Level Exhibitor in Banff

We hope our members will support the companies that support the Western.
Weinand Assumes WNS Helm
Martin (Marty) E. Weinand has assumed the presidency of the Western Neurosurgical Society in Banff at the 63rd Annual Meeting.  After a near death experience at the local night Western show, where he was accused of horse stealing and nearly strung up in front of the membership, he pleaded for mercy and promised to be the next president of our society.  He was unanimously pardoned and welcomed as its next president at the formal banquet on September 10th!
Dr. Weinand has been a member of the WNS since 1997. He served on numerous committees and as the Scientific Program Chairman for two years in 2014 and 2015 and as President-Elect in 2016.
After graduating Phi Beta Kappa in chemistry from Emory in 1980, Dr. Weinand attended St. Louis University School of Medicine, graduating in1984. He completed his neurosurgery residency at the University of Kansas in 1990. After a short stint as a clinical instructor at the University of Tennessee, he moved to Tucson, AZ in 1991 where he advanced from Assistant Professor to full Professor of Neurosurgery by 2002.  He currently practices in Tucson in the Division of Neurosurgery at the University of Arizona College of Medicine.  He has been the only program director at the University of Arizona neurosurgery residency which he founded in 2003. He served as Chief of the Division of Neurosurgery from 2004-2009.  His practice interests include Neuro-Critical Care, Neurotrauma, Epilepsy Surgery and Surgical Pain Management and he has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters.
Dr. Weinand is a member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, The Congress of Neurological Surgeons, and the American Epilepsy Society. He has served as a guest examiner for the American Board of Neurological Surgeons. He served as a neurosurgery representative on the American College of Surgeons’ Committee on Trauma.
Marty is married to his lovely wife, Shauna, who has worked as a neurotrauma ICU nurse for 16 years. She has nearly completed her graduate studies at the University of Arizona for her Doctorate in Nursing Practice (DNP).  He has three children from his first marriage to Marcy Ann Coady, MD, a private practice psychiatrist whose untimely passing occurred in 2007. His oldest child Michael Alexander, is a physical therapist  practicing in Philadelphia;  a second son Jamie Drew is  a first year Family Practice resident in the Southern New Mexico Family Practice Residency program in Las Cruces, NM,  and his youngest is daughter Lauren Marie, a third year medical student at the University of Arizona in Tucson.
Marty enjoys swimming laps and working out with a trainer as an antidote to his long busy days. His favorite hobby is working in his lab where he does gene expression research in epilepsy. He enjoys traveling and is an avid reader.
As our new President, Dr. Weinand plans to:
  1. Emphasize increasing the membership of the Society.
  2. Nurture younger members to get involved in leadership of the Society.
  3. Grow corporate participation in support of the Society and its annual meetings.
Dr. Weinand has been an outstanding leader throughout his career.  We look forward to his steady guidance and inspired leadership this year as President.
--Bill Ganz
WNS Communications Committee
New  Members 2017
Hasimran Brara (Los Angeles, CA) 
MD: Loyola Chicago
Residency: University of Rochester
Currently: Kaiser, LA
Claudia Martin (Portland, OR) 
MD: McGill University 
Residency: Yale
Currently: Private Practice

Sharona Ben-Haim  (San Diego, CA)


Mount Sinai, NYC

Currently: Assistant Professor, UCSD.

Justin Dye (San Diego, CA)      
MD: Loma Linda
Residency: UCLA
Currently: LCDR, US Navy
Luke Macyszyn (Los Angeles, CA) 
MD: Boston University
Residency: University of Pennsylvania
Currently: Assistant Professor, UCLA


W. Eugene Stern   1920-2017

On July 27, 2017, the world of Medicine and Surgery lost a towering neurosurgical pioneer and the Western lost its last surviving founding member when Gene Stern died at his home in Truckee, CA.
Dr. Stern was born in Portland, Oregon but grew up in Southern California. He attended college at Berkley and received his Medical Degree as well as his neurosurgical training at UCSF, under the direction of Dr. Howard C. Naffziger.
Walter Eugene Stern Jr. was the founding chairman of the Division of Neurosurgery at UCLA in 1952 which subsequently became a department which he chaired until his retirement.  While at UCLA, he helped build the renowned program with which we are familiar today. He assumed the Chairmanship of Surgery in 1981, a position he held until his retirement in 1987. The W. Eugene Stern Endowed Chair of neurosurgery was dedicated in his honor at UCLA.
He was a dedicated clinician and researcher with wide areas of interest. Additionally, he was a meticulous teacher and a demanding neurosurgeon; he held himself to the highest of standards, before expecting the same from his students and trainees.
Dr. Stern held many distinguished positions in organized neurosurgery and surgery: He was chairman of the editorial board of the Journal of Neurosurgery, Vice Chairman of the American Board of Neurological Surgery, Secretary of the American College of Surgeons, President of the Western Neurosurgical Society, President of the Society of Neurological Surgeons and President of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. He received many great honors including: The Cushing Medal from the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and the Byron C. Pevehouse Distinguished Service Award from the California Association of Neurological Surgery.
Dr. Stern managed, during his demanding neurosurgical training in San Francisco, to meet, date, fall in love and marry his chairman’s daughter, Elizabeth Naffziger in 1946. She preceded him in death in 1989 due to a hiking accident. Four children survive them: Geoffrey Alexander, Howard Christian, Eugenia Louise, and Walter Eugene III.
He was a true gentleman and was always welcoming to new members of the neurosurgical community in Southern California, and this writer remembers him fondly: he was very gracious when we met him for the first time after moving to Ventura, and at every encounter since.  
A video interview with Dr. Stern done in 2014 by Marv Bergsneider is available on the Western’s Website ( in the History menu item.
--M. Abou-Samra
WNS Communications Committee

                   2017 Annual Meeting Program on Website
For those of you who were unable to attend the annual meeting this 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 2017 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".


Edward H. Oldfield, M.D.

We are saddened to note that Honorary member Dr. Edward Oldfield passed away at his home in Virginia on September 1, 2017.  Dr. Oldfield was the recipient of the WNS Cloward Award in 2015 and many of us recall meeting him in Kauai when his presentation The origin of concepts in neurosurgery: One neurosurgeon’s perspective was well received. 

Ed was born on November 22,1947 in Kentucky, got his MD from the UK and his neurosurgical training at Vanderbilt. 
Dr. Oldfield had a long and productive career at the NIH and was Chief of Neurosurgery there from 1984 until 2007 when he left to join the faculty at the University of Virginia, being active there until his death.  While at the NIH his laboratory studied and contributed greatly to our understanding of pituitary tumors, von Hippel-Lindau disease, syringomyelia, spinal avm’s and pathophysiology of vasospasm.  He co-invented convention enhanced drug delivery and held patents in gene therapy.
Dr. Oldfield was author or coauthored over 500 original scientific and clinical articles.  He held many leadership positions including the journal Neurosurgery and The Journal of Neurosurgery.  He served as President of the Society of Neurological Surgeons and received numerous accolades in his life, including the Harvey Cushing Medal of honor and the first AANS Cushing Award for Technical Excellence and Innovation in Neurosurgery. 
Ed enjoyed the outdoors, hiking, bird watching, photography and especially fly fishing.  He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Susan, daughter Caroline Talbott Oldfield and three siblings; Richard Oldfield, Brenda Oldfield and Joseph Oldfield. 

--Greg Gerras
WNS Communications Committee



Shokei Yamada, MD, PhD.
The Western sadly notes the death of a stalwart member, and longtime friend of many of us, Shokei Yamada, M.D., PhD of Loma Linda University School of Medicine on August 31, 2017 at the age of 91.  Dr. Yamada joined the Western in1980 and remained a member until his passing.
Dr. Yamada received his M.D. and Ph.D. in physiology from Jikei University in Tokyo, Japan in 1954. He got his neurosurgery training at the University of Chicago and the Oregon Health Science University. After a stint at the Medical University of South Carolina he came to Loma Linda University School of Medicine in 1973 where he spent the next 26 years. He retired in 1999 and since then participated in teaching, research and consultations.  He presented many papers at Western meetings before his retirement.
Shokei had an illustrious career spanning six decades.  Due to his innovation and expertise in treating adult tethered cord syndrome many of his patients came from as far away as Europe, China, Australia, and South America to seek his medical care.  He received the Distinguished Neurosurgeon Award of the CNS. He was regarded as the preeminent authority on adult tethered cord syndrome and leaves his mark in the field of neurosurgery in his book "Tethered Cord Syndrome" which is in its 2nd edition.
Shokei was married to Rachel Thomasson of York, SC, enjoying almost 50 years together. They had two daughters, Vivian and Cheryl, and one son, Brian.  He had a deep love of classical music, in particular the violin, which he played.  He was a devoted Angels fan and attended many games over the years with Rachel and the children. Shokei spoke and read four languages: Japanese, English, French and German.
Dr. Yamada was the consummate gentleman and was always pleasant and interested in any topic presented.  He will leave a void not likely to be filled by anyone soon.
WNS Members In Print
AANS Neurosurgeon-September 2017
Sharona Ben-Haim, MD  Point/Counterpoint: Opioid Prescriptions — What is a Neurosurgeon's Responsibility? 
JNS-Peds August 2017
Isaac Yang, MD  Pediatric superior semicircular canal dehiscence: illustrative case and systematic review
JNS-June 2017
Mitchel S. Berger, MD and Michael W. McDermott, MD  Resection and brain brachytherapy with permanent iodine-125 sources for brain metastasis
Michael McDermott, MD  Discovery of additional brain metastases on the day of stereotactic radiosurgery: risk factors and outcomes
William T. Couldwell, MD, PhD  Adjuvant radiotherapy for atypical meningiomas
Edward H. Oldfield, MD  Two distinct populations of Chiari I malformation based on presence or absence of posterior fossa crowdedness on magnetic resonance imaging
Edward H. Oldfield, MD  Correlation between GH and IGF-1 during treatment for acromegaly
Andres M. Lozano, MD, PhD  Prediction and detection of seizures from simultaneous thalamic and scalp electroencephalography recordings
JNS-July 2017
Michael T. Lawton, MD  Improved outcomes for patients with cerebrovascular malformations at high-volume centers: the impact of surgeon and hospital volume in the United States, 2000–2009
William T. Couldwell, MD, PhD, Joel D. MacDonald, MD  Factors influencing management of unruptured intracranial aneurysms: an analysis of 424 consecutive patients
JNS-September 2017
Michael T. Lawton, MD  Bypass surgery for complex middle cerebral artery aneurysms: an algorithmic approach to revascularization
Jeffrey G. Ojemann, MD  Chronic electrocorticography for sensing movement intention and closed-loop deep brain stimulation with wearable sensors in an essential tremor patient
JNS-October 2017
Michael T. Lawton, MD  The anterior temporal artery: an underutilized but robust donor for revascularization of the distal middle cerebral artery
Michael T. Lawton, MD  Tonsillobiventral fissure approach to the lateral recess of the fourth ventricle
Mitchel S. Berger, MD  Language outcomes after resection of dominant inferior parietal lobule gliomas
Andres M. Lozano, MD, PhD  3-Tesla MRI in patients with fully implanted deep brain stimulation devices: a preliminary study in 10 patients
William T. Couldwell, MD, PhD  Neurosurgeon as educator: a review of principles of adult education and assessment applied to neurosurgery
JNS-Spine June 2017
David W. Newell, MD  Posterior arch C-1 screw technique: a cadaveric comparison study
Christopher I. Shaffrey, MD  Development of a preoperative predictive model for major complications following adult spinal deformity surgery
JNS-Spine July 2017
Christopher I. Shaffrey, MD  Retrospective analysis underestimates neurological deficits in complex spinal deformity surgery: a Scoli-RISK-1 Study
Lawrence Shuer, MD  Predicting complication risk in spine surgery: a prospective analysis of a novel risk assessment tool
JNS-Spine August 2017
Christopher I. Shaffrey, MD and Praveen V. Mummaneni, MD  Risk factors for 30-day reoperation and 3-month readmission: analysis from the Quality and Outcomes Database lumbar spine registry
JNS-Spine October 2017
Christopher I. Shaffrey, MD  An analysis from the Quality Outcomes Database, Part 1. Disability, quality of life, and pain outcomes following lumbar spine surgery: predicting likely individual patient outcomes for shared decision-making
Christopher I. Shaffrey, MD  An analysis from the Quality Outcomes Database, Part 2. Predictive model for return to work after elective surgery for lumbar degenerative disease
Antonio De Salles, MD, PhD  Reirradiation spine stereotactic body radiation therapy for spinal metastases: systematic review: International Stereotactic Radiosurgery Society practice guidelines
Christopher I. Shaffrey, MD  Complication rates associated with 3-column osteotomy in 82 adult spinal deformity patients: retrospective review of a prospectively collected multicenter consecutive series with 2-year follow-up
Neurosurgical Focus June 2017
William T. Couldwell, MD, PhD  Use of the Pipeline embolization device in the treatment of iatrogenic intracranial vascular injuries: a bi-institutional experience
Neurosurgical Focus July 2017
Bob S. Carter, MD  Introduction. Neurosurgical rehabilitation
Bob S. Carter, MD  Establishing reconstructive neurosurgery as a subspecialty VIDEO
Neurosurgical Focus August 2017
Praveen V. Mummaneni, MD  Introduction. Minimally invasive spine surgery
Praveen V. Mummaneni, MD  Mini-open anterior approach for cervicothoracic junction fracture: technical note VIDEO
Praveen V. Mummaneni, MD and Christopher I. Shaffrey, MD  Minimally invasive versus open fusion for Grade I degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis: analysis of the Quality Outcomes Database
Praveen V. Mummaneni, MD  Editorial. Nuances of restoration of lumbar lordosis using an MIS anterior column release versus posterior 3-column osteotomy
Neurosurgery August 2017
Michael W. McDermott, MD Factors Associated With Pre- and Postoperative Seizures in 1033 Patients Undergoing Supratentorial Meningioma Resection
Praveen V. Mummaneni, MD  Geographic and Hospital Variation in Cost of Lumbar Laminectomy and Lumbar Fusion for Degenerative Conditions
Michael T. Lawton, MD  Macrovascular Decompression of the Brainstem and Cranial Nerves: Evolution of an Anteromedial Vertebrobasilar Artery Transposition Technique
Michael W. McDermott, MD and Praveen V. Mummaneni, MD  In Reply: Factors Predicting Recurrence After Resection of Clival Chordoma Using Variable Surgical Approaches and Radiation Modalities

Neurosurgery September 2017
Joel D. MacDonald, MD  In Reply: Rerupture of a Blister Aneurysm After Treatment With a Single Flow-Diverting Stent

Operative Neurosurgery August 2017
Michael T. Lawton, MD  Contralateral Anterior Interhemispheric Approach to Medial Frontal Arteriovenous Malformations: Surgical Technique and Results
Edward H. Oldfield, MD  Functional Outcome After Resection of Von Hippel-Lindau Disease-Associated Cauda Equina Hemangioblastomas: An Observational Cohort Study
Michael T. Lawton, MD  The Infrazygomatic Segment of the Superficial Temporal Artery: Anatomy and Technique for Harvesting a Better Interposition Graft
Laligam N. Sekhar, MD  Microsurgical Management of Large, Fusiform, Partially Thrombosed Middle Cerebral Artery (M2) Aneurysm with End-to-End M2 Anastomosis: 3-Dimensional Operative Video
Michael T. Lawton, MD  The Supracerebellar-Transtentorial Approach to Vascular Lesions in the Inferomedial Temporal Lobe: 3-Dimensional Operative Video
Michael T. Lawton, MD  Clip Reconstruction of a Recurrent Giant Anterior Communicating Artery Aneurysm After Endovascular Coiling: 3-Dimensional Operative Video
Spine Journal July 2017
Praveen Mummaneni  Is the use of minimally invasive fusion technologies associated with improved outcomes after elective interbody lumbar fusion? Analysis of a nationwide prospective patient-reported outcomes registry
Surgical Neurology International September 2017
William T. Couldwell  Neurovascular patterning cues and implications for central and peripheral neurological disease
James I. Ausman  A View of the Future from Mercedes Benz
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