Neurosurgery in the National Capital Region
Contribution to National Capital Consortium
The Walter Reed National Military Medical Center is only one part of the National Capital Consortium. Under the Base Realignment and Closure Act of 2005, the Department of Defense was required to combine four National Capital Region, or NCR, inpatient hospitals -- Walter Reed Army Medical Center, National Naval Medical Center, DeWitt Army Community Hospital at Fort Belvoir, Va., and Malcolm Grow Medical Center at Joint Base Andrews, Md. -- into two while, maintaining the same patient care capacity. The National Capital Consortium Neurosurgery Team provides consultation and surgical services to all patients within the umbrella of the National Capital Region.
We provide a unique service to our retiree and VA patient population. The NCC Neurosurgery team provides consultation and evaluation of neurosurgical patients from the Washington (DC) VA Hospital, Baltimore (MD) VA Hospital, and Martinsburg (WV) VA Hospital. The partnership is designed to ensure that those who have served our country have the opportunity to maintain continuity of care within the military medical system.
Affiliations with AANS/CNS
Currently, the senior societies have designated military sections as part of our membership in the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons. Our Department has established the first AANS medical student chapter through the Uniformed Services University, with the goal of obtaining interest from prospective medical students who are interested in a career as a military neurosurgeon.
Research centers: SIM lab, USUHS lab
Our department takes advantage of the Walter Reed Medical Simulation Center (SIM Center) located at the Walter Reed/WRAIR Forrest Glen Annex. This newly developed, state-of-the-art facility provides realistic opportunities to practice the art of neurosurgery using synthetic skull and spine replicas. There are also courses designed to react to mass casualty and trauma scenarios through the use of dynamic, continuous monitor patient simulators. The SIM Center also provides an outpatient experience using professional patient actors/actresses to sharpen primary care and patient-physician relationships.
The Department of Neurosurgery has the opportunity to perform cadaveric dissections and cranial and spinal anatomy courses at our own Human Anatomy facilities in conjunction with the Uniformed Services University. Monthly Neurotrauma courses are held throughout the academic year to review common surgical approaches as well as prepare for complex intracranial and spinal surgical cases. The facilities are maintained and the specimens prepared by the USU Department of Surgery staff and the Anatomical Training Laboratory staff.
The care of patients with disorders of the spine and spinal cord is the program’s area of strength. We offer a range of services to include minimally invasive techniques to open spinal deformity correction with fellowship trained neurosurgeons. Our focus is not just on the disease process, but the physical and psychological wellbeing before, during, and after surgery. This is exemplified by our Complex Spine Team- a multi-disciplinary team that evaluates patients from various aspects in order to develop a comprehensive care plan. We are also deeply invested in research. Our research program is sponsored by a DoD grant and we collaborate with other services with the simple aim of improving patient care. Our resident team is involved with every case and our research efforts.
Cerebrovascular neurosurgery represents one of the cornerstones of neurosurgical practice and residency education. The Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Cerebrovascular Neurosurgery team evaluates and treats blood vessel disorders of the brain and spine. We use microsurgical and endovascular techniques to diagnose and treat aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations. In cases of ischemic stroke, we perform clot retrieval to revascularize the brain. Our fellowship trained team consists of neurological surgeons and a neurologist who specialize in open and endovascular treatment in brain aneurysm, AVM, acute stroke, and cerebral bypass surgery. Additionally, through multidisciplinary vascular clinic, we combine our expertise with radiologists, neurologists, and vascular surgeons to provide individualized care to every patient. Residents on the service receive the full spectrum of training in the clinics, operating rooms, and the endovascular suites. Over the length of their training, the residents progress in this rigorous specialty to provide the best care for our nation’s service members and their families.
The peripheral nervous system functionally constitutes roughly one third of the nervous system, thus, competency in the understanding and treatment of peripheral nerve disorders is a paramount goal of the residency training program. The Department evaluates a wide variety of peripheral nerve disorders that are referred through the Neurosurgery Clinic, through collaboration with the monthly multi-specialty Peripheral Nerve Clinic, and through hospital and off campus physician consultations. Military patients and their dependents hail from many places and present with a wide range of disorders. The gamut of activity spans from the treatment of the common entrapment neuropathies, to serious and complicated war injuries, benign and malignant tumors, reconstruction of brachial plexus and sciatic nerve injuries, to collaboration with Orthopedic, Plastic or Oncology Surgery in the care of patients with complex soft tissue disorders. Residents are provided a one-on-one, tutorial style of education with progression of surgical activity and responsibilities based on knowledge and merit. There is ample opportunity to study and report upon the work. This experience offered by the residency training program is uncommon, and prepares a resident for success as a comprehensive military or civilian neurosurgeon.
The Neurosurgical Oncology service work in conjunction with neuro-oncologists, neuro-radiologists, and neuro-pathologists to provide state of the art neuro-oncology care. Brain and spine tumor patients are presented at a multidisciplinary tumor board to design an individualized optimal treatment plan. Neurosurgical Oncologic service offers procedures to treat brain and spine tumors using advanced technology including brain mapping techniques, advanced MRI, and neuro-navigation in order to achieve the optimal balance between tumor removal and neurologic outcomes.
The pediatric neurosurgery service at WRNMMC consists of a team of highly trained neurosurgeons, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and support staff. We work with military families worldwide to bring children in need of neurosurgery to WRNMMC. Our state-of-the-art operating rooms and surgical equipment allow us to treat the full spectrum of pediatric neurosurgery diseases.
We specialize in minimally invasive surgery and routinely perform image-guided neuroendoscopic surgery. Neuroendoscopy is a minimally invasive option for treating hydrocephalus, arachnoid cysts and some brain tumors. Certain forms of craniosynostosis can also be treated by an endoscopic strip craniectomy. Craniosynostosis patients are initially seen in our craniofacial clinic, which includes evaluations by pediatric neurosurgery, craniofacial plastic surgery, genetics, developmental behavioral pediatrics, and several other specialties.
- Neurotrauma and Critical Care
- Functional Neurosurgery and Epilepsy
The Tele-Neurosurgery service was developed so that beneficiaries outside of the DMV area have access to Neurosurgical services within the Tricare system. Our unique program utilizes licensed providers at established military treatment facilities and neurosurgeons at Walter Reed to conduct weekly tele-medicine clinic, which involves thorough review of medical history, cranio-spinal imaging, primary exam performed at the remote location and recommendations for future treatments.