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Columbia Neurosurgeons Battle at Pinehurst

From left to right: Dr. Michael Sisti, Dr. Jeffrey Bruce, Dr. E. Sander Connolly, and Dr. Sean Lavine.
From left to right: Dr. Michael Sisti, Dr. Jeffrey Bruce, Dr. E. Sander Connolly, and Dr. Sean Lavine.

This month in Pinehurst, North Carolina four of our neurosurgeons prepared for battle: Dr. Sean LavineDr. E. Sander ConnollyDr. Michael Sisti, and Dr. Jeffrey Bruce.

  • The reason for battle: Improve the understanding and treatment of diseases involving the cerebrovascular system and skull base.

  • The place: The Duke Center for Surgical Intervention at the Duke University School of Medicine.

  • The warriors: Neurosurgeons, neurologists, neurointerventionalists, anesthesiologists, and otolaryngologists from top medical institutions across the Country.

  • The Rules of Engagement: British parliamentary-style debating techniques.

The collision began for our neurosurgeons at dawn (it was probably closer to 8:00 but it was early nonetheless) on a Friday when Dr. Sean Lavine stepped forward to argue the value of Stent Assisted Coiling for the treatment of wide-necked brain aneurysms. He did this bravely in the face of two other neurosurgeons, one who stood for Flow Diversion, and another who stood for Clipping as the treatment for this same condition.

Next, Dr. E. Sander Connolly threw fiery lobs of insight for the use of of Observation in cases of inoperable Arteriovenous Malformations, all the while dodging the steely arguments of two other surgeons, one for Radiosurgery Alone and another for Radiosurgery with Embolization.

The fighting was fierce but the tension was soon allayed with snacks and exhibits in the Cardinal Ballroom of the Carolina Hotel. The day continued without serious losses and all involved retired to their quarters to tend to their wounds and celebrate their small victories.

The next day, our neurosurgeons rose early once again, and it was Dr. Michael Sisti this time who pulled on his boots (they might have actually been polished dress shoes) and marched into the field. All was quite as the rules of the day were laid out by fellow Columbia neurosurgeon and battle referee Dr. Jeffrey Bruce. Then, Dr. Sisti engaged with unyielding bravery against a melee of shrapnel arguing for the Middle Fossa Approach in the treatment of vestibular schwannomas, while he himself remained steely eyed for the use of a Retrosigmoid Approach.

In the end peace once again returned to Pinehurst. The brave soldiers carried their wounded from the field, enemies became friends, and they all went out for a good round of golf.

You can find out more about this dramatic event, Cerebrovascular and Skull Base Surgery: The Battle at Pinehurst, online here or at the Duke Center for Surgical Intervention at the Duke University School of Medicine. You can also learn more in our previous post, Docs Down To Duke For The Pinehurst Battle.

Learn more about Dr. Sean Lavine on his bio page here.
Learn more about Dr. E. Sander Connolly on his bio page here.
Learn more about Dr. Michael Sisti on his bio page here.
Learn more about Dr. Jeffrey Bruce on his bio page here.

patient journey

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