Nationally renowned Neurosurgeon to establish Neurosciences Center at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital


Dr. Alois Zauner, one of only 50 highly trained neuroendovascular neurosurgeons operating today in the United States, has moved to Santa Barbara with plans for developing a state-of-the-art Neurosciences Center at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. The development of this center is part of an increased emphasis on neuroscience services at Cottage.

Combining his knowledge in neurosurgery and neuroradiology, Dr. Zauner brings to the region unique experience with the advanced technologies used in treating such conditions as stroke, cerebral aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations of the brain. These procedures include minimally invasive surgery within the blood vessels (endovascular) as opposed to open surgery or medical therapy, and the use of innovative devices and catheters that can help prevent stroke-related complications.

Stroke remains the third leading cause of death and the number one cause of disability in the United States. Endovascular procedures, which are still relatively new and require specialized training, are generally performed by either neurointerventional radiologists or neurosurgeons with additional training in endovascular techniques. There are approximately 300 such physicians in the United States, 50 of whom are neurosurgeons like Dr. Zauner.

A native of Austria who received his medical degree from the University of Vienna, Dr. Zauner completed his surgical internship and neurosurgical residency training at the Medical College of Virginia. This was followed by a combined fellowship in neuroendovasuclar surgery and diagnostic and interventional radiology at UCLA where he was involved in neurosurgical research on minimally invasive approaches to the brain and skull base.

For the past four years, Dr. Zauner has directed the neuroendovasuclar services at the University of Miami in Florida, while also serving as assistant professor in the department of neurological surgery and radiology. As an attending neurosurgeon, he was performing approximately 900 endovascular and 100 open cranial surgeries a year. At the same time, he was conducting clinical research related to cerebral aneurysms and was principal investigator for the University of Miami's minimally invasive laboratory and experimental angiography suite. He is the author or co-author of more than 60 papers and book chapters and presenter of more than 130 abstracts, presentations and lectures.

To enhance services available for patients with stroke and other brain illnesses, a neuro-angiography suite is now under construction at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, and Dr. Zauner is forming an alliance with the UCSB Neuroscience Research Institute to continue investigative research in the field, including establishment of an on-site experimental laboratory at the University.


August 2007