I am very pleased to announce that I have joined the Wellington Hospital Neurosurgical centre.
The unit was founded in 1978 by Professor H Alan Crockard, a Northern Irishman who became one of the most renowned neurosurgeons in the World. I was lucky to work as a senior house officer for "AC" (as he was known) at Queen Square, my first neurosurgical post when I came to the United Kingdom. As such it is the longest stablished and largest private neurosurgical facility in this country.
A great deal of my work relates to vascular diseases of the brain and I work in close partnership with expert interventional neuroradiologists to deliver microsurgical as well as endovascular solutions. In the past it has often been necessary to draw on NHS resources to provide the highest level of care as this is where technology that I regard as "mission critical" for some of this surgery. The funds generated for the NHS facilities would then be reinvested in the wider trust. However it has become almost impossible to offer this type of surgery at my own NHS base for the past two years and this seems likely to remain the case for the foreseeable future as the after-effects of the pandemic continue to be felt.
Thanks to significant investment and development by the Wellington Hospital it is now possible to offer an equivalent or even better environment for complex procedures than has ever been the case in the independent sector.
Biplanar angiographic suites enable delivery of the latest endovascular treatments including flow-diverting stents and intraneurysmal flow disruptors. The angiographic suite is located adjacent to a brand new operating theatre with intraoperative MR capability and the latest integrated BrainLab image guidance system. This creates the ideal environment for hybrid procedures including intraoperative angiography. I am delighted to be able to partner with Interventional Neuroradiologists who I already work closely with in the NHS to support these treatments.
The same modern micro-, exo- and endoscope platforms that we have already successfully deployed to enable successful microsurgical treatment of the most complex arteriovenous malformations and aneurysms are available too meaning for the first time I can deliver everything I could previously only offer from my NHS base. In particular we have access to the latest iteration of the indocyanine green videoangiography technology which has made neurovascular surgery safer over the past 15 years. This also facilitates the application of less invasive "keyhole" type microsurgical approaches enabling faster recovery.
In the summer of 2022 the Wellington Hospital the first neurosurgical intraoperative MR facility in the UK independent sector. This allows images to be taken during a surgical procedure that determine e.g. how completely a tumour has been removed, to determine proximity to critical anatomical structures in real time that take account of changes in position during surgery and also to allow update registration of the neurosurgeon's "satnav" technology- image guidance systems- to ensure accuracy is maintained as an operation progresses.
We have already carried out several neurovascular cases at the new facility and are excited by the opportunities it affords to provide complex treatments in a safe environment.
The Wellington has a long established neurorehabilitation unit with an international reputation as well as stereotactic radiosurgical facilities on site making this an opportunity to provide a truly comprehensive service.
Daniel Walsh FRCS, Consultant Neurosurgeon