Columbia University Medical Center

Dr. Robert Solomon A Pioneer In The Treatment Of Cerebral Aneurysms To Chair Department Of Neurosurgery At Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center

NEW YORK — Sept. 5, 1997 — Robert A. Solomon, M.D., has been named chairman of the Department of Neurological Surgery at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons and director of the Neurological Surgery Service at The Presbyterian Hospital.

Forty-three-year-old Dr. Solomon succeeds Dr. Bennett Stein as head of one of the most highly regarded departments of neurological surgery in the country. Dr. Solomon, who joined Columbia-Presbyterian in 1980 as a neurological surgery resident, is a pioneer in the treatment of giant cerebral aneurysms — badly deformed and ballooned vessels in the brain that are likely to rupture and cause death.

Since 1989, he has employed hypothermic arrest (a highly complex procedure that lowers body temperature and reduces brain activity and circulation) to remove such aneurysms with minimal blood loss and damage to vital organs. Achieving a patient survival rate of 85 percent to 90 percent, Dr. Solomon dramatically improves the prognosis for patients afflicted with this common cause of brain hemorrhage. Today, acute management of ruptured intercranial aneurysms, the methods Dr. Solomon pioneered more than a decade ago, have become the universal standard of care. “Dr. Solomon’s aggressive approach to finding a successful treatment for aneurysms and his commitment to the advancement of patient care have greatly contributed to the department’s reputation as a center of excellence for aneurysm treatment,” said Herbert Pardes, M.D., vice president for health sciences and dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Columbia University. “Coupled with the high standards set by Dr. Stein, Dr. Solomon’s innovative approach to tackling medical challenges and proven leadership ability will keep Columbia’s neurosurgical department among the nation’s finest.”

“Building on the strength of an outstanding group of young neurosurgeons strategically assembled over the last 11 years, the neurosurgery department is well-positioned for the future,” said Dr. Solomon. “With plans under way to acquire state-of-the-art technology for minimally invasive surgical approaches to neurological diseases, we will ensure that our department remains among the elite neurosurgical units in the world.” “Dr. Solomon’s long-standing commitment to our medical center makes his appointment an especially well-deserved one,” said William T. Speck, M.D., president and chief executive officer of The Presbyterian Hospital. “He is one of the reasons that our hospital’s neurological care has achieved a reputation for excellence, including yet another top-four ranking in U.S. News & World Report.” A native of Baltimore and a 1980 graduate of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Dr. Solomon began his general and neurological surgery training at Columbia-Presbyterian.

In addition to his expertise in treating aneurysms (he performs approximately 120 aneurysm operations a year), Dr. Solomon specializes in arteriovenous malformations of the brain and carotid artery disease. His research interests include cerebroprotection from stroke and the determination of the genetic basis of aneurysm formation. From 1986 to present, he has led the neurological intensive care unit and is the current director of the medical center’s neurological surgery residency program.

The Department of Neurological Surgery

The Department of Neurological Surgery at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center is internationally recognized for its surgical expertise in the treatment of brain and spine tumors. A part of the Neurological Institute at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, the department treats more cases of neurological dysfunction than any other teaching hospital in the world. Columbia-Presbyterian’s 12-member neurosurgical team performs more than 2,000 operations per year and is recognized for making immense strides in the management of a wide range of disorders of the central nervous system. In the coming years, Dr. Solomon anticipates major scientific contributions from faculty members, especially in the areas of cerebrovascular diseases, neurooncology, and epilepsy.