Neurological Surgery in Winnipeg
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History of Neurosurgery at The University of Manitoba

The history of neurosurgery in Winnipeg dates back to 1927 when Drs. Alexander Gibson and Oliver Waugh performed the first craniotomies at Winnipeg General Hospital. Dr. Waugh, a General Surgeon by training, narrowed the focus of his practice to neurosurgery in 1939 and was joined by Dr. Hugh Cameron, another General Surgeon, not long after.

Manitoba's first specialty trained Neurosurgeon, Dr. Dwight Parkinson, was recruited to Winnipeg in 1950 and became the Head of the Section of Neurosurgery. Dr. Parkinson pioneered the surgical treatment of carotid-cavernous fistulae and wrote seminal papers on the surgical anatomy of the lateral cavernous space (cavernous sinus).

Dr. Parkinson was joined by Dr. Rankin Hay (who succeeded him as Section Head) in 1957 and Norman Hill, a former Grey Cup winning Winnipeg Blue Bomber, in 1958 to form what would be the nucleus of the Section of Neurosurgery for the next several decades.

The Section of Neurosurgery now consists of nine full-time members covering the full spectrum of neurosurgical subspecialties including vascular neurosurgery, pediatric neurosurgery, spinal neurosurgery and functional neurosurgery. All neurosurgical services are consolidated at the Winnipeg Health Sciences Centre, consisting of the Winnipeg General Hospital and Winnipeg Children's Hospital. With the opening of the Winnipeg Centre for Gamma Knife Surgery in 2003, the Section of Neurosurgery at the University of Manitoba became the first Canadian centre to offer stereotactic radiosurgical procedures with the Gamma Knife.

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