SIUH WELCOMES A DISTINGUISHED NEW DIRECTOR OF CEREBROVASCULAR-ENDOVASCULAR NEUROSURGERY TO ITS RAPIDLY EXPANDING NEUROSCIENCES PROGRAM

BY JESSICA JONES-GORMAN • PHOTOS BY AMESSE PHOTOGRAPHY

In expert in treating a range of complex brain disorders, uniquely specializing in both open surgery and less invasive endovascular therapies, Raphael Sacho, MD, FRCS, IFAANS, has several years of international training and experience in applying novel surgical techniques to the blood vessels of the brain. Solving complicated issues like cerebral thrombosis and arterial stenosis in both children and adults, the skilled surgeon has a vested interest in curing any condition that affects blood flow to the brain. And as one of Northwell Health’s newest directors of cerebrovascular and endovascular neurosurgery, Dr. Sacho is now bringing his very exclusive skill set to the residents of Staten Island.

“I was passionate about training in both open surgical and endovascular treatments so that I could deliver the therapy I thought was best for my patients,” noted Dr. Sacho, who joined the neuroscience team at Staten Island University Hospital this past July. “I firmly believe having both skill sets makes providers less biased in terms of what therapy they will offer patients.”

Dr. Sacho’s appointment comes as part of Northwell’s push to expand the neurosciences program at SIUH the healthcare provider recently retrofitted and equipped an eight-bed, dedicated Neuro-ICU at the Seaview Avenue site and substantially boosted its staff to offer 24/7 neurosurgical and neuro interventional services. Large investments in equipment and technology have also been made.

“There are a lot of exciting developments here under the direction of our visionary Executive Director Dr. Brahim Ardolic, with the help of Drs. Ronit Gilad and Souhel Najjar,” Dr. Sacho said. “By providing complex brain surgeries right here on Staten Island this neuroscience team is making a tremendous difference in the local community.”

Boasting a team of world-class neurosurgeons who offer a range of treatments for a variety of brain and spine vascular conditions, the cerebrovascular and endovascular department at SIUH performs traditional open surgical approaches as well as minimally invasive procedures and state-of-the-art stereotactic radiosurgery and interventional neuroradiology. A multidisciplinary culture allows doctors to seamlessly collaborate on each case.

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“Everyone plays a unique role in each and every patient outcome,” Dr. Sacho said. “The physicians collaborate on the best mode of care and our ancillary staff our PAs, nurses, transporters, everyone – makes a huge difference in our day-to-day successes. Being located in New York City, we are competing with some of the top healthcare centers in the country if not the world. The high quality program and staff that has been procured here can stand up to that of any other medical center in this area.”

Born and raised in South Africa, Dr. Sacho attended medical school in Johannesburg before moving to Manchester, England, to complete his neurosurgery residency at NHS North West. He completed fellowships in cerebrovascular neurosurgery and interventional neuroradiology at the University of Toronto-Ontario, Canada, before taking a position at the Milwaukee Medical College in Wisconsin where he spent six years focusing on providing patient centered care using the safest and most effective therapies available. After being recruited by North well in early 2021, he moved to Pleasant Plains this past summer.

“I’ve lived in several different countries and have almost become an expert at moving,” Dr. Sacho quipped. “My wife provides me with tremendous support; we have nine children and without her none of these relocations would have been possible. Together as a family we are very excited to be residents of New York City, and professionally I am eager to promote our program and the reality that Staten Island residents no longer have to travel outside of the borough to treat complex brain issues.”

Since joining the neurosurgery team at SIUH, Dr. Sacho has performed several minimally invasive brain surgeries and has also implanted a Woven EndoBridge, or WEB device, recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration both to fill an aneurysm and provide flow-diversion properties. A sphere of woven wires appearing a bit like a basket and about the size of an eraser head on a pencil this device is inserted by a minimally invasive catheter before being threaded into the aneurysm.

Dr. Sacho’s next goal is to secure comprehensive stroke center accreditation for SIUH, the highest level of certification for hospitals with specific capabilities to receive and treat the most complex stroke cases.

“This accreditation is built around a patient-centric approach which is exactly what we practice here,” Dr. Sacho said. “We are focused on offering very personalized and accessible care, breaking down barriers so that patients can have transparent access during every step of their treatment plan.”

The doctor explained that providing this form of personalized care is what makes his career so fulfilling.

“Patients put a lot of trust in me and I take that extremely seriously,” he said. “My most important role here is to listen to their concerns, treat them with dignity, and properly cater their therapy to achieve the best possible result.”

Raphael H. Sacho, MD, FRCS, IFAANS
501 Seaview Avenue, Suite 201
718.226.4940 / Email: rsacho@northwell.edu