|Vivekananda A. Gonugunta
Vivekananda A. Gonugunta, MD, FRCS, has always liked challenges. In fact, it’s one of the reasons he decided to specialize in neurosurgery.
“It’s a very challenging specialty. There is so much of the brain that we don’t know about, despite all of the research,” he said. “The specialty also requires dexterity. Any surgery of the brain has a high risk of side effects such as paralysis or coma, even compared to heart surgery.”
Gonugunta also developed a fascination with endovascular surgery, because it is less invasive than traditional surgery. He is fellowship trained in both pediatric and endovascular neurosurgery. “It’s a relatively new field. Ten to 15 years ago, it wasn’t even a specialty at all,” he said. He estimated he is one of less than 100 endovascular neurosurgeons in the United States and one of less than five specialty trained in both endovascular and pediatric neurosurgery.
He joined Marshfield Clinic and Ministry Saint Joseph’s Hospital in 2009 in part because of the potential to offer new and innovative treatments to help stroke and cerebrovascular patients, and for the chance to continue his research. Another reason is that his wife, Vijaya Nirujogi, MD, a general surgeon specializing in bariatric surgery, started in Marshfield the year before.
“She noticed that patients here are very grateful and appreciative of the high quality care delivered. She liked the area and her colleagues, and convinced me to come rather than us both moving,” Gonugunta said.
In addition to endovascular procedures, Gonugunta practices general neurosurgery and spine surgery. His pediatric practice includes cranial remodeling for deformities of the skull and surgical treatment of brain tumors and hydrocephalus.
Gonugunta received his medical degree from Sri Venkateswara University in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, India, and completed his residency and fellowship at Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio. He also gained a few years of neurosurgery experience at Queen’s Medical Center in Nottingham, England.
He and his wife have two children, Nikita, 8, and Neel, 14 months.