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New specialists join Capital Health’s stroke and cerebrovascular center

Vernard S. Fennell, MD, MSc Cerebrovascular and Endovascular Neurosurgery

With a reputation for providing advanced care to patients with complex, neurological conditions affecting the brain and spine, Capital Institute for Neurosciences recently welcomed two new advanced specialists, Drs. Vernard Fennell and Varun Naragum, to the Institute’s Stroke and Cerebrovascular Center team. They join neurosurgeon Dr. Michael F. Stiefel in providing some of the latest techniques to care for stroke patients.

Dr. Vernard Fennell is a dual fellowship trained neurosurgeon specializing in cerebrovascular and endovascular neurosurgery, with additional expertise in microsurgery, skull base surgery, brain and spine tumors, spine trauma and reconstruction as well as epilepsy surgery. In addition to his clinical experience, Dr. Fennell has a strong background in research, including early contributions to the design of the new EMBOTRAP II Revascularization Device, a next generation stent-retriever that safely removes blood clots from arteries in the brain that are causing a stroke.

“I’m thrilled to be part of an organization that is so passionate about innovation,” said Dr. Fennell, who soon after joining Capital Health became the first dual-trained neurosurgeon in New Jersey (and among the first in the country) to use the new FDA-approved EMBOTRAP II Revascularization Device.

Varun Naragum, MD Interventional Neurology

Dr. Varun Naragum, an interventional neurologist and neurohospitalist, is board certified in neurology and vascular neurology and was fellowship trained in neurology, vascular neurology, and endovascular surgical neuroradiology. He uses minimally invasive neuroendovascular techniques to treat conditions like aneurysms, stroke, arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), arteriovenous fistulas (AVFs), atherosclerosis, brain tumors, and head and neck tumors.

Neuroendovascular procedures access the brain using a small incision in the groin and a catheter that is threaded to the part of the brain being affected by vascular disease.

“Each case is unique, but those patients who are appropriate candidates for neuroendovascular procedures experience less pain, shorter hospital stays, and less risk of complications,” said Dr. Naragum. “Being able to offer advanced treatment like this demonstrates Capital Health’s commitment to being a leader in all aspects of neuroscience and stroke care.

Nationally recognized stroke and cerebrovascular care at Capital Health

The Stroke and Cerebrovascular Center at the Capital Institute for Neurosciences is a major referral center for the treatment of all types of neurovascular diseases, including aneurysms, strokes, arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), arteriovenous fistulas (AVFs), cavernous malformations, carotid artery and vertebral artery atherosclerotic disease, intracranial stenosis as well as Moyamoya disease.

The only Joint Commission certified Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center in the region, located at Capital Health Regional Medical Center (RMC) in Trenton, provides emergency stroke and neurovascular services 24 hours-a-day, seven days-a-week. RMC was recently recognized as the best hospital for neurology and neurosurgery in the region in U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals for 2018-19. RMC earned a High Performing rating for neurology and neurosurgery, scoring the highest in the region.

Capital Health’s program offers:
  • A multidisciplinary team of neurosurgeons, neurologists, neuroradiologists, neuro-intensivists, neuro-anesthesiologists, physician assistants and nurses who provide highly specialized, coordinated care.
  • A state-of-the-art neuroendovascular interventional suite — the only one of its kind in the region — specially designed and equipped for the treatment of neurovascular disease.
  • The largest and most advanced neuro-dedicated intensive care unit in New Jersey and the Delaware Valley that includes brain oxygen monitoring, intracranial blood flow, cerebral microdialysis, cEEG, TCDs, data acquisition systems, and 24/7 portable CT imaging.
  • A Mobile Stroke Unit, the first and only unit of its kind in the Delaware Valley designed to bring time-critical stroke care to patients at their home, or wherever the unit is dispatched.

Visit to learn more about the Stroke and Cerebrovascular Center and the Capital Institute for Neurosciences. If you or someone you know is experiencing signs of a stroke, CALL 911.