Neurosurgery at Ullevål
Organized neurosurgical activity started at Ullevål University Hospital in the 1950s when Kristian Kristiansen returned from Montreal, where he had received his education from the renowned brain surgeon Wilder Penfield. Kristiansen, who is known for his work on epilepsy and head trauma, later became professor of neurosurgery at the University of Oslo. He had a number of international offices and was for instance secretary of the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies.
In 1978 he was succeeded by Ragnar Nesbakken. Nesbakken’s field of expertise was tumor, especially tumors emanating from the pituitary gland. He also made considerable contributions in other areas, e.g. in formulating and passing a modern law governing organ transplantation. Furthermore he was a revered lecturer. Nesbakken died young and was succeeded by Bjørn Magnæs, a neurosurgeon of his own generation.
Bjørn Magnæs produced a long series of well known scientific papers on intra-cranial pressure, cerebral blood flow, and on the physiology and diseases of the spinal channel. He was known as a superb neurosurgeon of his time.
In 2000, Sissel Reinlie took over after Magnæs as chairman. Two professorships were established. Firstly, Eirik Helseth was appointed professor in 2003. Secondly, Iver Arne Langmoen returned to his native country in 2005. Prior to this he was professor and chairman at the Karolinska Hospital in Stockholm, Sweden.
The department annually performs about 2000 major surgical procedures.