Professor Nerve Surgery
Martijn Malessy is Professor of Nerve Surgery and head of the Nerve Center at the Leiden University Medical Center, the Netherlands. He is clinical-scientific advisor for nerve regeneration research at the Netherlands Insitute for Neuroscience in Amsterdam. He is also a member of the Peripheral Nerve Surgery Committee of the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies. He has a vast experience in the nerve surgical treatment of complex nerve lesions, nerve tumours, complex nerve entrapment syndromes and neuropathic pain due to a nerve lesion.
Nerve surgery includes the area where the function of nerves is impaired by an injury, compression or tumor or causes pain syndromes. At the Nerve Center, Malessy coordinates the diagnosis, indication, timing and manner of surgical intervention that takes place in a multidisciplinary context and that is relevant for optimal care. All modern nerve surgical techniques are performed by him and his team, including the attachment of nerves, nerve transplants and nerve diversion operations. Nerve surgical treatments are constantly being developed and new techniques are being disseminated through scientific publications. In education, the neurosurgical anatomy, the pathophysiology of nerve damage and recovery and the surgical treatment are central. In addition, Malessy provides training for future neurosurgeons and international fellows. He is involved in basic scientific research into nerve regeneration and pain. He has set up the PainLess Foundation which aims to promote medical scientific research in the field of pain, nerve damage and recovery.
After completing secondary school at the Kennemer Lyceum in Overveen, Malessy studied medicine in Ghent (Belgium) and Leiden respectively. He was trained as a Neurosurgeon at the LUMC and at the Onze Lieve Vrouwe Gasthuis in Amsterdam. In 1995 he was registered as a consultant and became a member of the Neurosurgical Staff of the LUMC. In 1999 he obtained his PhD in Leiden with a thesis entitled 'Brachial Plexus Surgery: Factors affecting functional recovery'. He was appointed Professor of Nerve Surgery on 1 January 2011. The title of his inaugural lecture was "If not now, when?". Since 2009 he has been Associate Editor in the peripheral nerves section of the trade journal "Neurosurgery". Between 2009 and 2013 he was co-chairman of the Peripheral Nerve Surgery Committee of the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies. Between 2011 and 2013 he was the chairman of the Sunderland Society. In 2013 he was Visiting Interdisciplinary Professor in Peripheral Nerve Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota. In 2016-2017 he was the President of the American Society for Peripheral Nerve.
Prizes and honourable appointments
He received the H. Verbiest prize of the Dutch Society of Neurosurgeons for scientific work on the brachial plexus. In 2014 he was the awarded Kline Lecturer at the meeting of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons in San Fransisco.