News & Press: Interviews

Get to Know ... Domenico d'Avella, EANS2017 Congress President.

Friday 14 April 2017  
Share |

Get to Know ... Domenico d'Avella


Domenico d'Avella is the Chair of the Neurosurgery Department at the University of Padua, Italy. He will be the host and co-President of EANS2017, the 17th European Congress of Neurosurgery, to be held in Venice from 1 to 5 October 2017. We are very grateful for his participation in the feature.





~Holiday: beach / countryside / culture / other?

Beach. I love cruising around the Aeolian Islands, the seven pearls of the Mediterranean.



~The wisest thing anybody ever told you?

Enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think (Woody Allen told me).



~What book is on your bedside table (or Kindle) at the moment? 'Why Is Sex Fun?' by Jared Diamond (not a sexy book but an history of the evolution of human sexuality.



~Meet one person – dead or alive – who and why?

My grand-mother Giuseppina, she would be pleased to say hallo to me



~Your first car?

Very proud: Lancia Fulvia coupé 1.3s



~Most overused phrase? Let’s find an agreement.



~List your favorites:

Book: The Lord of the Rings

Movie: Kill Bill


Dish: Parmigiana di melanzane

Band: Pink Floyd

Board game: Roulette (rigorously French)



~Favourite game:

Poker when I win.



~Where did you grow up? In Sicily, in Messina, where the longest bridge of the world will sooner or later be built.



~Neurosurgical inspiration? Piero Frugoni, one of the fathers of Italian Neurosurgery, who was always scared, as I am, by each operation.



~Your best / worst / most embarrassing moment as a neurosurgeon The worst: When I placed a peritoneal catheter into the iliac artery.



~Best day for “difficult” operations Thursday, possibly not early in the morning.



~“If I knew then what I know now” – advice for today’s neurosurgical trainees Don’t be in a hurry to start operating. There is a lot of time left in front of you.



~If you hadn’t been a neurosurgeon …? A musician, piano player.



~How to find the balance between the intent to be radical and saving the function. Always favourise the function: we simply don’t know how it is to live with an aphasia, or with the inability to read or how it feels to have a facial palsy or to have a “minor swallowing deficit” (quoted by André Grotenhuis). One exception? Pylocitic tumors in children, be aggressive, surgery will reward you.



~Private practice, or public medicine, or a mixture of both?

I think this is like asking a priest how much it costs to celebrate a Mass. We are the ministers of a sacred ceremony celebrated in the OR.  Money is outside. It is Society, rather than the patients, that must pay us adequately.