Vinko Dolenc was born in Ptuj, Slovenia on June 29, 1940 and educated at the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia where he gained his medical degree in neurosurgery and his doctoral degree in science. He then joined the neurosurgical faculty and climbed the academic ladder to become Head of the Department of Neurosurgery. Dr. Dolenc is an active member of 23 national and international neurosurgical associations and is a respected speaker around the world. His travels in response to lectureships alone have taken him repeatedly to 26 states in North America and to 32 countries on other continents.
In 1965 Parkinson 1) was the first to realize an anatomical study and to propose a surgical approach to the cavernous sinus (CS). Despite the development of the microsurgical technique in the seventies, it was thought that microneurosurgery was reaching its furthest limits in the approach of lesions in and around the CS. The extremely high risk of damaging nervous structures, as well as causing uncontrollable haemorrhage or postoperative CSF leak seemed to be an unavoidable and insuperable obstacle. Thanks to the anatomical work of Vinko Dolenc and his surgical experiences, a rational surgical approach was eventually developed and the different relations between the lesion and the neurovascular structures were defined. In Dolenc's book preface, Yasargyl states that “there is no doubt that this type of microsurgical anatomical study is a new step in the 100 year history of neurosurgery” 2).
Dr. Dolenc has published two books (as editor, The Cavernous Sinus: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Vascular and Tumorous Lesions and as author, Anatomy and Surgery of the Cavernous Sinus) and 92 other publications which have appeared in journals or as book chapters, as well as 79 abstracts in the proceedings of international meetings, six of his publications are Pioneer Works. In addition, he is on the editorial board of five scientific journals, and on the international liaison and advisory panel of seven scientific journals. His critical and perceptive comments on 27 papers and/or books have been published in five leading neurosurgical journals.
From 1978 through 2000, Dr. Dolenc participated as a faculty member at 65 hands-on Neuroanatomy workshops. As invited speaker he has actively participated at 234 international neurosurgical meetings at which he has delivered 477 lectures worldwide. In the same period from 1978 through 2000 he was invited to nine states of the USA and to 21 countries on other continents to perform life-surgery on patients with skull base pathology in 42 neurosurgical centers. Seven international meetings have benefited from his organizational leadership.
Dr. Dolenc is the recipient of the following awards: Ambassador for the Republic of Slovenia in Sciences, Award of the Boris Kidric National Foundation for Research, awarded the Silver Star Pour Le Mérite and the Bronze Wreath Pour Le Mérite, appointed to the post of the Slovenian Ministry of Health Councilor, Award of the Republic of Slovenia for Outstanding Achievements in Research (Medicine), award by the American Bibliographical Institute and its Board of International Research (1992).
Dr. Dolenc's interests in the field of neurosurgery have been increasingly focused on surgery of the cavernous sinus and surgery of vascular lesions, although his early work concentrated on peripheral nerves. He is now recognized worldwide as an expert in these areas.
Over the past two decades Professor Dolenc's papers and personal presentations demonstrating his considerable surgical experience with intracavernous lesions have stimulated the curiosity and imagination of neurosurgeons everywhere. In the forward to his book - Anatomy and Surgery of the Cavernous Sinus - Yasargil wrote: “Dr. Dolenc now presents a pioneering work on the microanatomy and surgical compartments of this complex region. There is no doubt that this type of microsurgical anatomy study is a new step in the 100-year history of neurosurgery.”
Dr. Dolenc is internationally well-known as a teaching neurosurgeon in addition to carrying out his demanding responsibilities as Head of Neurosurgery Department of the University Medical Center Ljubljana, in Slovenia.
This information on Dr. Vinko Dolenc is courtesy of The Society of Neurological Surgeons.