Two Iconic Barrow Surgeons Receive Honorary Distinction in Frankfurt, Germany




Dr. Sonntag (top) and Dr. Spetzler (bottom) receive honors in Frankfurt from the German Society of Neurosurgery.

We would like to extend hearty congratulations to two highly esteemed Barrow neurosurgeons, Dr. Robert Spetzler and the retired Dr. Volker K. H. Sonntag, who were both recently inducted as honorary members into the German Society of Neurosurgery. The honors took place in June during the opening ceremony of the society’s annual meeting in Frankfurt.  

 Both Dr. Sonntag and Dr. Spetzler were born in Germany and moved to the United States as young boys before embarking on their extraordinary medical careers. Each is renowned for his contributions to the field of neurosurgery, and they have both been highly instrumental in making Barrow a world class destination in neurosurgery.

 Dr. Sonntag retired from Barrow in 2010, after serving patients for more than 30 years. His many contributions to the field of spinal neurosurgery include the development of spine instrumentation, writing of hundreds of professional articles and textbooks, and serving as director of Barrow’s Neurosurgery Residency Program since 1995.  Barrow’s 3,000-square-foot Sonntag Pavilion, named in honor of Dr. Sonntag, is routinely used for lectures, exhibits, demonstrations, and meetings.

 Dr. Spetzler has been a practicing neurosurgeon for more than 35 years, playing an instrumental role in the pioneering of cutting-edge neurosurgery techniques such as utilizing hypothermia and cardiac arrest for the treatment of complex brain lesions. In addition to this latest honor bestowed by the German Society of Neurosurgery, he has also been recognized by the American College of Surgeons and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, among other medical organizations and institutions.

 We are very proud that Barrow is home to these iconic doctors who have done so much to advance the field of neurosurgery.  They have saved countless lives while mentoring the next generation of incredible neurosurgeons here at Barrow.  Thank you Dr. Spetzler and Dr. Sonntag for all of your many contributions!


Make an Appointment

As a Barrow patient, you can feel confident we’ll exhaust every avenue to arrive at a proper diagnosis and treatment plan customized specifically for you. Request an appointment online and our Patient Navigator will guide you through the next steps.

Request an Appointment