Rafael Tamargo, M.D.

Rafael Jesus Tamargo, M.D.

Headshot of Rafael Tamargo
  • Walter E. Dandy Professor of Neurosurgery
  • Professor of Neurosurgery

Languages: English, Spanish


Acoustic Neuromas, Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage (ASH), Aneurysms, Arteriovenous Fistulas (AVF), Arteriovenous Malformations (AVM), Carotid Artery Stenosis, Cerebral Aneurysms, Cerebrovascular Diseases, Cerebrovascular Neurosurgery, Dural Arteriovenous Fistulas, Moyamoya Disease, Neurosurgery, Orbital Tumors, Skull Base Neurosurgery, Skull Base Tumors ...read more

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The Johns Hopkins Hospital

Appointment Phone: 410-614-1533
600 N. Wolfe Street
Sheikh Zayed Tower 6115G
Baltimore, MD 21287 map
Phone: 410-614-1533

Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center (now called Levi Watkins, Jr., M.D., Outpatient Center)

Appointment Phone: 410-614-1533
601 N. Caroline St.
Baltimore, MD 21287 map
Phone: 410-614-1533

Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center

Appointment Phone: 410-614-1533
4940 Eastern Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21224 map
Phone: 410-614-1533


Dr. Tamargo specializes on the treatment of aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), cavernous malformations, and arteriovenous fistulas (AVFs) of the brain and spinal cord in both children and adults. He also specializes in the neurosurgical treatment of carotid stenosis in the neck by performing carotid endarterectomies.

Dr. Tamargo also specializes on the treatment of skull base tumors such as acoustic neuromas, meningiomas, and orbital tumors.

Finally, Dr. Tamargo specializes in revascularization procedures for moyamoya disease. For this condition, Dr. Tamargo performs a microsurgical either an extracranial to intracranial artery (EC-IC) bypass or an encephaloduroarteriomyosynangiosis (EDAMS).

A recipient of numerous honors and awards, some of Dr. Tamargo's most recent accolades include the Neurosurgery Faculty Teaching Award and the Hopkins Richard S. Ross Clinician Scientist Award.

...read more


  • Walter E. Dandy Professor of Neurosurgery
  • Director, Division of Cerebrovascular Neurosurgery
  • Vice-Chairman, Department of Neurosurgery
  • Neurosurgical Co-Director, Neurosciences Critical Care Unit
  • Professor of Neurosurgery
  • Professor of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery

Departments / Divisions

Centers & Institutes



  • MD; Medicine; Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons (1984)


  • Neurological Surgery; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (1987)
  • Neurological Surgery; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (1991)


  • Neurological Surgery; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (1988)

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Neurological Surgery (Neurological Surgery) (1995)

Research & Publications

Selected Publications

View all on PubMed

Kanagalingam, S., P. Gailloud, R. J. Tamargo, P. S. Subramanian, and N. R. Miller. Visual sequelae after consensus-based treatment of ophthalmic artery segment aneurysms: The Johns Hopkins Experience. Journal of Neuro-Ophthalmology 32: 27-32, 2012.

Wicks, Robert T., G. Pradilla, S. M. Raza, U. Hadelsburg, A. C. Coon, J. Huang, and R. J. Tamargo. Impact of changes in intraoperative somatosensory evoked potentials on stroke rates after clipping of intracranial aneurysms. Neurosurgery 70: 1114-1124, May 2012.

Starmer, H. M., S. R. Best, Y. Agrawal, W. W. Chien, A. T. Hilllel, H. W. Francis, R. J. Tamargo, and L. M. Akst. Prevalence, characteristics, and management of swallowing Tamargo CV - 1 5 disorders following cerebellopontine angle surgery. Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery 146: 419-425, 2012.

Pradilla, G., T. Garzon-Muvdi, J. J. Ruzevick, M. Bender, L. Edwards, E. N. Momin, R. C. Thompson, and R. J. Tamargo. Systemic L-citrulline prevents cerebral vasospasm in haptoglobin 2-2 transgenic mice after subarachnoid hemorrhage. Neurosurgery 70: 747-757, March 2012.

Colby, G. P., A. R. Paul, M. G. Radvany, D. Gandhi, P. Gailloud, J. Huang, R. J. Tamargo, and A. L. Coon. A single center comparison of coiling versus stent assisted coiling in 90 consecutive paraophthalmic region aneurysms. J Neurointerv Surg 4: 116-120, March 2012.

Coon, A. L., A. R. Paul, G. P. Colby, L. Lin, G. Pradilla, J. Huang, and R. J. Tamargo. Comparison of tertiary-center aneurysm location frequencies in 400 consecutive cases: Decreasing incidence of posterior communicating artery region aneurysms. Surgical Neurology International 2(4): 152, July-August 2011.

Shan, X., I. Hamasaki, J. Tian, H. S. Ying, R. J. Tamargo, and D. S. Zee. Vertical alignment in monkeys with unilateral IV section: effects of prolonged monocular patching and trigeminal deafferentation. Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 1233: 7884, 2011.

Rivas, A., K. D. Boahene, H. C. Bravo, M. Tan, R. J. Tamargo, and H. W. Francis. A model for early prediction of facial nerve recovery after vestibular schwannoma surgery. Otol Neurotol. 32(5): 826-833, July 2011.

Walker, M. F., J. Tian, X. Shan, R. J. Tamargo, H. Ying, and D. S. Zee. The cerebellar nodulus/uvula integrates otolith signals for the translational vestibulo-ocular reflex. PLoS ONE 5(11): e13981, 2010.

Paul, A. R., G. P. Colby, M. R. Radvany, J. Huang, R. J. Tamargo, and A. L. Coon. Femoral access in 100 consecutive subarachnoid hemorrhage patients: The craniotomy of endovascular neurosurgery. BMC Research Notes. 3: 285, 2010.

Alvernia, J. E., G. Pradilla, P. Mertens, G. Lanzino, and R. J. Tamargo. Latex injection of cadaver heads: Technical note. Neurosurgery / Operative Neurosurgery Supplement 2 67: 362-367, 2010.

Activities & Honors


  • Walter E. Dandy, M.D., Professorship/Chair, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 2004
  • Walter E Dandy, M.D., Guest Lecturer, Department of Neurosurgery Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 2004
  • Professional Achievement Recognition Transforming Influences The Johns Hopkins Campaign: Knowledge for the World Gala Dinner, Ralph S. O'Connor Recreation Center, Johns Hopkins University Homewood Campus, 2006
  • Mordecai Y. T. Globus New Investigator Award for Stroke Abstract (senior author and sponsor of Dr. Michael T. Froehler), International Stroke Conference 2009, San Diego, California, 2009
  • Paul Ehrlich Research Award (senior author and sponsor of Eric N. Momin) 32nd Young Investigator's Day Award, Vernon B. Mountcastle Auditorium, Preclinical Teaching Building, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 2009
  • Harold Lamport Research Scholar Award for Involvement of the Haptoglobin Gene Locus in the Formation of Extracranial Aneurysms (senior author and sponsor of Jacob Ruzevick), Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 2012
  • Galbraith Award for Best Abstract Submission by a Resident on Cerebrovascular Disease (senior author and sponsor of Dr. Richard E. Clatterbuck), 52nd Annual Meeting of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2002


  • American Academy of Neurological Surgery (AAcNS)
  • Society of Neurological Surgeons (SNS)
  • Neurosurgical Society of America (NSA)
  • American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS)
  • Congress of neurological Surgeons (CNS)

Videos & Media

  • Play Video:

    Patient Story: Ophthalmic Nerve Aneurysm - Les' Story

  • Play Video:

    Doorways to Discovery: Shifting the Vasospasm Paradigm

  • Play Video:

    Brain Aneurysms: FAQs with Rafael Tamargo, M.D

Recent News Articles and Media Coverage

Recorded Webinar: Latest Treatment Options for Brain Aneurysms

Recorded Webinar: Acoustic Neuromas: Diagnosis and Treatment

Advancing Treatment of Hemorrhagic Stroke, NeuroLogic (Spring 2015)

Press release: Tests In Mice Identify Compound That May Keep Survivors of Ruptured Brain Aneurysms From Later Succumbing to Stroke (10/01/2013)

When Blood Cells Threaten the Brain, Collaborations in Discovery (November 2011)

A New Da Vinci Code? Divine Proportion Found in Human Skulls,  Psychology Today (October 1, 2019)

Patient Ratings & Comments

The Patient Rating score is an average of all responses to physician related questions on the national CG-CAHPS Medical Practice patient experience survey through Press Ganey. Responses are measured on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best score. Comments are also gathered from our CG-CAHPS Medical Practice Survey through Press Ganey and displayed in their entirety. Patients are de-identified for confidentiality and patient privacy.

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