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Dilan Ellegala, M.D.

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Meet our Founder

About Arizona and Virginia Surgeon Dilantha B. Ellegala

Sonospine’s Founding Surgeon has been at the forefront of clinical technology and ultrasound development for two decades. Graduating with Honors from the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, he went on to a neurosurgical residency at the University of Virginia and then became the Fellow in Cerebrovascular and Skull Base Neurosurgery at Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He has authored over 50 peer reviewed research publications, holds multiple patent claims in ultrasound technology, and has spent years advancing traditional spine surgery. Sonospine® takes minimally invasive spinal surgery into the future with surgical ultrasound and its minimally disruptive Ultrasonic Spine procedure. Using high frequency vibration of the tip of the ultrasonic tool, Ultrasonic Spine surgery precisely removes bone and disc, millimeter by millimeter, minimizing disruption to the normal anatomy of the spine. This precision achieves a greater level of accuracy with more complete decompression of pinched nerves, providing symptom resolution with fewer complications and avoiding complex spinal fusion surgery.

Dr. Ellegala has received numerous academic and clinical honors and has been consistently recognized for his excellence in patient care. Physicians, CEOs, and leaders of countries have sought his surgical expertise. In addition to his pioneering work in the US, he is a testament to the transformational power of teaching and the ever-present potential for change in the world as demonstrated through his training of health care workers in remote Tanzania to perform brain and spine surgery. Today, what began as one doctor teaching another has become the NGO Madaktari (Swahili for “doctors”) that has grown into a group that has sent hundreds of doctors to the developing world to serve as mentors and to create a sustainable new model for global health based on Dr. Ellegala’s “train-forward” philosophy. His groundbreaking work in global medical education is documented in the book, A Surgeon in the Village: An American Doctor Teaches Brain Surgery in Africa, by Pulitzer-nominated journalist Tony Bartleme. The work, described by Tom Brokaw (NBC news anchor and author) as “A lyrical, inspirational and altogether rewarding account of first- and third-world surgeons working together to perform neurosurgery miracles in the heart of Africa” underscores the principles of our Founding Surgeon and Sonospine – to be a source of good in the world. Dr. Ellegala and his wife Carin have four children.

Dr. Ellegala - Founder of SonoSpine Surgery

Dilan Ellegala, M.D., FAANS
Neurosurgeon, CEO, Founder, Pioneer

Phoenix, AZ + Washington DC

Awards & Certifications

  • Diplomat, American Board of Neurological Surgery
  • Executive Board International Committee of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons
  • Board, Foundation for International Education in Neurological Surgery
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  • 1986-1990:
    B.S., Biology Psychology
    University of Washington
  • 1991-1996:
    M.D., with Honors
    University of Washington
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