Rajiv Saigal M.D., Ph.D.

Rajiv Saigal M.D., Ph.D.

Specialties and Expertise

Neurological Surgery, Neurosurgery (Spine), Spinal Cord Injury (SCI), Spinal Deformity, Spine Trauma, Spine Tumors


Neurological Surgery, Spine Center


English, Spanish


Neurological Surgery Clinic at Harborview

908 Jefferson St., 5th Floor
Seattle, WA 98104
Phone: 206.520.5000|Map It 


Dr. Saigal is an Assistant Professor of Neurological Surgery at UW. In addition to general neurosurgery, he specializes in complex spine surgery, including spinal deformity, spinal tumors, minimally invasive techniques, spinal cord injury, and neurotrauma.

Dr. Saigal completed neurosurgery residency at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). There he trained with international leaders in spinal deformity and spinal tumors. He then completed an orthopedic spine deformity fellowship at Scripps and the San Diego Spine Foundation, gaining expertise in less invasive techniques for spinal deformity. He completed a second spine fellowship at the University of Miami, gaining further expertise in minimally invasive spine surgery, including endoscopic fusion.

Prior to UCSF, Dr. Saigal completed a PhD in medical engineering at the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology and an MD at the Tufts University School of Medicine. He also has a B.Sc. with highest honors in electrical engineering from Georgia Tech and a M.Sc. in biomedical engineering from Aalborg University in Denmark. He is the recipient of numerous awards for research, teaching, and leadership, including the Boldrey Young Investigator Award, UCSF Neurosurgery Research and Rosegay awards, National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, and Whitaker Graduate Research Fellowship.

Patient Care Philosophy

Three main principles guide everything I do as a neurosurgeon:

1) Treat every patient as if they were your family member. When I advise patients regarding a recommended surgery or course of treatment, I think about what I would advise my own mother or father to do.
2) Individualize therapy to the patient. Every patient is different and treatment should be tailored to the patient’s specific clinical situation.
3) Use the most modern and efficacious techniques. It is critical to be up to date on the most cutting edge technology in neurosurgery and spine surgery. I aim to offer my patients the most modern surgical treatments, guided by evidence and clinical outcomes.

Personal Interests

Martial arts, football, snowboarding, and travel

Clinical Interests

Spinal deformity; scoliosis; spinal tumors; spinal cord injury; spine trauma; traumatic brain injury; degenerative spine disease; lumbar stenosis; cervical stenosis; cervical myelopathy, kyphosis; sagittal plane imbalance; complex spine deformity

Research Interests

Dr. Saigal is a clinician-scientist in the Department of Neurological Surgery. In addition to clinical research in spine surgery and neurotrauma, he conducts pre-clinical translational research. His laboratory focuses on use of biomaterials and drug delivery systems for treatment of spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury.


Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and TechnologyPh.D2009
Tufts University School of MedicineMedical Education2009
San Diego Spine Foundation, ScrippsFellowshipSpine Surgery
UCSF - Dept. of Neurological SurgeryInternshipNeurosurgery
UCSF - Dept. of Neurological SurgeryResidencyNeurosurgery
University of MiamiFellowshipSpine Surgery

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