Matthew Vestal, MD, MBA, MHS
Accepting New Patients
Duke Health Provider question
Taking care of children is my life's calling. I care for each patient as if they were my own child. They and their parents are part of my family.
– Matthew Vestal, MD, MBA, MHS

Matthew Vestal, MD, MBA, MHS

Pediatric Neurosurgeon, Pediatric Spine Surgeon

Duke Health Provider question
Accepting New Patients
Call for an Appointment
Areas of Expertise
Where I See Patients
Duke Children's Health Center Neurosurgery Clinic - Durham, NC
Duke Children's Hospital & Health Center - Durham, NC
Lenox Baker Children's Hospital - Durham, NC
Taking care of children is my life's calling. I care for each patient as if they were my own child. They and their parents are part of my family.
– Matthew Vestal, MD, MBA, MHS

About Me

It's an absolute honor to care for children and their families. There is no greater privilege or responsibility than that of caring for a child in the hour of their greatest need. I see myself not only as a brain surgeon for kids, but also as a friend to families who can be relied upon to help answer questions and explain diseases of the nervous system -- ultimately guiding them through the process of diagnosis, surgery, and recovery. There's no greater happiness than seeing a child leave the hospital better off because of a surgery, or receiving the holiday cards or eventual wedding pictures of patients who have returned to their normal lives. My clinical specialties are epilepsy surgery and minimally invasive brain surgery, including chiari malformations surgeries, treatments for neonatal skull defects like craniosynostosis, and therapies for hydrocephalus, particularly the endoscopic third ventriculostomy or ETV. Growing up in New York, I was raised in a very religious household, and that upbringing is a cornerstone of my life and work. While I was in medical school, I also went to cooking school, and I enjoy spending my free time with my wife and family, cooking, cycling, and playing baseball and board games.

Current Appointments and Affiliations
Languages I Speak
English, Spanish

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Ratings and Reviews

The Patient Rating score is an average of all responses to care provider related questions on our nationally-recognized Press Ganey Patient Satisfaction Survey. Learn more about our survey process. Responses are measured on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the best score. Patients who see some types of providers receive a different version of the patient satisfaction survey. Those results are not available on

Overall Provider Rating
4.94 out of 5
65 ratings, 11 reviews

Training and Education

Pediatric Neurosurgery, Harvard University/Boston Children's Hospital (Massachusetts), 2018-2019
Neurosurgery, Harvard University/Brigham and Women's Hospital/Boston Children's Hospital (Massachusetts), 2010-2017
MBA, Harvard University (Massachusetts), 2018
MD, Yale University (Connecticut), 2010
MHS, Yale University (Connecticut), 2009

Clinical Focus and Research

My Research Interests

I am heavily involved in clinical research that brings cutting edge technologies to the operating room to help my patients. My research centers around helping epilepsy patients become seizure-free and patients with hydrocephalus live shunt-free lives. Currently, I'm leading a project that brings virtual reality into the operating room to better help conduct surgery on patients with epilepsy or brain tumors. With an MBA from Harvard, I also have a strong research interest in working to create a more efficient and quality-focused medical system that incentivizes doctors and surgeons based on their performance and improvements in the quality of the lives of their patients.

Publications and Grants

Insurance Accepted

Duke Health contracts with most major health insurance carriers and transplant networks, including the ones listed below.

    • Aetna Choice POS, Aetna Choice POS II
    • Aetna Elect Choice HMO, Aetna Open Access Elect Choice
    • Aetna Health Network Only, Aetna Health Network Option
    • Aetna HMO
    • Aetna Limited Benefit Insurance PPO
    • Aetna Managed Choice POS
    • Aetna Medicare Assure Plan (HMO D-SNP)
    • Aetna Medicare Eagle Plan (PPO)
    • Aetna Medicare Essential Plan (PPO)
    • Aetna Medicare Value Plan (HMO)
    • Aetna Open Access HMO, Open Access Aetna Select, Aetna Open Access Managed Choice
    • Aetna Open Choice PPO
    • Aetna PCP Coordinated POS Plan
    • Aetna Quality Point of Service (QPOS)
    • Aetna Select HMO
    • Aetna Traditional Choice
    • Aetna Voluntary Indemnity Group Plan
    • Aetna Whole Health – Duke WakeMed WKCC
    • Aetna/CVS Health
    • Ambetter of North Carolina
    • Blue Advantage
    • Blue Medicare (HMO, PPO)*
    • Blue Options (123, PPO, HSA)
    • Blue Select
    • NC State Employees Health Plan
    • *Duke HomeCare and Hospice does not participate in the plan.

    • Cigna Behavioral Health (*Limited eligibility)
    • Cigna Choice Plus
    • Cigna Connect Individual Family Plan
    • Cigna Open Access
    • Cigna Open Access Plus
    • *Please call Cigna Behavioral Heath to see if the provider is participating in your plan.

    • Duke Basic
    • Duke Select
    • Experience Health Medicare Advantage (HMO) Plan
  • Gateway Health Alliance
  • Healthgram
    • Humana Choice (PPO)
    • Humana Choice - Medicare Advantage (PPO)
    • Humana ChoiceCare - Medicare Advantage (PPO)
    • Humana Gold Choice - Medicare Advantage (PFFS)
    • Humana Gold Plus - Medicare Advantage (HMO)
    • Humana Medicare Advantage Group Plan - NC State Retirees
  • MedCost
    • First Medicare Direct
    • Medicare Part A
    • Medicare Part B
    • AmeriHealth Caritas North Carolina
    • Carolina Complete Health
    • Healthy Blue
    • NC Medicaid Direct
    • WellCare of North Carolina
    • TRICARE Prime
    • TRICARE Prime Remote
    • TRICARE Select
    • AARP Medicare Advantage Plan 2 (HMO-POS)
    • AARP Medicare Complete (HMO, PPO)*
    • AARP Medicare Complete Essential (HMO)*
    • All Savers Alternate Funding
    • All Savers Fully Insured
    • United Healthcare (HMO, PPO, POS)
    • United Healthcare Charter/Charter Balance/Charter Plus
    • United Healthcare Choice/Choice Plus
    • United Healthcare Core/Core Essential
    • United Healthcare Navigate/Navigate Plus/Navigate Balanced
    • United Healthcare Option PPO
    • United Healthcare Passport Connect Choice/Choice Plus
    • United Healthcare Passport Connect Options PPO
    • United Healthcare Select/Select Plus
    • United Healthcare Shared Services - Harvard Pilgrim/UHC Options PPO Network
    • United Medical Resources (UMR)
    • *Duke HomeCare and Hospice and mental health providers do not participate with the plan.

Before scheduling your appointment, we strongly recommend you contact your insurance company to verify that the Duke Health location or provider you plan to visit is included in your network. Your insurance company will also be able to inform you of any co-payments, co–insurances, or deductibles that will be your responsibility. If you proceed in scheduling an appointment and your health insurance benefits do not participate with Duke, your out of pocket liability may be higher. We will contact you regarding your coverage and patient liability. If you are uninsured, learn more about our financial assistance policy.

External Relationships

This faculty member (or a member of their immediate family) has reported outside activities with the companies or institutions listed below. This information has been reported to the health system leadership and, when appropriate, management plans are in place to address potential conflicts of interest.
  • LivaNova, Inc.