About Me

Dr. Vikas Rao is a fellowship-trained neurosurgeon specializing in the treatment of vascular disorders of the brain. He is a specialist in the treatment of stroke, brain bleeds, cerebral aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), carotid diseases, and the ICU care of neurological patients. In addition to cerebro vascular disease, Dr. Rao has extensive training in the treatment of brain and spine tumors, brain and spine trauma, minimally invasive pituitary and skull base surgery, and minimally invasive and open spine surgery. Dr. Rao also has a special interest in hair-sparing brain surgery and always tries to keep patients looking the same pre and post-op.

Dr. Rao was born in Orange County but grew up in Claremont, California. He attended the Webb School before attending the University of California, Berkeley where he graduated with honors and double majored in Neurobiology and Psychology. After college he spent two years traveling, volunteering in India, and working in neuroscience laboratories studying functional brain mapping using MRI technology. He then joined the Keck School of Medicine at USC where he continued to focus on the brain and neurological diseases.

After USC, Dr. Rao spent 7 years in Houston training at the Baylor College of Medicine / MD Anderson Cancer Center Neurosurgery residency program. In addition to training in brain and spine surgery, Dr. Rao spent time training in cerebral angiography and catheter based neurosurgical interventions during residency. After finishing residency, he completed a fellowship in Endovascular, Surgical, and Critical Care Cerebrovascular Neurosurgery at the Drexel Neurosciences Institute in Philadelphia, PA. While there, he trained in the latest treatments for stroke, brain aneurysms, and vascular malformations with pioneers in the field.

Dr. Rao lives in Irvine, CA with his wife, an ophthalmologist, and his two young sons.



Provider Specialty

Neurosurgery, Spine Surgery


Medical Education

University of Southern California - Keck School of Medicine


Baylor College of Medicine


Drexel Neurosciences Institute

Locations & Affiliations


Alexander Taghva, MD, NEUROSURGERY

26732 Crown Valley Parkway

Suite 541

Mission Viejo, CA

Office: (949) 388-7190

Insurances Accepted

UnitedHealthcare SignatureValue Harmony HMO