Department of Neurosurgery performs 3,000 spine cases, 350 brain tumor cases and 190 spine tumor cases in 12 months

SAN ANTONIO (Feb. 3, 2014) — Neurosurgeons, clinical staff and residents from the Department of Neurosurgery at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio cared for thousands of patients with spine conditions and injuries, brain tumors, traumatic injuries and stroke during the 2012-13 academic year, according to data released today. The Department of Neurosurgery is in the School of Medicine at the Health Science Center.

Faculty, residents and support personnel from the Department of Neurosurgery took care of nearly 3,000 spine cases, 350 adult and children’s brain tumors, and 190 spine tumors, the data show. Additionally, the team of skilled surgeons performed a host of procedures including minimally invasive carpal tunnel repair, endoscopic craniosynostosis repair to correct infant skull deformities, deep brain stimulation to treat Parkinson’s disease, and vagal nerve stimulation to treat epilepsy through University Hospital’s Level 4 South Texas Comprehensive Epilepsy Center. The group also provides the city’s only neuro-endovascular service.

Over the 12 months, the team performed hundreds of procedures at University Hospital’s Level I Trauma Center and treated hundreds of stroke patients at University Hospital and the Baptist Health System’s Brain & Stroke Network. Methodist Healthcare and the South Texas Veterans Health Care System are other affiliated sites. In addition, some of the neurosurgeons are members of UT Medicine San Antonio, the clinical practice of the School of Medicine, and some patients are seen at the Cancer Therapy & Research Center (CTRC) at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, one of four National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Centers in Texas.

Residency expansion and spine fellowship

In other news, David F. Jimenez, M.D., FACS, professor and chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery and physician with UT Medicine, announced that the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) has approved the expansion of the department’s neurosurgery residency program to 17 residents. “We will have one of the largest residency programs in the country,” Dr. Jimenez said. “Of note, ours is one of only three approved military residency training sites for neurosurgery in the country. We have four military residents currently and a fifth will join us in July.”

In another development, the Committee on Advanced Specialty Training (CAST) of the Society of Neurological Surgeons approved the Department of Neurosurgery’s first spine fellowship. The first fellow is expected to start this summer, Dr. Jimenez said.

“These are significant accomplishments in medical education,” said Francisco González-Scarano, M.D., dean of the School of Medicine and vice president for medical affairs of the Health Science Center. “These new opportunities were approved by the national governing bodies for neurosurgery training. Both happened because of the number of patients who are operated on here and the comprehensive offering of neurosurgical services in all subspecialties.”

Dr. Jimenez joined the School of Medicine in June 2004 from the University of Missouri. The year before his arrival, the Health Science Center’s neurosurgery residency program had been placed on inactive status after the departure of all the faculty neurosurgeons. Dr. Jimenez, an internationally recognized pediatric neurosurgery expert, took the required steps to regain ACGME approval for the residency training program. This was announced in July 2005. Today, neurosurgery is a full-fledged department in the School of Medicine with 70 faculty, staff and residents.


The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, one of the country’s leading health sciences universities, ranks in the top 3 percent of all institutions worldwide receiving National Institutes of Health funding. The university’s schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health professions and graduate biomedical sciences have produced more than 29,000 graduates. The $765 million operating budget supports eight campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. For more information on the many ways “We make lives better®,” visit

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