University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
Dean Chou, MD

Dean Chou, MD

Associate Professor, Department of Neurological Surgery; Associate Director of Spinal Tumor Surgery, UCSF Spine Center

Research Summary

Dr. Dean Chou specializes in the treatment of complex and difficult spinal disorders. He treats such disorders as adult scoliosis, spinal deformities, flat back syndrome, kyphosis, kyphoscoliosis, spinal tumors, primary bony tumors of the spinal column, and metastatic disease to the spine. He is an expert in minimally invasive applications to such complex spinal disorders, and he has had multiple peer-reviewed papers published, describing his techniques. Moreover, he is an expert in traditional, open surgery for such complex procedures as en bloc spondylectomy and sacral resections for tumors, and osteotomies for adult scoliosis and adult deformity. His research goal is to try to accomplish the same goals of open surgery with minimally invasive techniques, which hopefully can lead to less morbidity and better outcomes for patients.

After medical school at UCSF, Dr. Chou completed his residency at The Johns Hopkins Hospital and then undertook a fellowship in complex spinal surgery at The Barrow Neurological Institute. He is board certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery and has been elected by his peers for the past 8 consecutive years to the organization, “Best Doctors in America.”

In addition to having published as either first or senior author in SPINE, Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine, and Neurosurgery, his publications have been featured 5 times as the cover article of the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine.

Dr. Chou is on the Advisory Board of the journal, SPINE, the Editorial Board of The Global Spine Journal, and on the Editorial Board for the journal, Neurosurgery. He has served for many years on the Scientific Program Committee for the AANS/CNS Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves, as an abstract reviewer for such society meetings as the North American Spine Society (NASS) and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, and as faculty member for The American Association of Neurological Surgeons, The North American Spine Society, The Lumbar Spine Research Society, and the AANS/CNS Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves.

Education

University of California Berkeley, 1991, B.A., Biochemistry
University of California, San Francisco, 1996, M.D., Medicine
The Johns Hopkins Hospital, 1996-1997, Intern, General Surgery
The Johns Hopkins Hospital, 1997-2002, Resident, Neurosurgery
The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Assistant Chief of Service, 2002-2003, Neurosurgery
Barrow Neurological Institute, Spine Fellow, 2003-2004, Spine surgery


Professional Experience

  • 2002-2003
    Instructor in Neurosurgery, The Johns Hopkins Hospital
  • 2003-2004
    Staff Neurosurgeon/Spine Fellow, St. Joseph's Hospital, Phoenix, AZ
  • 2004-2010
    Assistant Clinical Professor, University of California, San Francisco
  • 2007-present
    Associate Director of Spinal Tumor Surgery
  • 2010-present
    Associate Professor of Clinical Neurosurgery, University of California, San Francisco

Honors & Awards

  • 1990
    UC Berkeley Honor Students Society
  • 1990
    American Heart Association Research Fellowship
  • 1991
    Golden Key National Honor Society
  • 1992
    UCSF School of Medicine Dean's Summer Research Fellowship
  • 1993
    UCSF Travel Award to Western Student Medical Research Committee Meeting in Carmel, CA
  • 1993
    American Federation for Clinical Research Award for Excellence in Research
  • 1994
    Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Training Fellowship
  • 1995
    Lucien J. Rubinstein Award for Best Paper in Neuro-Oncology, American Association of Neuropathologists Annual Meeting
  • 2000
    AANS Neurosurgery Research and Education Foundation (NREF) Grant
  • 2004
    Cover Article, Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine
  • 2007
    Who's Who in American Teachers and Educators
  • 2007
    Who's Who in Science and Engineering
  • 2007
    Harold Rosegay Neurosurgery Resident Teaching Award
  • 2009
    Best Doctors in America
  • 2009
    Cover Article, Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine
  • 2010
    Outcomes Committee Award, AANS/CNS Joint Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves
  • 2010
    Cover Article, Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine

Selected Publications

  1. Duan W, Chou D, Jiang B, Liu Z, Zhao X, Xia Z, Jian F, Chen Z. Posterior revision surgery using an intraarticular distraction technique with cage grafting to treat atlantoaxial dislocation associated with basilar invagination. J Neurosurg Spine. 2019 Jul 05; 1-9.
    View on PubMed
  2. Chou D. How Should We Consider New Theories of Chiari Malformation Pathogenesis? Neurospine. 2019 Jun; 16(2):219-220.
    View on PubMed
  3. Chou D, Mundis G, Wang M, Fu KM, Shaffrey C, Okonkwo D, Kanter A, Eastlack R, Nguyen S, Deviren V, Uribe J, Fessler R, Nunley P, Anand N, Park P, Mummaneni P. Minimally Invasive Surgery for Mild-to-Moderate Adult Spinal Deformities: Impact on Intensive Care Unit and Hospital Stay. World Neurosurg. 2019 Jul; 127:e649-e655.
    View on PubMed
  4. Mehra RN, Ruan H, Park DH, Merkow MB, Chou D. Intradural osteogenic sarcoma in the lumbar spine. J Clin Neurosci. 2019 Jun; 64:39-41.
    View on PubMed
  5. Park P, Fu KM, Eastlack RK, Tran S, Mundis GM, Uribe JS, Wang MY, Than KD, Okonkwo DO, Kanter AS, Nunley PD, Anand N, Fessler RG, Chou D, Oppenlander ME, Mummaneni PV. Is achieving optimal spinopelvic parameters necessary to obtain substantial clinical benefit? An analysis of patients who underwent circumferential minimally invasive surgery or hybrid surgery with open posterior instrumentation. J Neurosurg Spine. 2019 Feb 22; 1-6.
    View on PubMed
  6. Amara D, Mummaneni PV, Ames CP, Tay B, Deviren V, Burch S, Berven SH, Chou D. Treatment of only the fractional curve for radiculopathy in adult scoliosis: comparison to lower thoracic and upper thoracic fusions. J Neurosurg Spine. 2019 Feb 01; 1-9.
    View on PubMed
  7. Oltulu I, Cil H, Berven S, Chou D, Clark A, Ulu MO, Ames C, Deviren V. Surgical Management of Thoracic Disc Herniation: Anterior vs Posterior Approach. Turk Neurosurg. 2019; 29(4):584-593.
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  8. Chan AK, Ammanuel SG, Chan AY, Oh T, Skrehot HC, Edwards CS, Kondapavulur S, Miller CA, Nichols AD, Liu C, Dhall SS, Clark AJ, Chou D, Ames CP, Mummaneni PV. Chlorhexidine Showers are Associated With a Reduction in Surgical Site Infection Following Spine Surgery: An Analysis of 4266 Consecutive Surgeries. Neurosurgery. 2018 Dec 22.
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  9. Kanter AS, Tempel ZJ, Agarwal N, Hamilton DK, Zavatsky JM, Mundis GM, Tran S, Chou D, Park P, Uribe JS, Wang MY, Anand N, Eastlack R, Mummaneni PV, Okonkwo DO. Curve Laterality for Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion in Adult Scoliosis Surgery: The Concave Versus Convex Controversy. Neurosurgery. 2018 Dec 01; 83(6):1219-1225.
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  10. Zhou RP, Mummaneni PV, Chen KY, Lau D, Cao K, Amara D, Zhang C, Dhall S, Chou D. Outcomes of Posterior Thoracic Corpectomies for Metastatic Spine Tumors: An Analysis of 90 Patients. World Neurosurg. 2019 Mar; 123:e371-e378.
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  11. Kai W, Can Z, Hao W, Zan C, Chou D, Jian F. The Anatomic Characteristics of the Retroperitoneal Oblique Corridor to the L1-S1 Intervertebral Disc Spaces. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2018 Nov 20.
    View on PubMed
  12. Park P, Fu KM, Mummaneni PV, Uribe JS, Wang MY, Tran S, Kanter AS, Nunley PD, Okonkwo DO, Shaffrey CI, Mundis GM, Chou D, Eastlack R, Anand N, Than KD, Zavatsky JM, Fessler RG. The impact of age on surgical goals for spinopelvic alignment in minimally invasive surgery for adult spinal deformity. J Neurosurg Spine. 2018 Nov 01; 29(5):560-564.
    View on PubMed
  13. Choi SW, Ames C, Berven S, Chou D, Tay B, Deviren V. Contribution of Lateral Interbody Fusion in Staged Correction of Adult Degenerative Scoliosis. J Korean Neurosurg Soc. 2018 Nov; 61(6):716-722.
    View on PubMed
  14. Chen KY, Osorio J, Rivera J, Chou D. Intramedullary and Extramedullary Thoracic Spinal Lipomas Without Spinal Dysraphism: Clinical Presentation and Surgical Management. World Neurosurg. 2019 Jan; 121:156-159.
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  15. Segreto FA, Lafage V, Lafage R, Smith JS, Line BG, Eastlack RK, Scheer JK, Chou D, Frangella NJ, Horn SR, Bortz CA, Diebo BG, Neuman BJ, Protopsaltis TS, Kim HJ, Klineberg EO, Burton DC, Hart RA, Schwab FJ, Bess S, Shaffrey CI, Ames CP, Passias PG. Recovery Kinetics: Comparison of Patients undergoing Primary or Revision Procedures for Adult Cervical Deformity Using a Novel Area Under the Curve Methodology. Neurosurgery. 2018 Sep 28.
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  16. Eastlack RK, Ledesma JB, Tran S, Khalsa A, Park P, Mummaneni PV, Chou D, Kanter AS, Anand N, Nunley P, La Marca F, Fessler RG, Uribe JS, Mundis GM. Home Versus Rehabilitation: Factors that Influence Disposition After Minimally Invasive Surgery in Adult Spinal Deformity Surgery. World Neurosurg. 2018 Oct; 118:e610-e615.
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  17. DiGiorgio AM, Edwards CS, Virk MS, Chou D. Lateral Prepsoas (Oblique) Approach Nuances. Neurosurg Clin N Am. 2018 Jul; 29(3):419-426.
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  18. Wang X, Chou D, Jian F. Influence of Postoperative O-C2 Angle on the Development of Dysphagia After Occipitocervical Fusion Surgery: Results from a Retrospective Analysis and Prospective Validation. World Neurosurg. 2018 Aug; 116:e595-e601.
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  19. Eastlack RK, Srinivas R, Mundis GM, Nguyen S, Mummaneni PV, Okonkwo DO, Kanter AS, Anand N, Park P, Nunley P, Uribe JS, Akbarnia BA, Chou D, Deviren V. Early and Late Reoperation Rates With Various MIS Techniques for Adult Spinal Deformity Correction. Global Spine J. 2019 Feb; 9(1):41-47.
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  20. Chou D, Mummaneni P, Anand N, Nunley P, La Marca F, Fu KM, Fessler R, Park P, Wang M, Than K, Nguyen S, Uribe J, Zavatsky J, Deviren V, Kanter A, Okonkwo D, Eastlack R, Mundis G. Treatment of the Fractional Curve of Adult Scoliosis With Circumferential Minimally Invasive Surgery Versus Traditional, Open Surgery: An Analysis of Surgical Outcomes. Global Spine J. 2018 Dec; 8(8):827-833.
    View on PubMed

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