Dr. Dean Chou to Lead the Neurosurgical Spine Program at Och Spine at NewYork-Presbyterian Allen Hospital

Headshot of Dr. Dean Chou over a skyline image of Columbia University with the words Och Spine at NewYork-Presbyterian

Dr. Dean Chou, a renowned neurosurgeon who specializes in minimally invasive surgical techniques and complex spine surgery, has been named Chief of the Spine Division in the Department of Neurosurgery at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center, where he will lead the neurosurgical spine program at Och Spine at NewYork-Presbyterian Allen Hospital. Dr. Chou has also been named Professor and Vice Chair in the Department of Neurosurgery at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Dr. Chou was previously a professor of neurosurgery and orthopedic surgery and the associate director of the Neurospine Center in the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of California, San Francisco. In his new role, Dr. Chou will work alongside surgical and nonsurgical spine care specialists from Columbia University Irving Medical Center and Weill Cornell Medicine to enhance the world-class spine care provided by Och Spine at NewYork-Presbyterian.

“Dr. Chou is an internationally recognized neurological spine surgeon with a wealth of experience in treating both routine and complex spine conditions,” said Dr. Sander Connolly, neurosurgeon-in-chief at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center and chair of the Department of Neurological Surgery at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. “We are thrilled to have his depth of knowledge to build upon our reputation as one of the leading spine centers in the country.”

“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Chou to the leadership of our Och Spine surgery team,” said Paul Dunphey, senior vice president and chief operating officer of NewYork-Presbyterian Allen Hospital. “Dr. Chou’s passion for both spine surgery and patient care will help improve the health of the communities we serve.”

Dr. Chou, who has expertise in scoliosis, spinal deformity, spinal tumors, and degenerative conditions of the spine, will focus on further enhancing the acclaimed Och Spine program. A specialist in minimally invasive surgery treatments for adult scoliosis and spinal deformities, Dr. Chou has published numerous papers showing that minimally invasive surgery for scoliosis and deformity surgery may have quicker recovery times and less blood loss than open surgery. He is a member of the Minimally Invasive Surgery Group of the International Spine Study Group, and is an expert in traditional, open surgery for scoliosis and other spine conditions.

In addition to treating patients, Dr. Chou will focus on conducting spine clinical research and further strengthening the collaboration among the Och Spine care teams.

“Dr. Chou’s deep understanding of everything from minimally invasive scoliosis surgery to spinal tumors will help elevate the Och Spine program as it continues to grow throughout the New York region,” said Dr. Roger Härtl, co-director of Och Spine, a neurosurgeon with NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, and director of Weill Cornell Medicine’s Center for Comprehensive Spine Care. “He will bring exceptional care to our patients, and we are excited to be working together as we continue to transform the way spine care is delivered.”

“I’m honored to join Och Spine at NewYork-Presbyterian Allen Hospital and the Department of Neurosurgery at Columbia University,” Dr. Chou said. “This is a unique opportunity to collaborate with orthopedic and neurosurgical spine experts from two renowned medical schools in multiple specialties, covering the entire gamut of operative and non-operative spine care. I look forward to working with this team to help advance the Och Spine program to even greater heights.”

Dr. Chou will serve alongside Dr. Lawrence Lenke, an orthopedic surgeon and co-director of Och Spine.

“Comprehensive spine care involves a multidisciplinary team of specialists who are all focused on one goal – helping people lead the most active life they can,” said Dr. Lenke, who is also surgeon-in-chief at the Och Spine Hospital and chief of spinal deformity surgery in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center. “As an accomplished spine neurosurgeon and innovative researcher, Dr. Chou builds upon the diversity of expertise within the Och Spine program and will be a tremendous asset to our patients.”

Dr. Chou attended medical school at the University of California, San Francisco, completed his residency in neurosurgery at The Johns Hopkins Hospital and a fellowship in complex spinal surgery at The Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, Arizona. He is board certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery and has been elected by his peers for 10 consecutive years to the list of “Best Doctors in America,” according to Best Doctors, Inc.

Dr. Chou has authored more than 300 peer-reviewed publications in a wide variety of neurosurgery and spine journals. He sits on the editorial boards of the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine, the journal, Neurosurgery, and the journal, PLOS ONE; and is on the advisory board of the journal, Spine. He is treasurer of the Lumbar Spine Research Society and serves on the membership committee for the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), and he sits on the executive and scientific program committees of the AANS/Congress of Neurosurgeons Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves. He is a two-time recipient of the Harold Rosegay Resident Teaching Award and has been awarded the Alumni Achievement Award from The Johns Hopkins Department of Neurosurgery.