Michael Wang (surgeon)

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Michael. Y Wang, MD
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Born (1971-02-04) February 4, 1971 (age 53)
Scottsdale, Arizona, United States
EducationGeorgia Institute of Technology
Stanford University
UCLA School of Public Health
Stanford University School of Medicine
University of Southern California
University of Miami
Medical career
ProfessionAcademic Neurosurgeon
ResearchMinimally invasive spine surgery, Complex spinal deformity surgery, ERAS, Spinal cord injury biomarkers

Michael Y. Wang, MD (born February 4, 1971) is an American neurosurgeon, researcher, inventor, and podcaster. He is a professor of Neurosurgery & Rehab Medicine and the Director of Spine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. He has served as the Chair of the AANS/CNS Spine Section www.spinesection.org, the President of the Society of University Neurosurgeons (SUNS) http://www.thesocietyofuniversityneurosurgeons.com/, and serves on the Board of Directors of the International Association for the Advancement of Spine Surgery (ISASS) https://www.isass.org/. Michael is known for his contributions and research in the fields of minimally invasive spine surgery and Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS).

Minimally Invasive Spinal Surgery

Frustrated with the morbidity of surgery, Dr. Wang pursued the development of less harmful or invasive ways to perform spinal surgeries. This led to a long journey of innovation with the development of numerous methods for treating cervical and lumbar spinal disorders.[1][2][3] This ultimately resulted in numerous methods for treating both simple as well as complex spinal disorders such as scoliosis through less destructive methods,[4][5] largely from leveraging high technology and robotics.[6] Ultimately, these technologies were applied following the devastation of the 2010 Haiti earthquake,[7] effectively treating severe spinal fracture-dislocations at a time when medical supplies, advanced equipment, and even electrical power were in short supply.[8]

Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS)

The advent of the era of ERAS brought new opportunities in spinal surgery. While ERAS methods were born in Western Europe during the second decade of the 21st century, the science and technology was lacking in the orthopedic and neurosurgical realms. This was particularly troubling, given the painful and slow recovery associated with major musculoskeletal operations. Wang began the early work into ERAS in spinal surgery. Again, high technology was utilized as the approach, ultimately resulting in spinal care protocols that respected the tenets of ERAS: 1) treating the patient's entire journey before, during, and after surgery as essential to success; 2) exercising a multi-modal approach with nursing, anesthesia, and PT/OT as integral team members; and 3) working with a data-driven and iterative approach to improving outcomes. This resulted in evidence-based changes in patient care that reduced the hospital length of stay and acute care costs associated with spinal fusion surgeries.[9]

The Neurosurgery Podcast

In partnership with co-host John Paul Kolcun, MD, the Neurosurgery Podcast was launched in 2019.[10] The podcast served as an outlet of informal but much sought after information for neurosurgeons and medical trainees. Presented in a casual interview style with thought leaders being interviewed, the Neurosurgery Podcast quickly became popular as a source of information and dialogue on how to confront the challenges of life as a surgeon, such as the stress associated with working long hours, seeing devastating complications, and balancing family life. Guests on the Podcast have included luminaries such as Michael LJ Apuzzo, Robert Spetzler, James Rutka, Michael Lawton, Edward Benzel, and Nelson Oyesiku.


  1. Brusko, GD; Wang, MY (January 2020). "Endoscopic Lumbar Interbody Fusion". Neurosurgery Clinics of North America. 31 (1): 17–24. doi:10.1016/j.nec.2019.08.002. PMID 31739925.
  2. Haque, RM; Mundis GM, Jr; Ahmed, Y; El Ahmadieh, TY; Wang, MY; Mummaneni, PV; Uribe, JS; Okonkwo, DO; Eastlack, RK; Anand, N; Kanter, AS; La Marca, F; Akbarnia, BA; Park, P; Lafage, V; Terran, JS; Shaffrey, CI; Klineberg, E; Deviren, V; Fessler, RG; International Spine Study, Group. (May 2014). "Comparison of radiographic results after minimally invasive, hybrid, and open surgery for adult spinal deformity: a multicenter study of 184 patients". Neurosurgical Focus. 36 (5): E13. doi:10.3171/2014.3.FOCUS1424. PMID 24785478.
  3. Wang, MY (December 2010). "Percutaneous thoracolumbar pedicle screw fixation: is it time to revisit spinal fracture treatment?". World Neurosurgery. 74 (6): 570–1. doi:10.1016/j.wneu.2010.04.019. PMID 21492619.
  4. Wang, MY; Madhavan, K (2014). "Mini-open pedicle subtraction osteotomy: surgical technique". World Neurosurgery. 81 (5–6): 843.e11–4. doi:10.1016/j.wneu.2012.10.002. PMID 23043995.
  5. Wang, MY (January 2013). "Improvement of sagittal balance and lumbar lordosis following less invasive adult spinal deformity surgery with expandable cages and percutaneous instrumentation". Journal of Neurosurgery. Spine. 18 (1): 4–12. doi:10.3171/2012.9.SPINE111081. PMID 23101944.
  6. Urakov, TM; Chang, KH; Burks, SS; Wang, MY (May 2017). "Initial academic experience and learning curve with robotic spine instrumentation". Neurosurgical Focus. 42 (5): E4. doi:10.3171/2017.2.FOCUS175. PMID 28463609.
  7. "7.0 quake hits Haiti; 'Serious loss of life' expected". CNN. Retrieved 13 January 2010.
  8. Wang, MY (May 2010). "Devastation after the Haiti Earthquake: a neurosurgeon's Journal". World Neurosurgery. 73 (5): 438–41. doi:10.1016/j.wneu.2010.03.040. PMID 20920917.
  9. Brusko, GD; Kolcun, JPG; Heger, JA; Levi, AD; Manzano, GR; Madhavan, K; Urakov, T; Epstein, RH; Wang, MY (1 April 2019). "Reductions in length of stay, narcotics use, and pain following implementation of an enhanced recovery after surgery program for 1- to 3-level lumbar fusion surgery". Neurosurgical Focus. 46 (4): E4. doi:10.3171/2019.1.FOCUS18692. PMID 30933921.
  10. "Dr. Michael Wang Presents the Neurosurgery Podcast". No. 29:2. AANS Neurosurgeon. Retrieved 4 November 2019.

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