West China Hospital of Sichuan University is the largest general hospital in China with 4300 beds. The department of neurosurgery, founded in the 1950s, is one of the earliest neurosurgery specialty wards in China as well as one of the first three neurosurgery clinicians training grounds authorized by The Ministry of Health. The former generation of neurosurgeons, such as Prof. Heguang Wu, Tiguang Qiu and Lida Gao have made tremendous contributions to the establishment and development of the department. Through the unremitting efforts of several generations, the department of neurosurgery, which has made great contributions to the advancement of specialty of neurosurgery nationwide, has been steadily expanding with its own characteristics and academic style and is nationally renowned. At present, the department is sub-divided into 8 specialties, including the subdivision of cerebrovascular diseases; anterior and middle skull base diseases; posterior skull base diseases; deep brain tumors; the spinal lesions; nerve trauma; functional neurosurgery and stereotactic radiotherapy. Patients are managed in strict accordance with sub-specialties. There are 181 formal beds in the wards and another 100 beds for the rehabilitation and follow-up therapy for the sick across the country.
The department has advanced equipment and techniques such as 4 sets of DSA, 4 sets of MRI, 5 sets of CT scans, 1 imported gamma knife, 1 set of PET(Positron Emission Tomatography) scan, 6 new Leica operating microscopes, 2 ultrasonic scalpels, radiofrequency treatment instruments, Medtronic craniotomy electric systems, micro-electrode recording systems, a full set of surgical video surveillance system , intra-operative TCD, intelligent cortical EEG -bedside EEG – BEAM real time detection system and related operators; ICU, NICU and SICU.
The department of neurosurgery is the largest neurosurgery unit in Southwestern China, with nearly 20,000 outpatient visits, more than 3,400 inpatients, nearly 3,000 cases of craniotomy, 600 cases of Gamma Knife therapy and interventional vascular surgery yearly. All of these advanced technologies have effectively transformed the department as the major referral center for complex diseases such as complex intracranial diseases, skull base tumors, deep brain lesions, and craniocervical junction lesions etc., which make up more than 70% of patients. The department is the leading center of basic and clinical research on head trauma, epilepsy surgery, craniopharyngiomas, therapy for congenital central occipital malformations and cerebrovascular diseases in China.
In the department, there are 20 staff members with MD degrees, and 12 of them also have PhD degrees, including 7 professors and 9 associate professors. Four of the staff surgeons have spent time in Europe and the United States for academic exchange for more than one year, and ten other staff surgeons have received short-term training abroad. There are 3 tutors for doctoral degree students and 10 tutors for Master degree students. Twelve members of the staff surgeons occupy important positions in academic organizations nationwide at all levels, such as The Chinese Medical Association, China Association of Doctors and so on. The Chinese Journal of Neurosurgery Huaxi Editorial Division was formally established in 2006.
The department was authorized to confer Master degree in 1981 and Doctoral degree in 1986 by the State Council. It is a prominent training ground for neurosurgeons nationwide. More than 40 doctoral students and 50 master degree students have accomplished their studies from the department. Currently there are 25 doctoral candidates and 20 master degree candidates enrolling in the department. Forty neurosurgeons from all over the country annually attend on-the job training in the department.
In the last 5 years, the department has published more than 400 scientific articles, including 12 quoted by SCI and 60 indexed by MEDLINE. Staff members authored and/or co-authored chapters in 20 major surgical text books, undertook more than 30 research projects at national and provincial levels, won many awards and established long-term co-operative relationships with a number of foreign medical centers. The planned Microneurosurgical Training Center and The Institute for Neurological Diseases officially was open in mid-2007.
Today, carrying on the excellent heritage of its past, the department of neurosurgery has established itself in the national academic echelon, and is currently focusing on the development of new techniques and expansion of new fields, with the goal of attaining a leading position at the international forefront.