Dr James Tan is a neurosurgeon at Gleneagles Hospital and Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital, Singapore.
He subspecialises in the surgical treatment of degenerative spinal disorders of the cervical and lumbar spine, and performs minimally invasive treatment for these conditions including the use of radio frequency for neck and back pains. His clinical expertise also includes minimally invasive endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery, which is a procedure to remove pituitary tumours.
Other conditions that Dr Tan treats include back and neck aches, disc replacements, prolapsed discs, meningiomas (tumour between the skull and brain), radicular pain (caused by injury to spinal nerve root), spine degeneration, fusion and pain, and spondylosis (spine degeneration).
He was the former director of the spine programme at the National Neuroscience Institute (NNI). He is the earliest surgeon in Asia to use artificial cervical disc implants in spinal surgery and has since regularly performed such cervical spinal operations. He is also one of the earliest surgeons to introduce the use of facet joint radiofrequency treatment for neck and back pain.
He was a visiting consultant at the National University Hospital and is currently a visiting consultant at NNI.
Dr Tan completed his bachelor's degrees at the National University of Singapore (NUS) in 1989. Thereafter, he became a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in general surgery in both Edinburgh and Glasgow, UK. He then embarked on neurosurgical training at NNI at Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) in 1995 before leaving for London in 1997 to attend a specialist training programme at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery and the Charing Cross Hospital in the UK. He then obtained a fellowship in surgical neurology in UK in 1999.
In 2003, Dr Tan was awarded a Health Manpower Development Plan (HMDP) fellowship by the Ministry of Health, Singapore for further subspecialist training in spinal surgery at the Schulthess Klinik in Zurich, Switzerland.
He has been practising medicine for over 30 years and has performed more than 10,000 cervical spinal operations since 2000.
Dr Tan is an active speaker and instructor at conferences both locally and in Asia.
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