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SLUCare Neurosurgeon Captures Prestigious Local Honor

by Nancy Solomon on 01/07/2020
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Nancy Solomon

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ST. LOUIS -- Richard Bucholz, M.D., professor in the division of neurosurgery at Saint Louis University, will receive the St. Louis Metropolitan Medical Society’s 2019 Award of Merit on Saturday, Jan 25.

Richard Bucholz, M.D.

SLUCare neurosurgeon Richard Bucholz, M.D., stands in the hallway of SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital. Saint Louis University file photo

The SLUCare neurosurgeon is lauded by his patients for his bedside manner and compassionate commitment to their care. He has trained hundreds of medical students, neurosurgical residents, fellows and peers on the newest surgical techniques. 

But Bucholz, a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors and holder of 33 patents, is best known as a pioneer whose inventions have transformed the field of neurosurgery. 

His StealthStation is a surgical technology that has made brain surgery faster, safer and less invasive for tens of thousands of patients. It has reduced time in surgery by up to 40%, decreased recovery time and cut hospital stays by up to 50%. 

In creating the StealthStation, Bucholz developed a real-time tracking system to guide neurosurgical navigation inside the skull. He coupled imaging and tracking date for instruments, allowing for real-time navigation with detailed, highly accurate positioning information. The platform now is the standard of care for neurosurgery, improving surgeons’ ability to access the brain and navigate complex neural and vascular anatomy. 

Similar systems invented by Bucholz are used for sinus and spine surgery, enhancing safety for patients. He adapted the technology to deeply stimulate the brain to treat violent tremors experienced by patients with Parkinson’s disease. Consequently, patients once unable to feed themselves and barely able to walk have regained their ability to live active, normal lives. 

Bucholz’s contributions to medicine are enduring with a global reach extending beyond the patients he has treated or physicians he has trained. A majority of hospital operating rooms now deploy surgical navigation to treat skull base aneurysms, hydrocephalus, brain tumors, Parkinson’s disease, spinal and pelvic trauma and for ENT surgery. 

 Established in 1836, Saint Louis University School of Medicine has the distinction of awarding the first medical degree west of the Mississippi River. The school educates physicians and biomedical scientists, conducts medical research, and provides health care on a local, national and international level. Research at the school seeks new cures and treatments in five key areas: cancer, liver disease, heart/lung disease, aging and brain disease, and infectious disease.