What makes your practice unique?
I have a broad neurological practice, but my emphasis is on minimally invasive spine surgery where applicable. The minimally invasive approach to both routine and complex spine surgery would definitely make my practice unique versus everyone out there. When I explain minimally invasive to patients, I lay it out in terms of “We are working through a small incision.” This is working through small incisions but using tubular dilators to really spare muscle and tissue trauma, and I think that’s the key. We do use a microscope for magnifying visualization, but we’re working through a tubular dilator using special instruments designed for that approach. It really reduces the risk of infection and gives the patient a quicker recovery time. Another benefit would be much less blood loss, so I think the patient comes out of the procedure much better.
Also, I’m biased, but I think I trained at one of the best neurosurgical programs in the country at UT Memphis. I trained at a trauma center that was consistently one of the top 10 busiest trauma hospitals in the country. I had the benefit of training with some of the top figures in minimally invasive neurosurgery.
Do you use image guided instruments?
Yes. In certain situations, we do use navigated approaches to the spine and navigated placement of our instrumentation. The technology we have today allows for more accurate screw placement and localization of patient’s spinal anatomy.
What are your spinal and clinical interests?
Minimally invasive and complex spine cases, including lumbar and degenerative scoliosis, and complex trauma. My clinical interests also would include, in addition to trauma and treatment for routine degenerative conditions, launching a concussion management program at a local high school here in town. It will be the first of its kind here in Wichita. That’s another interest of mine — sports related, neurologically relevant injuries, particularly concussion and concussion management. I’m affiliated with Vanderbilt, which is currently the leading expert in the country in concussion management.
How important is patient education?
Very. I think an educated patient is one who will make the most informed decision and will have a better outcome. I try to spend as much time as possible in-clinic explaining to patients the nature of their problems using spinal and cranial models. I also try to use other mediums like audio-visual presentations. I like the patient to walk away understanding their condition and the options to treat it. I want them to understand it’s not about how can we get you to the operating room, but that we always want to improve their condition with conservative management first. If we can do that, it’s a win for everyone involved.
More about Dr. James Weimar
Dr. James (Jay) Weimar was born and raised in Memphis, TN. He graduated from Evangelical Christian School where he lettered in football and soccer. He then attended Millsaps College in Jackson, MS earning a B.S. in Biology with a minor in American history. Dr. Weimar played football while at Millsaps and was active in numerous community activities while on campus. After completing his degree at Millsaps, Dr. Weimar moved to Telluride, CO to further develop his love of the outdoors, skiing, and mountaineering. In 1994, he enrolled in graduate school to study Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Two years later he earned his Masters and then completed his Ph.D. in June of 1999 at Albany Medical College in Albany, NY. Dr. Weimar’s graduate work has been published in several noteworthy biochemistry peer reviewed journals.
Upon completion of graduate school, Dr. Weimar moved back to Memphis to attend medical school at the University of Tennessee-Memphis. He graduated from medical school in 2003 and chose to stay in Memphis for neurosurgical training at the University of Tennessee, Semmes-Murphey Neurologic and Spine Institute. Along with his studies in medical school and residency, he remained very active in multiple research projects focused on neuro-oncology and intervertebral disc regeneration. His work has been published in the Journal of Neuroncology and the Journal of Neurosurgery.
While Dr. Weimar enjoys a broad general neurosurgical practice, his special areas of interest include minimally invasive and complex spinal surgery, along with sports related concussion management.
He and his wife Tricia have been married since December of 1994. They share a love for fitness, nutrition and healthy living. Together they stay very busy with their four boys.