Academic Profile

Academic Profile

Assoc Prof Hee Hwan Tak

Adjunct Associate Professor

Assoc Prof Hee Hwan Tak

Dr Hee Hwan Tak is a fellowship trained spine surgeon who specializes in degenerative, traumatic, neoplastic, and congenital disorders of the spine, as well as spinal deformities. His practice is solely dedicated to conservative as well as surgical treatment of various spinal disorders. His special areas of interests are in surgery for congenital and acquired spinal deformity, minimal access spinal surgery, spinal tumor surgery, cervical spine surgery, and artificial disc replacement (non-fusion) surgery.
Dr Hee completed his medical degree at the National University of Singapore in 1990. He obtained his postgraduate degrees in surgery in Royal College of Surgeons of Glasgow and Edinburgh in 1995. He underwent his training in Orthopaedic Surgery at the National University Hospital, and completed advanced surgical training in Orthopaedics in 1999. In 2000, he spent a year on a Clinical Fellowship in Spinal Surgery in the USA, training at Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana and the University of Kentucky in Louisville and Lexington. He joined the National University Hospital in 2000 as an Associate Consultant, and became a Consultant in 2002. He also joined the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore as an Assistant Professor in 2002, and is Associate Professor with effect from 2008. Prior to starting his own private practice, he was senior consultant and deputy head of the University Spine Centre at the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, National University Hospital. He was also Clinical Director of the Department of
Orthopaedic Surgery, National University Hospital.
Dr Hee is a member of several international spine societies including North American Spine Society, Cervical Spine Research Society, International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine, Spine Arthroplasty Society, Scoliosis Research Society, and AO Spine International. Dr Hee is currently president of the Singapore Back Society (2005-2013). Dr Hee sits on the Associate Editorial Board of The Spine Journal and Journal of Orthopaedic
Dr Hee’s research interests are in degenerative spinal disease, in particular the basic science of intervertebral disc degeneration and regeneration. He is also involved in the evaluation of clinical outcomes after spinal surgeries.
Dr Hee is currently Medical Director and Senior Consultant, Centre for Spine and Scoliosis Surgery. He is also Adjunct Associate Professor of School of Physical and Mathematical Sceinces and School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, Nanyang Technological University. He is visiting consultant to Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Khoo Teck Puat Hospital and Alexandra Hospital.
Research Interests
Selected publications

Tan BHM, Hee HT. Treatment of osteoporotic compression fractures with vertebroplasty. In: BE Mattingly, AC Pillare eds. Osteoporosis: Etiology, Diagnosis, and Treatment. Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers, Inc 2009.

Lim CT, Hee HT. Stem cell therapy in Orthopaedic Surgery. Advances in Orthopaedics 2010; 2(3): 81-8.

Hee HT, Ismail, Lim CT, Goh J, Wong HK. Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cell transplantation and intervertebral disc distraction reverse intervertebral disc degeneration in a rabbit model. J Bone Joint Surg Br 2010 May; 92(5): 726-36.

Hee HT, Zhang JT, Wong HK. Effects of cyclic dynamic tensile stress on pre-compressed annulus fibrosus and nucleus pulposus cells of human intervertebral disc- an in vitro study. J Orthop Res April 2010: 503-9.

Hee HT, Zhang JT, Wong HK. Effects of dynamic cyclic compression on human annulus fibrosus and nucleus pulposus cells -an in vitro stud. The Spine J Sep 2010; 10(9): 795-801.

Hee HT, Chuah YJ, Tan BHM, Setiobudi T, Wong HK. Vascularization and morphological changes of the endplate after axial compression and distraction of the intervertebral disc. Spine April 2011; 36(7): 505-11.

Wang LS, Hee HT, Wong HK. Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy: A brief review of its pathophysiology, presentation, assessment, natural history and management. Orthopaedics and Trauma 2011; 25(3): 181-9.

Mishra A, Deng R, Loo Y, Chua YJ, Hee HT, Ying J, Hauser CAE. Ultrasmall natural peptides self-assemble to strong temperature-resistant helical fibers in scaffolds suitable for tissue engineering. Nano Today 2011; 6: 232-9.

Hey HW, Hee HT. A Review of Thoracolumbar Spine Fracture Classifications. Journal of Orthopaedics and Trauma 2011; 1: 1-5.

Oh JY, Louange D, Rahmat R, Hee HT, Kumar VP. Paradoxical movement of L5S1 lumbar segment in spondylolytic spondylolisthesis. Eur Spine J 2012; 21(2): 262-7.

Hey HW, Lau PH, Hong CC, Hee HT. Post-laminectomy spondylolisthesis – a review of the posterior elements and their contribution to the stability of the lumbar spine. The Open Spine Journal 2012; 4: 5-9.

Hee HI, Tan YS, Hee HT. Postoperative analgesia after lumbar laminectomy: Is there a role for single shot epidural fentanyl? The Spine J 2012 Aug; 12(8): 652-5

Hey HWD, Hong CC, Long AS, Hee HT. Is hybrid surgery of the cervical spine a good balance between fusion and arthroplasty? Pilot results from a single surgeon series. Eur Spine J (in press).
Selected Publications
  • Yon Jin Chuah, Charlotte AE Hauser, Yuejun Kang, Hwan Tak Hee. (2014). Japanese Conference for Laboratory Animal Science and Technology, Sapporo 2014: Reversing Intervertebral Disc Degeneration in a Rabbit Model. The 61st Annual Meeting of Japanese Association for Laboratory Animal Science (pp. S16)Japan, Sapporo.
  • Chuah YJ, Wu Y, Toh SY, Hu T, Wong HK, Kang YJ, Hee HT. (2013, December). Development of intervertebral disc constructs resembling the micro-architecture of native discs. Paper presented at International Bone-Tissue-Engineering Congress (bone-tec 2013), Nanyang Technological University.
  • Mishra A, Deng R, Loo Y, Chuah YJ, Hee HT, Ying JY, Hauser CAE. (2011). Ultrasmall natural peptides self-asseble to strong temperature-resistant helical fibers in scaffolds suitbale for tissue engineering. nanotoday, 6(3), 232-239.

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