Meet Dr. Dale Swift
Pediatric Neurosurgeon in Dallas

When pediatric neurosurgeon Dale Swift, M.D., joined UT Southwestern Medical Center in 1992, he brought endoscopic pediatric neurosurgery to Dallas.

In the decades since, Dr. Swift has used this specialized minimally invasive technique (also called neuroendoscopy), as well as a variety of traditional “open” surgeries, to perform a broad range of procedures on hundreds of children with certain operable neurological conditions.

These conditions include Chiari malformations, in which brain tissue extends into the spinal canal; neurovascular malformations such as moyamoya syndrome , arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), and cavernous malformations; hydrocephalus (“water on the brain”); intracranial cysts and blood clots; brain tumors; craniofacial malformations; skull-base lesions; and spasticity.

One of only a handful of pediatric neurosurgeons currently in Dallas, Dr. Swift is a four-time D Magazine Best Pediatric Specialist (Neurosurgery), as well as a 2009 Texas Monthly Super Doctor.

He has special expertise in endoscopically treating hydrocephalus in children with dwarfism caused by achondroplasia, a genetic disorder. In some cases, instead of implanting a cerebral shunt he is able to perform a less-invasive endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV), an advanced procedure he was the first to perform at Children’s Health.

Dr. Swift sometimes uses this procedure to treat other conditions in children who are not good candidates for other types of surgery. These conditions include certain Chiari malformations and complex syndromic craniofacial problems such as complex craniosynostosis.

He also uses transnasal endoscopic surgery to treat some patients with skull-base lesions. And his team collaborates with UT Southwestern’s Interventional Neuroradiology team to treat children suffering from conditions that require endovascular therapies (embolizations).

In 2003 he developed the complex surgical plan used by the team that separated a set of conjoined twins fused at the skull – one of three sets of conjoined twins separated at UT Southwestern to date.

Dr. Swift is fellowship trained and certified by both the American Board of Neurological Surgery and the American Board of Pediatric Neurological Surgery.

He believes that educating his patients and families is vital to delivering optimal patient care.

“Patient education is very important, and I enjoy talking with patients and families,” he says. “Even if patients have a condition that I can’t treat surgically, I’m always happy to discuss it with them and try to teach them more about the issue and the options for treating it.”

Despite the serious nature of the illnesses he treats, Dr. Swift says he’s pleased with the overall outcomes of his patients.

“I love taking care of kids because they’re so motivated,” he says, “and they tend to do very well.”