Gabor B. Racz

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Gabor Bela Racz
Gabor B. Racz.jpg
Gabor Racz in 2010

(1937-07-06) July 6, 1937 (age 78)

Budapest, Hungary
Residence Lubbock, Texas, U.S.
  • Semmelweis University Medical School
  • University of Liverpool, M.B., Ch.B
Spouse(s) Enid Racz
Children 4
Medical career
  • Professor
  • anesthesiologist
  • pain management physician
  • Anesthesiology
  • pain management pharmacology
  • emergency & critical care
Institutions Messer-Racz International Pain Center
  • Interventional pain management
  • CRPS
Research Chronic complex pain
Gabor B. Racz during a procedure in 2011

Gábor Béla Rácz (born 1937) is a board-certified anesthesiologist and professor at Texas Tech University Health Science Center (TTUHSC) in Lubbock, Texas, where he is also Chairman Emeritus of the Department of Anesthesiology and Co-Director of Pain Services. He has worked in the field of chronic back pain and complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). He designed the Racz Catheter and developed what became known as the Racz procedure for epidural lysis of adhesions.

Early life and education[edit]

Racz was born in Budapest, Hungary. He attended Semmelweis University Medical School[1] until November 1956, when he fled from Budapest to Austria with his future wife, sister, and brother-in-law after the Soviets invaded the city in response to the Hungarian Revolution.[2] In 1957, Racz moved to Liverpool, England where he attended second-year medical school.[2] Racz graduated from the University of Liverpool School of Medicine with Bachelor of Medicine (M.B.) and Bachelor of Surgery (Ch.B) degrees in 1962.[3] He then served as house surgeon and physician at the Royal Southern Hospital in Liverpool.[3]

Career and awards[edit]

Gabor B. Racz (center) in a procedural lecture in 2012

In 1963, Racz moved to the United States for an anesthesiology residency at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, New York.[4][1] After finishing his residency, he worked in several positions at SUNY, including associate attending anesthesiologist and respiratory consultant in the neurological head injury unit as well as a consultant for the Veterans Administration Hospital, and the UHS Chenango Memorial Hospital in Norwich, New York.[5]

In 1977, Racz joined the then-new Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) as chairman of anesthesiology and held that position until March 1, 1999.[4] In addition to treating patients, he was acting director of pain services and oversaw the expansion of operations and future development of an international pain center. He also served as Director of Pain Services at TTUHSC from 1977 to 2006.[4] The Messer-Racz International Pain Center at TTUHSC was named after him and the Messer family.[6][7]

Racz has worked to treat complex regional pain syndromes (CRPS), a long-term disorder of the nervous system which is a challenging pain problem often misunderstood and misdiagnosed.[8][9]

Racz was the first recipient of the Grover E. Murray Professorship, TTHUSC's highest award, in 1996.[5] In December 1998, the University Medical Center named him to a $1 million endowed chair in recognition of his work at TTHUSC and the University Medical Center.[4] In 2004, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians.[5] The New York/New Jersey Societies of Interventional Pain Physicans awarded Racz a lifetime achievement award in October, 2012.[4]

Racz catheter and procedure[edit]

Racz's work with nerve stimulators, spinal cord stimulators, radiofrequency thermocoagulation, and a wide range of other pain management procedures is being used in interventional pain practices throughout the world. He developed new designs in medical equipment and devices.[10]

In 1982, Racz designed the Racz catheter, a flexible, spring-wound catheter with a small fluoroscopic probe.[11]

In 1989, Racz described a procedure he developed to treat patients with chronic low back pain caused by scar tissue due to previous surgeries, protruding or herniated disks, fractures, or degeneration that has not responded to other treatments.[12][13] This procedure, known as the Racz procedure, was assigned a Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code in 2000.[14]


  1. ^ a b "Open Science Open Minds". InTech Open Access Publisher. Retrieved March 31, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Memories of escape from Hungary still burn bright". Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. November 5, 2006. Retrieved April 12, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Paula Brashear, Gabor B. Racz (December 12, 2013). "Curriculum Vitae - Gabor B. Racz" (PDF). Texas Tech University Health Science Center. p. 3. Retrieved October 21, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Gabor B. Racz, MD, ABIPP, FIPP, Grover Murray Professor" (PDF). Kenes Group. Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c Paula Brashear, Gabor B. Racz (December 12, 2013). "Curriculum Vitae - Gabor B. Racz" (PDF). Texas Tech University Health Science Center. p. 24. Retrieved July 13, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Development-New Facility to Expand Research and Treatment for Pain". Texas Tech Today. p. Vol 1, pg 4. Retrieved April 5, 2014. 
  7. ^ John Davis (June 13, 2005). "TTUHSC Breaks New Ground with International Pain Center". Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. Retrieved July 5, 2015. 
  8. ^ Golovac, Stanley (2010). "Chapter 17: Spinal Cord Stimulation: Uses and Applications". In Mathis, John M.; Golovac, Stanley. Image-Guided Spine Interventions (2nd ed.). Springer. p. 379. ISBN 978-1-4419-0352-5. 
  9. ^ Ranee M. Albazaz, Yew Toh Wong, Shervanthi Homer-Vanniasinkam (March 2008). "Complex Regional Pain Syndrome: A Review". Annals of Vascular Surgery 22 (2): 297–306. doi:10.1016/j.avsg.2007.10.006. PMID 18346583. 
  10. ^ P. Prithvi Raj, Leland Lou, Serdar Erdine, Peter S. Staats, Steven D. Waldman, Gabor Racz, Michael Hammer, David Niv, Ricardo Ruiz-Lopez, James E. Heavne (2008). Interventional Pain Management: Image-Guided Procedures. Saunders. ISBN 978-1-4160-3844-3. 
  11. ^ Racz, Gabor B.; Sabonghy, Magdy; Gintautas, Jonas; Kline, William M. (August 6, 1982). "Intractable Pain Therapy Using a New Epidural Catheter". Journal of the American Medical Association 248 (5): 579–581. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330050061033. PMID 7097904. 
  12. ^ Datta, Sukdeb (2009). "Chapter 87: Epidural Adhesiolysis". In Smith, Howard S. Current Therapy in Pain. Elsevier. p. 630. ISBN 978-1-4160-4836-7. 
  13. ^ Racz, Gabor B.; Holubec, Jerry T. (1989). "Lysis of Adhesions in the Epidural Space". In Racz, Gabor B. Techniques of Neurolysis. Current Management of Pain 4. Springer. pp. 57–72. doi:10.1007/978-1-4899-6721-3_6. ISBN 978-1-4899-6723-7. ISSN 0923-2354. 
  14. ^ Bradford, Billie C. (February 2000). "HCFA announces 2000 Medicare anesthesia conversion factor increases and other changes." (PDF). American Association of Nurse Anesthetists 68 (1): 59–65. PMID 10876453.