Cardiothoracic Surgery

Scott B. Johnson, MD

Associate Professor

Personal Statement:

In recognition of Dr. Johnson’s expertise as a thoracic surgeon, he has been an invited Guest Examiner for the American Board of Thoracic Surgery.  His passion and expertise are now focused on performing esophageal and foregut surgery. His peers consider him a master clinician and his patients uniformly note outstanding bedside manner complimented by his direction of clear well communicated care.  He is recognized as a Texas Super Doctor and annually selected to membership by Best Doctors of America, Top Cancer Doctor, and San Antonio Super Doctors. Dr. Johnson received his medical degree in 1987 from the University of New Mexico, and then went on to complete a residency in general surgery (1987-1992) at the Los Angeles County, University of Southern California Hospital.  Upon completion of General Surgery, he was fortunate to be recruited for an additional year (1992-1993) alongside Dr. Tom DeMeester (a world renowned esophageal surgeon) focused on mastery of Esophageal Surgery and Critical Care Surgery.  He then was highly recruited to San Antonio for a two-year residency (1993-1995) in Cardiothoracic Surgery.  He is board certified in General Surgery, Surgical Critical Care, and Thoracic Surgery.  After completing his training, he was successfully enticed to join the faculty at UT Health San Antonio under the Chairmanship of Dr. John Calhoon. Dr. Johnson has excelled as a teacher, researcher and clinician. He developed a wide range of expertise as noted by his service during his tenure including Surgical Director of Cardiac Transplantation, Surgical Director of Lung Transplantation and Associate Program Director of the Residency Program. Following his own passion for general thoracic surgery, he outlined and created the Division of General Thoracic Surgery serving as its Founding Chief.  After performing cardiac surgery for over ten years and lung transplantation for over twenty years, he made the choice to focus his practice primarily on esophageal surgery. He is nationally recognized as an expert in performing complex esophageal surgery to include resection of esophageal cancers, redoing previously failed anti-reflux procedures, repairing large diaphragmatic hernias, performing esophageal reconstructions including colon interpositions, and treating end-stage achalasia.


MD, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque, NM, 1987
BS, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, 1983

Awards & Accomplishments

UT Presidential Award for Clinical Excellence, 2014 Nominated for Socrates Award (STS), 2013 San Antonio Cystic Fibrosis Gala Medical Honoree, 2012 Texas San Antonio and Castle Connolly, National Top Doctors (Top 1%), 2012 Texas Super Doctors, Voted as one of the Texas Super Doctors by Texas Monthly Magazine. To be listed in the December 2005 issue., 2005 Best Doctors in America, Selected by peers, 2005 Best Presentation by a New Member of the Texas Surgical Society, 2004 Best Doctors in America, Selected by peers, 2003 “Outstanding Achievement for the Resident Teacher of the Year Award”, Honorable Mention, 2001 Faculty Teaching Excellence Award, Presented by the graduating class of 2000, 2000


Texas Surgical Society American College of Surgeons Southern Thoracic Surgical Association Society of Thoracic Surgeons, Texas Transplantation Society J. Bradley Aust Surgical Society-Fellowship Society of Graduate Surgeons for the Los Angeles County International Society of Hearts’ Lung Transplantation


Two Texas men breathing easier with simultaneous dual lung transplant at University Hospital: In March 2008, Dr. Scott Johnson, head of Thoracic Surgery, and Dr. Luis Angel, assistant professor of pulmonary diseases, performed the life-changing surgery for Kevin King and Kenny Deison. The dual operation marked the 300th lung transplant of the Lung Transplantation Program. Anti-rejection nanotherapy shows promise in rodent lung transplant model: Rejection can lead to failure of transplanted lungs. Scott Johnson, MD, Cardiothoracic Surgery, is one of many participants in a new study testing nanoparticle aerosol therapy to prevent post-transplant rejection, in the hopes that aerosol therapy will more directly target the lungs than traditional high-dose medications. Dr. Scott Johnson interviewed on KENS-5: Local scientists testing lung transplant drug on rats. Each year 1,500 American lives are saved by lung transplants but there is a high rate of rejection. Now, some scientists are trying to find a better way …. (3-12-08) Dr. Scott Johnson, Chief of General Thoracic Surgery, interviewed by Jim Forsyth, WOAI-1200 News – Cancer of the Esophagus is an Alarming Threat: The death of former Gov. Ann Richards from esophageal cancer is bringing more attention to this rising cancer killer. Health Science Center surgeon urges early detection for throat cancer (San Antonio Business Journal): Reflux disease can be an early warning sign for esophageal cancer, according to Scott Johnson, MD, associate professor of surgery. Dr. Scott Johnson, Chief of General Thoracic Surgery, talks with KENS-5’s Wendy Rigby about long-term antacid use masking esophageal adenocarcinoma. Worldwide in the past 25 years, incidence of esophageal adenocarcinoma has increased 350 percent faster than other forms of cancer.


Makey IA, Sui JW, Huynh C, Das NA, Thomas M, Johnson S. Lung transplant patients with coronary artery disease rarely die of cardiac causes. Clin Transplant. 2018 Jul 19:e13354. doi: 10.1111/ctr.13354. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 30022532.

Makey IA, Johnson SB. Keep it short and sweet. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2018 Jul;156(1):e33. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2018.03.121. Epub 2018 Apr 6. PubMed PMID: 29724599.

Das NA, Peters JI, Simmons JD, Wang Y, O’Donnell KP, DeArmond DT, Coalson JJ, Brooks EG, Johnson SB. The efficacy of inhaled nanoparticle tacrolimus in preventing rejection in an orthotopic rat lung transplant model. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2017 Dec;154(6):2144-2151.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2017.07.083. Epub 2017 Sep 1. PubMed PMID: 28942970.

Calhoon J, Angel LF, Martinez D, Johnson SB. Invited commentary. Ann Thorac Surg. 2005 Jun;79(6):1878. PubMed PMID: 15919276.

Johnson SB, Allred AM, Cline AM, Angel LF, Sako EY, Baisden CE, Calhoon JH. Cardiac procedures in lung transplant recipients do not increase mortality in selected patients. Ann Thorac Surg. 2006 Aug;82(2):460-3; discussion 463-4. PubMed PMID: 16863744.

Bayer J, Das NA, Baisden CE, Rani M, DeArmond DT, Peters JI, Johnson SB. Effect of inhaled tacrolimus on ischemia reperfusion injury in rat lung transplant model. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2013 Nov;146(5):1213-9; discussion 1219. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2013.07.030. Epub 2013 Sep 9. PubMed PMID: 24029291.

Puri R, Cline AM, DeArmond DT, Johnson SB. Transthoracic repair of slipped Nissen fundoplications: technique and results. Ann Thorac Surg. 2012 Aug;94(2):429-33; discussion 434-5. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2012.04.054. Epub 2012 Jul 3. PubMed PMID: 22762940.

Johnson SB. Esophageal trauma. Semin Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2008 Spring;20(1):46-51. doi: 10.1053/j.semtcvs.2007.11.004. PubMed PMID: 18420126.

Johnson SB. Tracheobronchial injury. Semin Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2008 Spring;20(1):52-7. doi: 10.1053/j.semtcvs.2007.09.001. PubMed PMID: 18420127.

Khandhar SJ, Johnson SB, Calhoon JH. Overview of thoracic trauma in the United States. Thorac Surg Clin. 2007 Feb;17(1):1-9. Review. PubMed PMID: 17650692.

DeArmond DT, Simmons JD, Cline AM, Zarzabal LA, Johnson SB, Baisden CE. Feasibility of video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery lobectomy in Veterans Administration patients. Am J Surg. 2012 Nov;204(5):e15-20. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2012.07.003. Epub 2012 Aug 14. PubMed PMID: 22902101.

Walker JL, Wiersch J, Benson C, Young HA, Dearmond DT, Johnson SB. The successful use of cardiopulmonary support for a transected bronchus. Perfusion. 2012 Jan;27(1):34-8. doi: 10.1177/0267659111420321. Epub 2011 Oct 14. PubMed PMID: 22002966.

DeArmond DT, Carswell A, Louden CL, Simmons JD, Bayer J, Das NA, Johnson SB. Diagnosis of anastomotic leak: electrolyte detection versus barium fluoroscopy. J Surg Res. 2013 Jun 15;182(2):192-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2012.10.025. Epub 2012 Oct 29. PubMed PMID: 23122582.

DeArmond DT, Cline AM, Johnson SB. Anastomotic leak detection by electrolyte electrical resistance. J Invest Surg. 2010 Aug;23(4):197-203. doi: 10.3109/08941930903469458. PubMed PMID: 20690844.