For Immediate Release
March 30, 2011
HDGH Doctors on the Cutting Edge
Hospital celebrates Doctor’s Day by highlighting
minimally invasive procedure for back pain sufferers
(Windsor, ON) Doctors at Hôtel-Dieu Grace Hospital have mastered an innovative spinal fusion procedure which reduces recovery time and expedites healing through minimally invasive techniques that help relieve serious back pain for dozens of residents from inside and outside the Windsor-Essex region every year.
On Wednesday, in an event to mark Doctor’s Day, HDGH held a
demonstration of this surgical revolution – minimally invasive lumbar spinal fusion – as an example of some of the highly skilled procedures which HDGH provides and often prevents patients from travelling to outside locations for state-of-the-art treatment.
Minimally invasive procedures require much smaller incisions and reduce the potential for damage to surrounding tissues during a surgery. Such procedures greatly reduce post-operative pain and recovery time compared to more traditional techniques, meaning patients get out of hospital and back to their day-to-day lives much more quickly.
In traditional spinal procedures, a surgeon would have to cut through muscles and move them out of the way in order to reach the spine, which can mean significant pain to a patient following surgery and a longer recovery time. With a minimally invasive procedure, instead of having to cut and move around muscles, state-of-the-art C-arm diagnostic technology and brain lab inter-op navigation technology is used to guide the surgeon and specialized instruments can be used through a long tube to fuse vertebrae together.
“These techniques reduce blood loss, pain, muscle damage and the length of a hospital stay,” said Dr. Dante Morassutti, who was one of the first two neurosurgeons to introduce the surgery to Louisville, Ky., several years ago and has brought his skills and technique to Windsor at HDGH.
By the end of this month, HDGH will have performed some 155 minimally invasive lumbar spinal surgeries over the 2010-11 fiscal year – a 20% increase in two years.
It’s an example of the kind of leading-edge surgical procedures performed at HDGH, many of which are unique within this region, said Dr. Bill Taylor, HDGH Medical Director of Surgery.
Dr. Taylor notes that HDGH is also the neurosurgery centre for the Erie-St. Clair Local Health Integration Network, which encompasses hospitals in Sarnia, Chatham and Leamington in addition to Windsor.
“The opportunity to conduct such procedures are what attracts many physicians to HDGH, which has earned a reputation as a leading academic healthcare centre with state-of-the-art technology providing extraordinary care to patients in our region,” Taylor said.
Dr. Sophia Thomas, President of HDGH Medical Staff, said she’s proud of the 300-plus physicians at the hospital who provide outstanding care for patients each and every day. Dr. Thomas said the public may not be aware of the growing number of modern, innovative techniques and treatments performed in Windsor which prevent patients from travelling to London, Detroit or elsewhere.
“I salute our physicians everywhere today, but especially our strong, dedicated team here at HDGH,” said Dr. Thomas. “Our doctors go about their business, saving lives and treating sick patients, every day, often with little fanfare. Today is an opportunity to recognize the enormous contributions of our professionals.”
Some of the other examples of leading-edge, minimally invasive procedures performed by the HDGH surgical team led by Chief of Surgery Dr. Hussein Khalaff, include:
· Computer-guided brain surgery techniques which make minimal incisions and more accurate surgeries for biopsies, craniotomies and laminectomies;
· Laparoscopic bowel resections with amazingly small incisions used to bring the bowel outside of the abdomen, allowing more time-consuming and riskier parts of the procedure to be conducted outside the body with better control of the colon;
· Laparoscopic radical prostatectomies, which includes a total of five incisions and brings a modern, less invasive approach through the abdomen to operate on prostate cancer patients;
· Transnasal pituitary surgeries, where an eyes, nose and throat doctor can navigate a sinus cavity to access skull-based tumors which are then removed by a neurosurgeon.
One procedure Dr. Taylor, an anesthesiologist at HDGH, is particularly proud to have assisted on is a laparoscopic adrenalectomy. It is a technique used to treat pheochromocytomas, which are a type of tumor of the adrenal glands that can release high levels of epinephrine and norepinephrine. These glands are located near the top of the kidneys. Through the laparoscopic adrenalectomy, long-tube surgical instruments can remove benign adrenal tumors through a handful of small incisions of the abdomen.
“I have witnessed Dr. Mathaven Moodley, Dr. Raj Goel and Dr. Tom Deklaj complete several pheochromocytomas over the past two years. Many anesthesiologists never get to participate in one of these procedures over the course of their careers,” said Taylor. “This speaks to the opportunities for physicians to take part in breakthrough procedures and treatments which challenge our profession and ultimately benefit patients in our home communities.”
Hôtel-Dieu Grace Hospital is the premier tertiary acute care hospital for the Windsor-Essex region. The hospital provides advanced care in such areas as complex trauma, renal dialysis, cardiac care, stroke and neurosurgery, acute mental health and a broad range of medical and surgical services required to support these specialized areas.
For more information, including requests for a demonstration of any of the procedures noted above, please contact Steve Erwin, Director of Communications at 519-973-4433.