Surgeon Spotlight

SpineFrontier A Meeting of the Minds: Dr. Kingsley R. Chin Speaks among Dr. Bash & Dr. Aferzon

A Meeting of the Minds: Dr. Kingsley R. Chin, Dr. Bash & Dr. Aferzon

Dr. Jeffrey Bash and Dr. Joseph Aferzon recently hosted an event at the Capital Grille in Hartford, Conn. The dinner was a meeting of the minds and featured Dr. Chin, the surgeon-entrepreneur founder and CEO of SpineFrontier. In addition to the hosts, the event was attended by several prolific Connecticut surgeons brought together by a common interest in innovative product design and outpatient care.

The evening kicked off with a round table-style, open forum discussion about surgeon innovation at SpineFrontier. Dr. Bash and Dr. Aferzon spoke glowingly about their experiences working with SpineFrontier designers and engineers. They described the benefits of collaborating with SpineFrontier’s talented and smart product design team who have taken their ideas for new and better products and instruments and turned them into reality. Dr. Bash noted that the SpineFrontier team was unique in both its ability to understand surgeons’ input and direction and to design intelligent products and instruments that worked better for surgeons and patients.

The discussion turned to the rise of outpatient treatment out of necessity for patient safety. Dr. Chin and Sarah Cook (a SpineFrontier Mechanical Engineer) shared case studies with the group and talked about SpineFrontier’s variety of product offerings. The rest of the evening centered on a vibrant discussion about the spine industry, the rise of outpatient treatment, new billing restrictions and innovative surgical techniques

To wrap up the evening, Jake Lubinski, president of AxioMed, gave a short presentation on AxioMed’s clinical studies of its Freedom® total disc replacement technology. Frank Schnur, the Chief Sales Officer of KICVentures, spoke about the KICVentures’ ecosystem of health-tech companies and its entrepreneurial movement.

Surgeons and Investors Shouldn’t Miss this Opportunity to Discuss How to Apply Lessons from Total Joint Replacement to Spine Restorative Motion | SpineFrontier feature

AxioMed AAOS Event to Feature Dr. Mark Reiley – Surgeon, Entrepreneur, Champion of Total Segmental Restorative Motion

Surgeons and Investors Shouldn’t Miss This Opportunity to Discuss How to Apply Lessons from Total Joint Replacement to Spine Restorative Motion

AxioMed announced today that Dr. Mark Reiley, an experienced veteran of total segment motion preservation, will speak at a private event hosted by AxioMed during AAOS’s (American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons) Annual Meeting in Orlando, Fla. The wine and cheese tasting event will occur in a private suite at the JW Marriott, in Orlando on Thursday evening, March 3, 2016 at 8 p.m., and will give attendees the opportunity to mingle with orthopedic industry leaders from several companies, including AxioMed, Invibio, SpineFrontier and KICVentures, among others. In conjunction with Dr. Reiley’s talk, AxioMed will host a discussion about applying lessons in total joint replacement to spine motion preservation. The topic of discussion will include the latest trends in technology, the evolution of joint replacement and the practice of motion preservation in spine. To RSVP for this event, please email

Dr. Mark Reiley is a board-certified surgeon who did his first total segment motion preservation procedure in Berlin over 10 years ago. Dr. Reiley co-founded Kyphon based on his invention of the Kyphon balloon device to treat fractured vertebrae. Reiley sold Kyphon to Medtronic in 2007. He then founded INBONE Technologies, Inc. in 2008, serving as its Chief Medical Officer. Among other inventions, Dr. Reiley also designed the first and only Total Ankle Replacement (TAR) to use intramedullary guidance. He is also the inventor of the triangular fusion rod and Co-founder of SI-Bone. Dr. Reiley is an international speaker and published author of several books and articles, as well as the winner of the 2008 Phoenix Lifetime Achievement Award in Medicine. AxioMed is honored to have Dr. Reiley lead a discussion on how to achieve total segmental restoration in spine.

Jake Lubinski, President of AxioMed, will give an update on AxioMed Freedom® Total Disc Replacement’s IDE progress. The AxioMed Freedom Disc is a single-piece total disc replacement with a proprietary, viscoelastic polymer core that mimics the flexibility and stiffness of a human vertebra. This next-generation technology is the only one of its kind on the market. So far, the Freedom Cervical Disc has completed a European post-market study. The USA Lumbar IDE, started in 2008, has just finished a two year follow-up. Visit this article for more information about the Freedom Disc clinical studies.

European surgeons who use the Freedom Disc have been pleased with its results. Dr. Hausmann, an EU neurosurgeon and early adopter of the Freedom Disc says, “My patients had no side effects…I am very happy with the two-year results of the disc…The AxioMed disc has a better range of movement than the ball-and-socket discs.”

About AxioMed

Founded in 2001, AxioMed began its journey of exhaustively proving the Freedom® Disc through research, development and testing. In 2014, KICVentures recognized the disc’s enormous potential and acquired the company into their healthcare portfolio. AxioMed owns an exclusive viscoelastic material license on its proprietary Freedom Disc technology.

About KICVentures

KICVentures manages several portfolio companies (including AxioMed, LLC), investing in disruptive technology in the healthtech sector. KICVentures acquires, creates, and nurtures companies and their technologies to their fullest potential.

Best Practices: Dr. Ngu’s Focus on Patient Education | SpineFrontier spotlight

Best Practices: Dr. Bonaventure Ngu Focuses on Patient Education

This month, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Bonaventure Ngu, a Texas-based orthopedic spine surgeon. I wanted to know how he had taken the patient experience into account while structuring his practice.  Dr. Ngu told me that the first thing he wanted to do was make sure his waiting room was comfortable and that patients didn’t have to wait a long time. But he also wanted patients to feel comfortable as he explained their illnesses, diagnoses and treatment to them. An exam room couldn’t provide the right atmosphere for helping a patient fully engage and understand complex medical procedures. So after their examination, Dr. Ngu ushers his patients into a conference room equipped with video capabilities and a big white board.

“I get one-on-one with them with a big white board, so they really get a whole understanding of the cause of their symptoms, their condition, and their treatment. After examining them I go over all the images with them, explaining everything about what is causing their symptoms and showing them videos of the surgery they need. After the appointment, they can refer back to my website and watch more videos of their conditions.”

“You’d be amazed at how many patients have gone through spine injuries and injections and no one ever went over their treatment with them,” says Dr. Ngu.

Dr. Ngu credits his emphasis on patient education to his experience watching a mentor during his fellowship be hands-on about educating his patients. “You’d be amazed at how many patients have gone through spine injuries and injections and no one ever went over their treatment with them,” says Dr. Ngu. “Most of the surgery I do is elective, so I want to make sure patients know why they are electing to have surgery. The more educated the more informed decision they can make about their surgery –the better.”

Dr. Ngu has had a hugely positive response from patients. Because of his reputation for taking the time to walk patients through their medical conditions and procedures, Dr. Ngu has patients whose insurance plans include him, but still book an educational appointment with him before having surgery with another physician. This way, patients go into their surgery with another physician fully informed from their one-on-one educational session from Dr. Ngu.

I asked Dr. Ngu if patient education gives him any definable return on investment for his practice. “I don’t measure return on investment by patient volume,” Dr. Ngu says. “I measure it by patient satisfaction. If I have five satisfied patients, then I’ve done my job. Spine surgery is very complex and we need to schedule time to talk to patients about it. I value that time, and I don’t want to feel rushed. I want the patient to feel calm.”

“Patient education is something that we [as surgeons] take for granted,” Dr. Ngu says. “We surgeons see things in three dimensions. But we need to explain things in two dimensions or one dimension, and explain everything to a patient in layman’s terms while drawing things out for people.  We need to show them the screws or bone graft that will be going into their body, and show them what the suture will look like. All the technologies I use –I have in the office in order to show the patient. It’s our place to show them and tell them what their treatment is going to be like. It’s not their place to have to ask.”

Best Practices: One Neurosurgeon's Empathetic Approach to the Patient Experience | SpineFrontier Dr. Rosenstein

Best Practices: One Neurosurgeon’s Empathetic Approach to the Patient Experience

Dr. Rosenstein makes sure he and his staff go the extra mile to make his patients feel comfortable. That commitment to patient comfort begins with an empathetic recognition of what it’s like to enter the office of a neurosurgeon, and a strategic approach to eliminating unnecessary stressors for a patient.

“As a physician, you want your office to be warm and your staff to be inviting, so that a patient feels safe and comfortable when they come into your office. Someone seeing a neurosurgeon is already nervous enough. You don’t want to add to that stress in any way.”

Dr. Rosenstein says that patients suffer from “white coat syndrome.” Their blood pressure is often high during the examination simply from the stress of being in a doctor’s office. “People are scared to see a neurosurgeon and afraid they could be on the operating table the next day,” he says.  “As a physician, you want your office to be warm and your staff to be inviting, so that a patient feels safe and comfortable when they come into your office. Someone seeing a neurosurgeon is already nervous enough. You don’t want to add to that stress in any way.”

In addition to making sure his staff are attentive in asking after his patients’ comfort and needs, one of the ways Dr. Rosenstein has taken on the issue of patient stress, is through the intentional interior design of his office. His wife and an interior designer helped create the office environment, choosing modern, cool and calming paint colors that help create a warm and professional atmosphere.

When asked what kind of feedback he receives about his office from patients, Dr. Rosenstein says patients notice the thought that went into his office and regularly comment on it. “I always get compliments about how nice the office design is and how nice the staff is. We are very patient-oriented and it shows. Patients refer their friends and family because we make them feel at home and comfortable and we take care of their needs. Our biggest referral source is former patients.”

In a competitive medical landscape, patient satisfaction goes a long way in creating a solid patient pipeline. Building a reputation as a practice that cares about its patients is one of the most straightforward ways of attracting new patients in an increasingly complicated world of print, TV, online and social media marketing. Caring for a patient comes naturally to healthcare professionals, so extending that care to a focus on the holistic and fundamental elements of a practice’s physical and social environment is perhaps a more intuitive and organic marketing strategy for physicians than coming up with a gimmick or clever marketing campaign to differentiate oneself from competitors.

In a study looking at how patients experience different factors in a healthcare environment, published in the International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being, researchers concluded that “Analysis of the patients’ perceptions of the environment indicated a complex entity comprising several aspects. These came together in a structure consisting of three main categories: safety, partnership with the staff, and physical space.”[1]

It seems that Dr. Rosenstein is onto something with his emphasis on creating a safe, calming environment where patients feel connected to his staff. As basic as it sounds, a welcoming environment assures patients of their likelihood of receiving top-notch quality care. And yet –how many physicians’ offices have cramped waiting spaces, uncomfortable chairs, old wall paper and ugly watercolor paintings? It’s not superficial for medical professionals to attend to these physical details, just as it’s not superficial for a person to look their best on the day of a job interview. It’s a well-accepted truism that physical details make an impression (even subconsciously) on our emotional and psychological assessments of things. A professional staff and well-cared for office exposes the ethos of a practice’s attention to detail and its acknowledgment of the patient as a human being with a need for physical and emotional well-being.

SpineFrontier welcomes Dr. Ashley Simela orthopedic surgeon

SpineFrontier Welcomes Dr. Ashley Simela

We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Ashley Simela to the exclusive community of spine surgeons committed to the Less Exposure Surgery movement with SpineFrontier!

Specializing in Orthopedic Spine Surgery in the Bronx, New York, Dr Simela is affiliated with multiple hospitals in the area, including Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, a nationally ranked facility.  Dr Simela received his medical degree from New York College of Osteopathic Medicine and has been in practice for seven years. He is one of nine doctors at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center and one of 85 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center who specializes in Orthopedic Surgery.

After receiving his medical degree in 2008, Dr. Simela was an Orthopedic Surgery Resident at University Hospitals of Cleveland Richmond and went on to complete an Orthopedic Spine Surgery Fellowship at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California.

Dr. Simela’s clinical interests include spinal fusion, spondylolisthesis, cervical and lumbar vertebrae, and mesenchymal stem cell transplantation.  As a highly-skilled surgeon Dr. Simela is dedicated to delivering the absolute highest standards of healthcare and performance to his patients.

Dr. Simela is a key figure in the development and expansion of the LESS Institute brand and in the innovation of LES technologies.  He will play a chief role in the opening of a brand new, state-of-the-art LESS Institute facility in New York City in the coming year.

SpineFrontier welcomes Dr. Fernando Techy

SpineFrontier Welcomes Dr. Fernando Techy

We are absolutely delighted to welcome Dr. Fernando Techy to the premier community of spine surgeons committed to SpineFrontier and the Less Exposure Surgery group!

Dr. Techy’s specialized training includes two complete orthopaedic surgery residencies -one at the Santa Casa of Sao Paulo, Brazil and one at the University of Illinois in Chicago, as well as a combined Orthopaedics and Neurosurgery Spine Surgery Fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, OH. After his extensive training Dr. Techy was invited back to work as an attending Professor of Orthopaedics and Spine Surgery at the University of Illinois in Chicago where he performed complex and demanding spine surgeries in the academic setting.

Dr. Techy is passionate about teaching and performing research to help the advancement of spine surgery.  He is the author of several articles published in peer-reviewed journals as well as multiple book chapters on spine surgery. Dr. Techy is an active member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), of the North American Spine Society (NASS), of the Scoliosis Research Society (SRS), and of the AOSpine North America.

Dr. Techy enjoys teaching and training Orthopaedic Surgery and Neurosurgery residents, fellows and Spine Surgery colleagues from the US and abroad. Currently, Dr. Techy is on the faculty of the AOSpine North America, the Depuy Synthes Spine Surgery Institute and the Cleveland Clinic Spine Review.

Outside of medicine, Dr. Techy enjoys spending time with his family, watching sports, playing guitar, riding his road or mountain bike, snowboarding, running (six marathons so far) and playing tennis.

Dr. Techy is a key player in the advancement of LES technologies in Colorado and in the overall growth and progress of the LESS Institute brand on a global scale.

SpineFrontier Welcomes Dr. Juan M. Valdivia-Valdivia

SpineFrontier Welcomes Dr. Juan M. Valdivia-Valdivia

It is a pleasure to welcome Dr. Juan Martin Valdivia-Valdivia to the elite community of spine surgeons dedicated to the Less Exposure Surgery Philosophy! Dr. Juan M. Valdivia-Valdivia is board certified in Neurological Surgery. He received his Doctor of Medicine at Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia in Lima, Peru. He then finished his General Surgery Internship at the University of Illinois at Chicago; and a Neurological Surgery Residency at the University of Arizona in Tucson, with rotations at Barrow Neurological Institute and Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Dr. Valdivia-Valdivia went on to complete a Complex & Reconstructive Spine Surgery Fellowship at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor where he became a faculty member as Assistant Professor. He rounded out his training with a Neurosurgical Oncology Fellowship at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.  He comes to BayCare Medical Group in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida from his role as Neurosurgery Section Chief, Section of Neurosurgery, at the Veteran’s Administration Ann Arbor Healthcare System in Michigan, and Assistant Professor at the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Michigan.

Dr. Valdivia-Valdivia’s clinical interests include mainly complex and reconstructive spine surgery, namely Adult Spinal Deformity Surgery and Adult Scoliosis Surgery. He is one of the first surgeons to work on developing a deformity system with SpineFrontier, and has already contributed several novel and useful concepts. He has a special interest in bringing SpineFrontier’s devices, techniques, and clinical support to his home country of Peru. Dr. Valdivia-Valdivia has also become a frequent user of SpineFrontier’s new A-CIFT™ SoloFuse-P™ Cervical Standalone, and has created several new techniques to use it in conjunction with posterior cervical screws for cervical deformity correction.

Dr. Valdivia-Valdivia is fluent in Spanish, Portuguese, and French.

100th Less Exposure Surgery Procedure Completed by Industry Leading Surgeon Dr. Jeffrey Carlson

100th Less Exposure Surgery Procedure Completed by Industry Leading Surgeon Dr. Jeffrey Carlson

Newport News, Virginia –Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Orthopaedic & Spine Center announced today that Dr. Jeffrey R. Carlson finished his 100th case using SpineFrontier’s® PedFuse® REmind® Screws. The operation took place on Tues., June 30, 2015, at Bon Secours Mary Immaculate Hospital in Newport News, VA. The procedure was an L5-S1 posterior lumbar interbody fusion on a 69 year old, male patient. Prior to undergoing surgery, the patient suffered constant pain and failed conservative treatments including chiropractic treatments and steroid injections.

Dr. Carlson’s milestone case represents a significant achievement in the innovative, Less Exposure Surgery (LES®) midline approach. Implanting PedFuse REmind screws via the LES midline approach minimizes tissue disruption and results in smaller incisions. It may also reduce blood loss, and surgery time while potentially speeding up the patient’s recovery.

Less Exposure Surgery (LES) is based on a new philosophy of doing surgery. LES is less invasive than MIS. LES incisions are small incisions through which the surgeon only exposes what needs to be treated for maximum effectiveness. By developing innovative technologies and techniques tailored for pinpointing the problem and fixing it without collateral damage, LES minimizes normal tissue disruption without relying on excessive radiation.

Dr. Carlson remarked on the LES technique, “Advancements in spine surgical techniques are now allowing patients to have outpatient lumbar fusions. SpineFrontier continues to lead in techniques that decrease the pain of surgery and provide the same outcomes as standard procedures. Less pain, less blood loss, and quicker recoveries are the driving force behind these new techniques.”

Susan Finkel, a patient of Dr. Carlson’s who underwent an outpatient Less Exposure Surgery midline procedure, emphasized the ease of her recovery. “Having this done was one of the best decisions that I have ever made and being able to go home within a few hours of surgery and being able to return to work so quickly made this the easiest surgery I’ve ever had.”

Dr. Carlson is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon, focused on treating spine disorders. He received his M.D. from George Washington University in 1993 and completed his residency in orthopaedics at the Harvard Medical School Hospitals (Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital). He also completed an Orthopedic Trauma Surgery Fellowship and a Spine Surgery Fellowship. Dr. Carlson is a managing partner of the Orthopaedic and Spine Center in Newport News, VA and served as Chief of Surgery at Bon Secours Mary Immaculate Hospital.

Dr. Carlson is a long-time supporter of the Arthritis Foundation. As an expert in his field, he has published and lectured extensively on the subject of orthopedics and has appeared on television several times. In 2008, Dr. Carlson was one of the first surgeons in his area to perform a cervical disc replacement.

About the PedFuse REmind Midline Screw Family

SpineFrontier designed the PedFuse REmind Midline Screw Family under the unifying umbrella of LES midline tissue-preserving surgery. The PedFuse Pedicle Screws use CortiCan™ thread technology, which means the wider space between threads at the tip of the screw bonds it to the less dense, cancellous bone interior and threads grow closer together at the proximal head of the screw to grip the harder, cortical shell on the surface of the bone.

About SpineFrontier® Inc.

SpineFrontier Inc. is a growing medical technology company that designs, develops and markets both implants and instruments for spine surgery based on the Less Exposure Surgery (LES®) Philosophy. These technologies are designed to allow for outpatient surgery due to minimal disruption of normal tissues. SpineFrontier believes LESS is MORE: LESS time in treatment and recovery is MORE time in action for patients and surgeons. SpineFrontier is headquartered in Beverly, MA. It was founded in 2006, and released its first products in 2008. SpineFrontier is a KICVentures portfolio company and the leader in LES technologies and instruments.

Jamaica’s First A-CIFT™ SoloFuse-P™ Case LESS Institute Gives Back - SpineFrontier

The LESS Institute Gives Back

On July 3, 2015, Dr. Kingsley R. Chin of the LESS Institute in Florida and Jamaican Neurosurgeon Dr. Franz Pencle performed a Less Exposure Surgery procedure on a middle age, male patient who suffered from severe myelopathy (spinal cord compression) due to a progressive degenerative disorder. The procedure took place at Cornwall Regional Hospital in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Before surgery, the patient was incapacitated. “He was basically quadriplegic,” Dr. Fabio Pencle, a LESS Institute Research Fellow who supported the case says. “On his strength test, he scored a 1/5 throughout all limbs –which means he could barely flicker his digits.” Dr. Fabio Pencle believes that the patient survived because of treatment. “Patients with similar symptoms demised because they didn’t receive timely treatment,” says Dr. Fabio Pencle.

Dr. Chin, Dr. Franz Pencle and Dr. Fabio Pencle donated their time for the case and SpineFrontier, Inc. donated the SoloFuse hardware. The Less Exposure Surgery (LES) procedure was performed through a midline cervical incision, dissection to expose the affected level and a discectomy using rongeurs and burr. A DBM packed A-CIFT SoloFuse was placed and fixed with screws. This was the first case of a standalone implant in Jamaica. It was also the first outpatient spine surgery done at Cornwall Hospital. The patient could sit upright twelve hours after surgery, and he tested 5/5 on a strength test in the upper limbs and 4/5 in the lower limbs –indicating that he had significant improvement in less than 24 hours.

About SpineFrontier’s A-CIFT™ SoloFuse-P™

The A-CIFT SoloFuse-P standalone Less Exposure Surgery system features a simple dual screw construct, a large graft window, large diameter screws, and slim, agile instrumentation. Its zero-profile and all PEEK-OPTIMA Natural design minimizes tissue disruption.

LESS Talk, More Doing: Changing Lives in Jamaica, SpineFrontier Less Exposure Surgery story

LESS Talk, More Doing: Changing Lives in Jamaica

On a late Saturday night in May, an unlikely group of people’s paths crossed in a small operating room in the University Hospital of the West Indies. It was hot, and beads of sweat formed on the doctors’ foreheads above their surgical masks. Outside the O.R., the windows in the hallways were open to catch the breeze that filtered through the open slats. The hallway was quiet, filled only with an empty gurney with a canvas stretcher and wood handles. A clock on the wall covered in a metal casing methodically tracked the passing moments.

Inside the O.R., Dr. Kingsley R. Chin, an orthopaedic surgeon and founder of Less Exposure Surgery Specialists (LESS) Institute in Florida, and Dr. Carl A. Bruce, a consultant neurosurgeon at the University of the West Indies at Mona Jamaica, operated on a fifteen year old young woman. Around them stood Kevin Chappuis, a medical technology engineer from SpineFrontier, Inc, Harisha Buggam, a medical device distributor in the West Indies, and the University’s Chief of Anesthesiology, Dr. Harding. The operation, a high level, scoliosis case, required that surgeons correct a deformity in the patient’s spine.

Shinel Binns, the patient lying on the operating table, was fit and healthy -a normal young woman in every way, except for the severe curve in her spine. Standing up, Shinel’s legs were perpendicular to the ground, but at her waist, her torso and head angled sharply to the left, as if she had to fight gravity from pulling her left shoulder and head to the ground. A lifetime of trying to hold her head and torso upright to counterbalance her lumbar spine’s deformity had begun to create a curve in her thoracic spine.

Shinel lived in Saint Elizabeth Parish –a two hour journey from the hospital she was now being treated at in Kingston, Jamaica. She and her family had waited a long time for this moment. She would never have been able to afford an operation, but the donated time from the doctors, and over $500,000 in donated technology and personnel from SpineFrontier, as well as her community’s donation of $5,000, was making her operation possible.

Dr. Kingsley R. Chin had flown in earlier that day from the United States. Born and raised in Jamaica, he often returned to perform surgeries for people in need. As a pioneer in the Less Exposure Surgery (LES®) approach, Chin has devoted his life to refining and training others in a revolutionary approach to back surgery. The LES Philosophy of surgery pinpoints the problem, fixes it without collateral damage to surrounding tissues, and lets patients go home the same day.

A patient examination and X-Rays had confirmed to the doctors that Shinel’s original spinal deformity was in the lumbar spine. Because the thoracic curve was compensatory to keep her upright, Dr. Chin and Dr. Bruce operated on the most pronounced section of the curve (L1-L4). Dr. Chin used a Less Exposure Surgery (LES) approach, addressing the most pronounced section of the spinal curve (L1-L4) by inserting SpineFrontier’s S-LIFT® Lateral Interbody through a single, three inch incision at those levels to straighten out the spine. The surgeons then placed unilateral MISquito® Percutaneous Pedicle Screws to hold the straightened position.

The LES approach through the small incision on the side of the abdomen was low impact and saved Shinel the trauma of an incision through her stabilizing back muscles that could disrupt her strength. It also minimized the surgical trauma and maximized its effectiveness for a rapid and less painful recovery. This approach was especially important because it would allow a teenage girl to resume her daily activities more quickly. The surgeons expected that the thoracic curve would straighten itself over time. After the operation, Shinel already felt straighter and only had minimal superficial pain.

Harisha Buggum, the medical device distributor, had observed several other scoliosis corrections before through the Scotiabank Scoliosis Programme that provided implants at a greatly reduced cost to teenagers with scoliosis. But she had a renewed sense of excitement when talking about Shinel’s operation.

In this surgery, you could see the technology changing the deformity and you could see the spine literally straightening up through the fluoro imaging. It’s good to know technology has turned in the direction so that someone with scoliosis can actually get a correction from Less Exposure Surgery.”

“I’ve never seen that kind of procedure done,” Harisha said, leaning forward and talking energetically, “This was different for us than our day-to-day [procedures]. In this surgery, you could see the technology changing the deformity and you could see the spine literally straightening up through the fluoro imaging. It’s good to know technology has turned in the direction so that someone with scoliosis can actually get a correction from Less Exposure Surgery.”      

Harisha’s excitement over what she observed in the O.R. was just a small window into the many cases that Dr. Chin and his colleagues at the LESS Institute perform on a daily basis in the United States.

“This case is a perfect example of how Less Exposure Surgery can transform a patient’s life,” Chin commented.