Posts tagged “orthopedic surgeon”

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.

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.”

A CSRS Cervical Spine Research Society follow-up Dr. Kingsley R. Chin SpineFrontier

Dr. Kingsley R. Chin visits CSRS: A Follow Up

On Dec. 4 and 5, Dr. Chin attended CSRS (Cervical Spine Research Society) in San Diego. For the fuller story, read the Spark article: AxioMed Planning To Bring Its Cervical Viscoelastic Total Disc Replacement to the U.S. Dr. Chin reports here briefly on his experience.

“At CSRS, I met with key opinion leaders to discuss bringing the IDE for the AxioMed cervical TDR to the USA and to also discuss how to organize surgeons to participate in raising the capital to fund the IDE to bring the cervical TDR to market.  Surgeons shared that they are convinced that the viscoelastic TDR is the best available solution for treating disc disease in the cervical spine over either fusion or disc replacements with moving pieces that act as joint replacements. AxioMed’s Freedom Disc is a true replacement that mimics the natural disc to restore alignment and motion,” said Dr. Chin.

The disc is available outside the USA and is exclusively distributed by SpineFrontier.

Dr. Kingsley R. Chin Delivers Lecture at Symposium on Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Dr. Kingsley R. Chin Delivers Lecture at Symposium on Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

On Sept. 23, 2015, Dr. Kingsley R. Chin presented on “Ambulatory/Outpatient Minimally Invasive Surgery” at the University of Massachusetts Memorial Health Care’s Department of Neurological Surgery’s Symposium on Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery.

Dr. Chin spoke to an audience of physicians and medical students about the changing healthcare system. He provided a surgeon-entrepreneur’s perspective on trends in consumer-facing technology and outpatient technologies. He explained how these technologies have the potential to cause a disruption of the high-cost hospital model and enable movement toward a less expensive outpatient model that empowers both patients and surgeons.

“Dr. Chin has a purposeful way of speaking, and can connect with any audience.”

Susan MacNeil, coordinator of the Symposium, said that she received positive feedback after Dr. Chin’s lecture. “People were surprised to learn how much Dr. Chin had accomplished at a young age, and they found him to be an interesting speaker.

Peter Prinos, who also attended the symposium said that, “Dr. Chin has a purposeful way of speaking, and can connect with any audience.”

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.

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.