Here are eight things for spinal surgeons to know for June 1, 2017.
Investigation: 4 Swedish Neuroscience Institute surgeons double-booked more than half of their cases between 2014 & 2016 Seattle-based Swedish Health has frequently double-booked spine surgeries at its Cherry Hill campus, The Seattle Times reports. The Seattle Times reporters obtained internal surgery data that revealed some Swedish brain and spine surgeons "routinely ran multiple operating rooms at the same time while keeping patients in the dark about the practice." From 2014 to 2016, four Swedish Neuroscience Institute surgeons oversaw multiple operating rooms concurrently for more than half of their cases. The surgeons routinely performing concurrent surgeries in this time frame included Rod Oskouian, MD; Johnny Delashaw, MD; Jens Chapman, MD; and David Newell, MD. Read more about the investigation, here.
Baylor Scott & White Medical Center-Plano opens brain and spine center Dallas-based Baylor Scott & White Healthcare is opening a new brain and spine center in Plano, Texas. Services at the new Brain and Spine Center at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center-Plano include brain tumor surgery, neuromodulation, complex spine surgery, minimally invasive spine surgery, stroke care, epilepsy treatment and peripheral nerve disorder treatment.
Former neurosurgeon Dr. Marc Eichler receives 3-year sentence in sex abuse case Marc Eichler, MD, a former neurosurgeon in Minot, N.D., received a three-year prison sentence in a federal sex abuse case. He faced federal sex abuse charges for sending sexually explicit texts and photos to both a 12-year-old girl and 13-year old girl in 2015. The North Dakota medical board had previously suspended Dr. Eichler's license, noting unprofessional conduct.
Operator of 179 cancer treatment centers files for bankruptcy Fort Myers, Fla.-based 21st Oncology Holdings, a cancer care services provider, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on May 25, according to Reuters. The company, which operates 179 cancer treatment centers across the U.S. and Latin America, blamed the bankruptcy on costs associated with litigation, legal settlements and complying with electronic records regulations, as well as declining revenue per treatment, according to Reuters.
47% of physicians had ownership stake in their practice in 2016 A new American Medical Association report found less than half of patient care physicians currently have ownership stake in their practices. Physicians today are more likely under hospital employment contracts. Around 55 percent of patient care physicians work in medical practices that are wholly physician owned, a decrease from 60.1 percent in 2012. Read more from the report here.
Aurora Spine sees Q1 2017 revenues of $1.5M Aurora Spine saw revenues of nearly $1.53 million in the first quarter of 2017, down from $1.55 million in the first quarter of 2016. In the first quarter of 2016, Aurora expanded its Screwless Procedure product line for spinal fusion.
Spinal fusion for pediatric patients: Primary vs. revision procedures Spinepublished new study comparing primary and revision spinal fusions for pediatric patients. The length of stay at the hospital was longer for revision procedures — nearly eight days, compared with the primary surgery group, where average hospital stays lasted 6.6 days. Total charges were $135,644 on average for primary fusions and $142,029 on average for revision procedures. In the revision procedure group, 16.7 percent of patients developed at least one complication in the hospital, compared to 8.6 percent of the primary fusion group. Read more about the study, here.
Dr. Hamid Abbasi reaches 500th OLLIF procedure Hamid Abbasi, MD, published his 500th Oblique Lateral Lumber Interbody Fusion. The minimally invasive procedure is intended to treat pain from degenerative disc disease, herniated discs, spondylolisthesis, scoliosis and spinal stenosis. OLLIF, which uses a 15 mm incision, is designed to heighten the disc and limit disc movement.
RiverView Health - Dr. Abbasi performs 500th minimally invasive spine surgery
Published on May 25, 2017
Neurosurgeon Hamid Abbasi, MD, recently reached a milestone as he performed his 500th Oblique Lateral Lumber Interbody Fusion (OLLIF) on a patient at RiverView Health.
The OLLIF procedure represents medicine’s latest advancements in minimally invasive spine surgery. It treats many of the indications that result in back pain, including: degenerative disc disease, herniated discs, spondylolisthesis, scoliosis, and spinal stenosis. An OLLIF procedure is often required when a disc is damaged or is degenerated. Typically, the height of the disc is reduced, unstable, and bulging. This condition, in turn, can put pressure on the nerves exiting the spine and can cause severe pain in the legs and back.
According to Dr. Abbasi, that stabbing, crippling pain has been described as worse than childbirth by several of his patients. As people age, their discs become less elastic and are less able to stay in top working condition. OLLIF is intended to reestablish the height of the disc, reduce movement of the disc and alleviate pain.
Compared to traditional spinal fusion procedures, OLLIF is a much less invasive surgical technique that does not require removal of any bone or ligament structures. An OLLIF procedure only requires a skin incision of 15 millimeters – smaller than a dime. The diseased disc is removed through a small portal that protects the skin, muscles and nerves. After the disc is removed and the bone graft material is placed, an implant is positioned in the disc space. The implant maintains the spacing of the vertebrae while the fusion takes place. After the fusion is complete, a solid bone mass forms and the two vertebrae are joined together.
OLLIF is groundbreaking by today’s standards and revolutionary compared to the 1950s when physicians would remove a piece of the patient’s hip bone and go through their abdomen to place the hip bone piece inside the disc space to lift the spine and take pressure off the nerve. It often took patients six months to fully recover from the surgery, leaving muscles week from the long period of nonuse.
A surgery that used to require seven or eight hours is now frequently performed as an outpatient procedure. OLLIF patients are often up and walking with assistance before a patient undergoing traditional open spine surgery would even be out of surgery. Hospital stays that were often up to five days in length are a thing of the past as well. Many patients receiving OLLIF have returned to work in just a few days.
Of his milestone 500th OLLIF procedure, Dr. Abbasi shared: “My proudest moment was to see that patient walk two hours after surgery, and then go home the next day making jokes with staff and feeling pain free for the first time in years.″
Dr. Abbasi officially joined RiverView’s medical staff earlier this year, although he has been doing procedures at RiverView since 2012.
He is board-certified with the American Board of Neurological Surgery, and is an expert in brain and spine disease and a leading surgeon in the minimally invasive treatment of the spine. His vast experience includes minimally invasive correction of deformities and scoliosis, surgical pain management, complex spine surgery, trauma and spinal stabilizations, spine and spinal cord tumors, brain tumors, pituitary tumors, brain hemorrhage and none emergent trauma vagal nerve stimulator, peripheral nerve and carpal tunnel.
A graduate of the University of Heidelberg, Germany, with a doctorate of medicine and philosophy, he spent 13 years after graduation pursing extensive neurosurgical training at world-famous institutions including the University of Heidelberg, Stanford University, Dartmouth College and the University of Texas including training in MD Anderson in Houston.
For more information on OLLIF, contact the RiverView Specialty Clinic at 281-9553.
Inspired Spine Presents on Groundbreaking OLLIF Procedure at International Spine Surgery Meeting
Published on May 8, 2017
Inspired Spine recently presented on the Oblique Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion (OLLIF) procedure at the International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery (ISASS). Dr. Hamid Abbasi, who developed the OLLIF, discussed the revolutionary procedure that has been a dramatic improvement on existing spinal fusion techniques.
At the ISASS meeting April 12-14, 2017, Dr. Abbasi discussed the key findings of Inspired Spine's study titled "Oblique Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion (OLLIF): Technical Notes and Early Results of a Single Surgeon Comparative Study". The study compared the OLLIF procedure to an open transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) procedure.
Amazingly, the study of 124 patients showed surgery time for the OLLIF was approximately twice as fast as the open TLIF (mean: 135 min) and blood loss was reduced by over 80% compared to TLIF. The OLLIF surgeries were performed with biplanar fluoroscopy with an incision amounting to only one centimeter.
Inspired Spine has continued the data acquisition since the initial 124 patients, with over 500 OLLIF procedures now being performed nationwide. According to Dr. Abbasi "With the OLLIF procedure, we use a tiny incision and don't cut through the patient's muscle tissue like traditional procedures. The procedures are faster, have less blood loss and patients experience a dramatically faster recovery with less pain!"
Along with presenting at the meeting, Inspired Spine had two poster presentations as well. One on the Economic Performance of OLLIF and the other on the Minimally Invasive Direct Thoracic Interbody Fusion (MIS-DTIF). The OLLIF procedure saved the hospitals involved over $9500 per case compared to the open TLIF procedure due to the faster OR times and reduced length of stay.
The OLLIF procedure is available to patients nationwide with certified surgeons by calling (877) 378-2828. The full text of the studies is available by visiting http://inspiredspine.com.
About Inspired Spine Inspired Spine, a Minnesota-based advanced minimally invasive spinal surgery technology developer, has introduced and performed over 500 procedures using revolutionary new technologies and procedures in advanced minimally invasive systems. These new procedures are transforming how spinal surgeries are approached and can replace more traditional “open” spinal fusion surgeries. Inspired Spine is focused on the development of advanced minimally invasive surgical techniques, procedures and other health care technology to minimize or eliminate the physical and economic risks and discomfort that are created by the daily struggles of enduring back pain and its physical limitations.
Contact for Inspired Spine David Greene, MBA (888) 378-2828 dgreene(at)theusleadnetwork(dot)com
Inspired Spine Achieves Milestone of 500 Minimally Invasive OLLIF Procedures
Published on April 12, 2017
Inspired Spine, a Minnesota-based spine surgery innovation company, has reached the milestone of completing 500 Oblique Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion (OLLIF) procedures. This truly minimally invasive surgical technique is revolutionizing the performance of lumbar interbody fusions by delivering superior outcomes including substantially less patient recovery time and minimal blood loss, while requiring a procedure duration as short as 30 minutes.
The OLLIF procedure is a minimally invasive lumbar fusion technique that employs an incision of 15 millimeters, produces 80% less blood loss than a traditional fusion, and requires no muscle detachment to access the disc space. After a surgeon learns this technique, the procedure requires less than one third of the time required to perform a traditional fusion procedure, decreasing the patient’s anesthesia risk and increasing OR throughput efficiency.
Remarkably, many patients are ambulatory within two hours after surgery and are often discharged the same day. No infections have occurred during the first 500 procedures.
Numerous studies have been and are currently being performed during the journey to the 500th procedure. One study that has been published in the peer reviewed journal Cureus and presented at several national meetings is “Economic Performance of Oblique Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion (OLLIF) with a Focus on Hospital Throughput Efficiency.” This study demonstrated that due to its substantially reduced surgical time and shorter required hospital stay duration, the OLLIF procedure has saved hospitals an average of $9500 per case while improving patient outcomes.
Inspired Spine has also developed two derivative lumbar fusion techniques from the OLLIF approach: 1) MIS-DLIF and 2) MIS-DTIF. MIS-DLIF enables minimally invasive lumbar fusions to be successfully performed at L5-S1, overcoming the obstacles presented by the ala of the sacrum and the iliac crest. MIS-DTIF enables minimally invasive fusion of the thoracic levels of the spine, eliminating the risks associated with traditional thoracic approaches.
Additionally, OLLIF, MIS-DLIF and MIS-DTIF have been employed to successfully treat adult degenerative scoliosis for several of the first 500 patients.
Said Chief Medical Officer Hamid Abbasi MD, “Inspired Spine’s mission is to improve patient outcomes by substantially upgrading the surgical standard of care to that which is truly minimally invasive to deliver maximum improvements to each patient. Therefore, our team developed the capability to effectively employ the OLLIF and its derivative techniques throughout the lumbar and thoracic spine. Our data from the 500 procedures demonstrates and documents exceptional outcomes with minimal complications!”
Inspired Spine offers regular training sessions for surgeons nationwide including cadaver labs and on-site proctoring. Additionally, patients can locate an Inspired Spine Certified physician for treatment by visiting InspiredSpine.com.
About Inspired Spine Inspired Spine, a Minnesota-based advanced minimally invasive spinal surgery technology developer, has introduced and performed over 500 procedures using revolutionary new technologies and procedures in advanced minimally invasive systems. These new procedures are transforming how spinal surgeries are approached and can replace more traditional “open” spinal fusion surgeries.
Inspired Spine is focused on the development of advanced minimally invasive surgical techniques, procedures and other health care technology to minimize or eliminate the physical and economic risks and discomfort that are created by the daily struggles of enduring back pain and its physical limitations. Learn more at http://inspiredspine.com/.
Contact for Inspired Spine: David Greene, 602-677-8981 dgreene(at)theusleadnetwork.com
OLLIF and Spinal Deformity Correction
Published on September 15, 2016
Minimally invasive correction of deformity has been the holy grail of spine surgery, according to some sources this is technically not even possible. However, with the advancement of technology and increasing experience we are proud to have currently completed numerous MIS deformity corrections that we will discuss in this series. Many times staged procedures can be done which is less risky than addressing all levels at once. In many cases after the first stage the clinical improvement is effective enough that we can avoid any further surgeries, as we say, you fix the patient and not the pictures.
This patient has a double scoliosis but the upper lumbar area is auto-fused, as you see and symptoms entirely corresponds to L3-S1, Looking at this picture you would automatically want to pay more attention to Upper lumbar region
Scoliosis has been traditionally a big and very invasive procedure. With OLLIF now we can perform this procedure Minimally invasivly and with very targeted placement of the cage scoliosis can be corrected very significantly.
As you see here by strategic placement of the cage from left to right scoliosis is corrected
Most importantly the surgery took just under two hours and patient was discharged on second Post operative day.
This is the skin finding (incision scaring) after scoliosis OLLIF procedure, all cages are entered trough one left oblique lateral skin incision, L5 and S1 screws can generally be inserted trough the same skin incision
By choosing the location of the cage it is possible to correct scoliosis. Here the Cubb angle is reduced from 27 to 6 degrees after the procedure.
Below are patient testimonials that show the remarkable results of deformity correction via Minimally Invasive OLLIF.
For the history of the spine and surgery, surgeon has been very good to evaluate the risks versus benefits with the patient, this leads to avoid surgery in morbid patient with high risk, especially of the older patient. Many of these patient suffered for years with agonizing pain, because of the open surgery is just too risky.
Video of scoliosis correction with minimally invasive OLLIF
Dr. Hamid Abbasi is changing the standard of care when
it comes to spinal fusion surgery. Abbasi is a neuro and spine surgeon at the
Tristate Brain and Spine Institute in Alexandria. He's not only making a name
for the center, he's also making Alexandria a global destination for
breakthrough spinal procedures. At least that's on his agenda.
At the end of June, the first-ever Inspired Spine
Education Conference, with cadaver labs, took place in Alexandria with
neurosurgeons from around the world attending. The surgeons included Dr. Ralf
Weigel from Germany, Dr. Noorludeen Jabbar from Dubai and Dr. Alvarado Morales
and Dr. Tze Yeh from Costa Rica, along with one Minnesota surgeon, Dr. Lynn
Miller from North Oaks.
surgeons who came to Alexandria to take part in the conference, which he
labeled as an advanced course, had to either be neurosurgeons or spine surgeons
who have had experience with minimally invasive spinal surgeries.
During the three-day conference, the surgeons took
part in a cadaver lab where they learned how to perform a new minimally
invasive spinal surgery, Oblique Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion (OLLIF).
Abbasi has performed the OLLIF procedure nearly 400 times. He described it as
an extremely technical surgery that is still fairly new. The concept of the
procedure came to be in 2011, while the surgery itself wasn't performed until
was an early adapter of the surgery and started performing it in Alexandria in
2012," he said. "I have the highest reported number of cases and I am
the only one who has published papers about this kind of procedure."
around the world, Dr. Abbasi presented his OLLIF surgery results to fellow
spine and neurosurgeons at several different conferences. From there, many of
the surgeons reached out to Dr. Abbasi for more information about the OLLIF
contacted me and asked me how they could learn this procedure," he
explained. "There is nowhere on the planet you can go and learn about it
extensively and effectively enough to nearly perform it yourself except in
After getting such keen interest, the spine center
decided to host the conference.
Abbasi said OLLIF is not part of any residency program because it is still too
new, but he's hopeful that one day it will be, so doctors can learn how to
perform it and then it can become the new standard of care.
to the OLLIF procedure, Dr. Abbasi explained there have been two other types of
similar surgeries - the Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (PLIF) and the
Transforaminal Lumber Interbody Fusion (TLIF). PLIF surgery was first performed
in the 1950s, explained Dr. Abbasi, who was disheartened to learn that many
people are still performing this surgery.
was the standard of care 60 years ago and it is still being performed
today," he said.
even though it's still being performed, was surpassed by the newer TLIF, which
was developed in the early 1980s.
all accounts, TLIF is the standard of care today," he said, adding,
"but considering it was a procedure that was brought to the public more
than 30 years ago, I am not so sure it should be anymore."
Abbasi said there have been other methods, but for the first time since the
1980s, there is enough clinical data to justify OLLIF as the new standard of
right here in Alexandria, we are making that standard of care for one of the
most common problems in medicine — spinal issues," he said. "Almost
every single adult will suffer back pain in their life."
when spine surgery is performed, the patient is "opened up" from the
front and "filleted" just to get to the spine. With OLLIF, he said,
"We go from the back and don't have to open up your abdomen to get there.
We don't have to go through any vital structures from the front or back. This
makes it way less painful for the patient."
often, after having the OLLIF procedure, there is little or no pain at all and
the patient can walk home that day or the next day. A surgery that used to take
roughly four hours now takes 40 minutes, he said.
a new idea that you do a spinal surgery and the patient walks right after. That
would be ridiculous a few years back," said Dr. Abbasi.
that the international surgeons have been to Alexandria and learned about the
OLLIF procedure, they will be able to put it into practice. However, Dr. Abbasi
said more than likely, they won't be performing it on their own right away.
They will need additional support that will be provided by a team in Alexandria
of the doctors are hoping to partner with Dr. Abbasi again, along with a team
from Douglas County Hospital. A surgical team from here, he said, would have to
travel to Germany, for instance, to train the surgical team there. In addition,
Dr. Abbasi would have to oversee the surgeon the first time he/she performs it.
they become proficient, he said they can then start doing it on their own. He
stressed that patient safety is first.
a very technical surgery. We are going to coach them very closely until we/they
are comfortable," he said. "The amount of technology and intellectual
knowledge that goes into doing this procedure is nothing short of going to the
moon and back."
WHAT IS OLLIF?
Oblique Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion (OLLIF) is a minimally
invasive interbody spine fusion. It is performed via multiple incisions, each
about a half-inch long. It is done without cutting or separating muscle from
bone, which makes recovery much quicker and puts patients back to regular life
much faster than traditional open surgery.
BENEFITS OF OLLIF
A convenient, outpatient environment is often available, which
means hospitalization may not be required.
Less blood loss than traditional methods is typical among
patients because of smaller incision sites.
Less time spent in the operating room than traditional surgery,
promoting faster recovery. Typically, an OLLIF procedure takes less than 90
A minimally invasive and minimally disruptive experience,
resulting in many patients finding they are able to get up, walk around and
return home within a few hours of surgery. Typically, OLLIF patients return to
normal recreational activities in a few weeks.
To view the article online, click this link below:
Dr. H. R. Abbasi, a pioneer in advanced minimally invasive surgical services, is committed to providing the most innovative neurological spinal surgery options to rural Minnesota. He is board-certified with the American Board of Neurological Surgery and trained for over 23 years at some of the world’s most prestigious medical institutions, including Stanford University, Dartmouth College and the University of Texas, MD Anderson.
Dr. Abbasi moved to Minnesota in 2012, bringing his revolutionary minimally invasive spine techniques to Tristate Brain and Spine Institute (TBSI) in Alexandria, MN. Dr. Abbasi helped build TBSI with a multimillion dollar personal investment. He built the organization from the ground up, providing state of the art medical technologies to rural MN, including one of only three upright, tilting open MRI machines in the USA. Dr. Abbasi has made Alexandria, MN his home base, providing the only regionally dedicated neurosurgical practice in the community.
Of immediate concern for Dr. Abbasi on arrival in MN was the deficiency of appropriate advanced spinal technologies available to perform the Oblique Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion (OLLIF) in MN. The OLLIF is a minimally invasive interbody spine fusion pioneered by Dr. Abbasi, the foremost surgeon nationally and internationally in this procedure. The procedure is performed via multiple incisions, each half an inch long, without cutting or separating muscle from bone and thus keeping the integrity of spinal column intact. Surgeries that could take up to 4-5 hours using traditional methods can now be done so under one hour with 1/10 of the blood loss experienced in traditional surgery. This makes recovery much quicker and puts patients back to regular life much faster than traditional open surgery.
In a desire to provide this revolutionary surgical option to his patients, Dr. Abbasi was an early investor in a local medical device company which was critical to providing the technology, opportunity, and infrastructure needed to introduce the OLLIF in Minnesota. His support allowed the company the time and resources needed to establish a presence in the Minnesota market while enabling providers the opportunity to offer the OLLIF as a surgical treatment for spine surgery patients. This investment represented a great deal of personal and financial risk for Dr. Abbasi, but he believed in the value and importance of the OLLIF and chose to invest in Minnesota and the company. He has since been able to divest his shares in the company as he felt the OLLIF technology was firmly established in MN. Dr. Abbasi is now concentrating on the development and education in minimally invasive spine care patent pending technology.
While Dr. Abbasi believes strongly in the value and revolutionary outcomes associated with the OLLIF, he strongly advocates surgery as a last resort. To this end, he has implemented rigorous protocols designed to protect TBSI patients. The protocols represent a new benchmark and standard that exceeds currently established patient advocacy guidelines. These strict patient selection protocols are based on the recommendations from renowned neurosurgery societies including the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, and Association of Neurological Surgeons.
Throughout their experience at TBSI, Dr. Abbasi’s surgical candidates follow a strict conservative therapy process. These protocols ensure that patients are assessed for, and are provided, options for pain management, therapeutic site injections, physical therapy prior to ever being considered for surgery. His strict conservative therapy protocol implementation has provided a clinic visit to surgery ratio of 8.2%. This ratio is significantly below the national average of 10-12%.
Dr. Abbasi’s conservative patient protocols include: • Check list including all above mentioned point of therapy has been established.
• A clinical standard established whereby patients are encouraged and assisted in seeking a second opinion for any surgical recommendations made by Dr. Abbasi.
• Adherence to a compliance algorithm containing statistics comparing surgical and non-surgical options. When the algorithm determines the options are close or equal, policy dictates the recommendation of non-surgical measures.
• Provision of the highest level of evidence based medicine. All the results from Dr. Abbasi’s surgeries are meticulously collected and evaluated by independent biostatisticians, rigorously monitoring the results that are being published in scientific media. This carefully analyzed data showed the tremendous advantage of Dr. Abbasi's techniques in spinal fusion, in lumbar spine, in thoracic spine, for correction of deformity and scoliosis, spondylolisthesis, and many other spinal pathologies.
Dr. Abbasi is concentrating his effort on refining this revolutionary technique. He has built a medical blog currently followed by more than 10,000 professionals worldwide, promoting this Minnesota refined innovation internationally (www.facebook.com/NSReview, www.backachedoctor.com). He is in the process of building a center of excellence to attract a national and international patient population to Minnesota for this unequalled spine care. He has heavily invested in research and development to bring spine surgery in Minnesota far ahead of technical and scientific development worldwide. Additionally he is concentrating greatly on patient education in his social media blog www.facebook.com/NSPatient. You can also visit our Tristate Brain and Spine Institue page at www.facebook.com/TristateBrainSpineInstitute/
This technology is far ahead of current available care and in the spirit of the innovation and in the best interest of our patients; TBSI would like to invite all involved in spine care to join us in providing this innovative care to our community and help make Minnesota a medical destination, nationally and internationally. Dr. Abbasi has continuously reached out to the local medical community presenting his rigorously collected data in an evidence based practice of medicine. Additionally, he is building a teaching center for this technology locally in Minnesota for a national and international audience. This has already attracted significant number of patients locally and nationally to his practice making him one of the busiest Minnesotan neurosurgeons. Dr. Abbasi is inviting the medical community to be part of this Minnesota success story.
Contact: John Luepke, CEO Tristate Brain and Spine Institute firstname.lastname@example.org Ph: 320-298-4083