On April 11, 2016, Dr. Greg McLoughlin, a surgeon at the South Carolina Spine Center, performed a minimally invasive spinal fusion operation with new technology, the VariLift-L® Expandable Interbody Fusion Device. It was the first surgery of its kind in the state of South Carolina.
The Vari-Lift® is the only stand-alone solution for spine stabilization that eliminates the need for rods and screws to treat multiple spine disorders like disc herniation, degenerative disc disease, adjacent level disease and spondylolisthesis. The tool offers a minimally invasive approach to fusion operations that other centers do not possess. Self Regional continues to be at the forefront of spine care, investing in new and innovative technology as it becomes available.
Spinal fusions are complex back surgeries, during which several injured or problematic vertebrae are welded together to relieve pain. During routine spinal fusions, a four to five inch incision is made to access the affected vertebrae, followed by the insertion of bone grafts or other materials to fuse the bones. Afterward, several rods and screws are put in place to keep the spine stable while the fusion heals. The small VariLift-L® device slides between the vertebrae seamlessly, eliminating the need for large incisions. In fact, just one to two inches are required for its use, resulting in faster recovery time and less pain.
“I performed the surgery in the afternoon and the patient was home the next morning moving around and feeling well,” says Dr. McLoughlin. “Those types of results are unheard of. I can usually expect a patient to undergo a spinal fusion and be home in two to three days with a substantial amount of pain. This new technology has changed the approach and ease of spine surgery and recovery.”
Dr. McLoughlin also performs a minimally invasive non-fusion procedure using the coflex® Interlaminar Stabilization device. After using minimally invasive techniques to decompress the spinal canal, the device is used. The coflex® device stabilizes the vertebrae but also maintains motion of the spine unlike traditional spinal fusion surgery. This is an excellent minimally invasive alternative to spinal fusion surgery for selected patients with spinal stenosis.
About Self Regional Healthcare: Self Regional Healthcare is a not-for-profit, regional referral hospital that provides care to residents of Greenwood, Abbeville, Laurens, Saluda, McCormick, Edgefield and Newberry counties. Services include prevention and wellness, acute care and tertiary care services including cancer care, neurosurgery, heart and vascular surgery, NICU, orthopedics and genetics. Self Medical Group is its employed physician affiliate network of 32 practices and more than 113 physicians.
About Wenzel Spine, Inc.: Wenzel Spine, Inc. is a pioneer medical device company located in Austin, TX and focused on delivering simple, dependable, and proven alternatives to traditional interbody spinal fusion. The company is dedicated to improving the overall quality of spine care by simplifying procedures and reducing recovery time. Wenzel Spine seeks to improve patient quality of life by designing and producing devices of the highest quality to support our surgeon clients in the care and treatment of their patients. For more information about Wenzel Spine and our products, visit www.wenzelspine.com.