Webcast Showcases TLIF: Safe, Effective Surgical Option For Severe Back Pain

Houston, Texas- When conservative treatments for back pain fail, surgeons must weigh the risks and benefits of a variety of complex surgical procedures. Accomplished spinal surgeon, Vivek P. Kushwaha, M.D., will demonstrate the safety and efficacy of the innovative transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) procedure during a live, global Webcast broadcast from Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston, Texas, on Mon., Dec. 13, at 5:30 p.m. CST.

TLIF supports and generates bone growth on both sides of the spine and has enjoyed a high success rate since its development. TLIF can be safer than both anterior- and posterior-approach procedures. Anterior or frontal approaches to the spine often produce very good results, but pose risks as surgeons maneuver around vital organs and blood vessels. Posterior approaches, while avoiding these specific risks, pose a higher risk of nerve damage and are not as effective. TLIF provides a safer, effective third option.

In this procedure, Dr. Kushwaha will make an incision in the patient's back, but approach the spine from the side. Some vertebral bone will be removed, allowing access to the disk and reducing nerve exposure. The disc is removed and replaced by a spacer and bone-graft material. Rods and screws are placed to support the spine over the next several months as bone growth connects the vertebra. This fusion eliminates movement at the affected site and, in most cases, significantly reduces or eliminates pain, allowing the patient to resume normal activities.

Bone-graft material may be obtained from the hip, but Dr. Kushawa and his team use a synthetic bone-growth hormone instead, eliminating the need for two incisions.

"Because patients often experience significant post-surgical pain when bone is taken from the hip, we eliminate that step," he explained. "Compared to other surgical options, TLIF results in fewer complications, shorter operating-room times, shorter hospital stays, less blood loss and lower overall costs to the patient." Dr. Kushwaha and his team have performed more than 200 TLIF procedures to treat spondylolisthesis and degenerative disc disease, and to correct failed back surgery.

Steve Allen, M.D., medical director for Memorial Hermann Hospital, will serve as the online moderator during the live Webcast. Dr. Allen will also receive e-mailed questions from viewers worldwide and relay them to Dr. Kushwaha, who will answer selected, appropriate inquiries during the surgery. Archived streaming video of the procedure will be available for at least one year, and Dr. Kushwaha and his team will continue to receive and answer e-mailed questions for one week following the surgery.

The program is second in a series sponsored by Memorial Hermann Healthcare System, giving medical professionals and consumers the opportunity to view cutting-edge surgical procedures live on the Internet from anywhere in the world.

"This Webcast is an innovative way to share information from Memorial Hermann Hospital about a best-practices spinal procedure that improves patient outcomes while lowering risk," Allen said.

-MH-

About Memorial Hermann

Memorial Hermann, a leader in healthcare innovation, provides quality, comprehensive programs and services through its 12 hospitals located in the Texas Medical Center and throughout the region. Memorial Hermann offers the resources and technology of a university-affiliated teaching hospital and the convenience afforded by broad geographic coverage. Founded in 1907, Memorial Hermann takes a patient-centric approach to health care and offers a comprehensive range of programs and specialty centers of excellence in heart and vascular services, neurosciences, orthopedics, pediatrics and neonatology.

www.memorialhermann.org

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