Thursday, April 18, 2024

Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport Introduces Awake Spine Surgery with Successful Procedure

by BIZ Magazine

In a groundbreaking advancement in surgical techniques, Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport’s Neurosurgeon Dr. Stanley Hoang, FAANS, has pioneered the hospital’s inaugural awake spine surgery. Departing from the conventional approach of administering general anesthesia, Dr. Hoang utilized a local anesthetic to numb the nerves in the spinal cord, enabling the patient to remain awake and alert throughout the procedure.

The landmark surgery marks a significant milestone in enhancing patient experience and outcomes, offering an alternative for individuals who prefer to avoid the side effects associated with general anesthesia. Mr. James Howell of Waterproof, Louisiana, the recipient of this groundbreaking procedure, had endured back pain since sustaining an injury on an offshore drilling rig in 1997. After years of discomfort, Mr. Howell was referred to Dr. Hoang, who diagnosed him with a disc issue necessitating surgical intervention.

“General anesthesia has different side effects,” explained Dr. Hoang. “It can cause issues with cognition, nausea, vomiting, and memory loss. Some people prefer not to be put to sleep for these operations.”

Collaborating with anesthesiologists at Ochsner LSU Health, Dr. Hoang devised a tailored approach involving spinal anesthesia, wherein the patient was numbed from the waist down while maintaining consciousness and communication with the medical team throughout the procedure. The innovative technique not only facilitated a shorter recovery time for Mr. Howell but also allowed him to return home promptly after the surgery, in stark contrast to the prolonged hospital stays typically associated with spine surgeries performed under general anesthesia.

“Awake spine surgery is good for people with issues that preclude having general anesthesia,” highlighted Dr. Hoang. “People with severe COPD or severe cardiac failure cannot tolerate having general anesthesia. This would be a great option for them.”

For Mr. Howell, the benefits of the awake spine surgery were immediately evident as he experienced relief from the chronic pain that had plagued him for years. With newfound mobility and freedom from discomfort, Mr. Howell expressed gratitude towards Dr. Hoang and his dedicated team for their exceptional care and expertise.

“I can walk a little faster, no pain in my back,” shared Howell. “I have to thank Dr. Hoang a whole lot. He and his staff did a wonderful job.”

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