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ROAD TO RECOVERY

The NeuroSpine Unit Team at Orlando Health – Health Central Hospital is the world’s most experienced in iMAS surgery.

FINE-TUNED

The Future in Spine Surgery is Already Here. BY MARC MIDDLETON

I

t’s 9:30 in the morning, and worldrenowned neurosurgeon Robert Masson, M.D., has already finished one major surgery and is about to begin a second. “This next case is a minimally invasive spinal reconstruction,” he explains. “We’re approaching through a small incision in the midline of the lower back using a combination of technologies with advanced microsurgery, advanced navigation and image guidance, and intelligent three-dimensional structural biomechanics.” The procedure is called iMAS, or intervertebral micro-access surgery, and will be performed by the neurospine team at Health Central Hospital’s newly designated Center of Excellence. “It’s taken a decade of hard work to achieve this prestigious designation,” Masson says. “We’ve created the least-invasive spinal reconstruction platform in the world — and are passionately committed to providing the best spine healthcare in North America.” Masson imagined, designed and developed the entire platform —including the custom tools, techniques and most of the

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leading-edge technology required. In the last several years, he’s personally trained hundreds of surgeons from all over the world in what has become the new standard in minimally invasive spinal reconstruction. “I was told that [Masson] was doing large spinal reconstructions through incisions two centimeters in length and said, ‘No, he’s not. It’s not possible,’” recalls Ian Dorward, M.D., a spine surgeon from St. Louis. “But I saw him doing complete reconstructions in one-quarter of the time most surgeons take,” Dorward continues. “And his patients were popping up and leaving the hospital the next day. I thought, either I can adopt his procedures, or I can quit fooling myself and find something else to do. Because this is the future in neurospine.” Says Masson: “The iMAS procedure starts long before we make an incision. The most important aspect is a complete understanding of three-dimensional anatomy. We understand our approach angles down to the millimeter.” He adds that his team “knows exactly where we’re going by using image-guided,

fluoroscopic-guided, approach planning. Our extreme targeting and accuracy translates into less trauma, faster recovery and higher functional response immediately post-op.” The NeuroSpine Unit Team at Orlando Health – Health Central Hospital is the world’s most experienced in iMAS surgery. Each member was recruited and trained by Masson with the stated goal of achieving peak performance, every time. The team communicates clearly, continuously and nonverbally, achieving what’s known as flow state. “Everybody on the team is in complete synchronicity,” says Masson. “Every task is fully orchestrated and performed in the most efficient manner, with the single goal of patient recovery and performance post-surgery.” As we watch, Masson’s team flawlessly executes a complex spinal reconstruction in a little more than an hour. Many surgeons take five or more hours to perform similar procedures. The NeuroSpine Center of Excellence at Health Central Hospital has become a global destination for minimally invasive spinal reconstruction and a training center for surgeons worldwide. “Dr. Masson’s creativity and drive for improving patient care has led to a complete change in the approach of how spine surgery is done,” says Anthony Russo, M.D., from Butte, Montana. “It’s a new world,” adds Timothy Keenen, M.D., a spine surgeon from Tualatin, Oregon. “I’ve reset my expectations about how big an incision has to be, how long a surgery has to take, what kind of results I’m going to see and how long it’s going to take to achieve those results.” Masson’s not done yet. “Nothing is more dangerous than complacency, apathy and the inability to recognize opportunities for growth,” he says. “I believe my purpose is to continue raising the bar, pushing myself, my team and the industry on behalf of patients who need and deserve the best healthcare possible.” 

GB EXTRA Visit GrowingBolderMagazine.com to go into the operating room with this incredible team. You’ll see for yourself how the team operates as one unit. Plus, watch Masson’s motivational Road to Recovery video minutes.

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017

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