Michael Liu, M.D., F.A.C.S., of Willamette Neurosurgery, P. C., is the first physician in the Greater Northwest to offer area patients a new, safe and minimally invasive option to treat serious spine disease. The Atavi Atraumatic Spine Surgery System provides a less traumatic and potentially more effective treatment alternative to traditional spine surgery for chronic back pain. Dr. Liu, who conducts this minimally invasive procedure in Salem, was recently recognized for being the most experienced Atavi surgeon in the Greater Northwest.
More than 12 million people in the U.S. suffer from chronic back pain, and one million require surgery each year to alleviate their condition. Procedures like spine fusion are often recommended for chronic back and leg pain sufferers who no longer respond to conventional therapy and surgical treatments for conditions such as degenerative disc disease, spinal arthritis, spondylolisthesis or stenosis. However, traditional open spine surgery is highly invasive, resulting in acute post-operative pain and lengthy recovery times, as well as significant medical and insurance costs.
"The Atavi minimally invasive spine surgery option that I offer results in better therapeutic outcomes and less discomfort than traditional open spine surgery," said Michael Liu, M.D., F.A.C.S., of Willamette Neurosurgery, P. C. "The Atavi minimally invasive procedure should be considered the gold standard of surgical care for chronic back and leg pain sufferers in the Pacific Northwest."
At patients' three month check-up, studies of the Atavi System show a 65 percent reduction in pain, and a rapid recovery and resumption of everyday activities. The Atavi procedure requires only one small incision on each side of the spine during the entire procedure compared to the large incision that is required with traditional open spine fusion surgery. In addition, studies show surgery with the Atavi System can result in a potential 21 percent reduction in hospital costs as compared to open surgery.
"My lower back and legs were considerably damaged by many years of physical labor from my work on a dairy farm. In fact, I lived with chronic back pain and numbness in my left leg for more than five years," said Stuart Smith, a resident of Monmouth, Oregon. "I finally consulted with Dr. Liu, and I wish that I had done so much sooner. Dr. Liu strongly recommended the minimally invasive Atavi spine surgery procedure to address my chronic ailments and within a week of having surgery, I felt a marked improvement. I'm only 36 years old and I now feel like a new man. Others living with chronic back and leg pain should not hesitate to seek out a minimally invasive surgical solution."
According to clinical results of the Atavi System, patients showed a 55 percent improvement in their ability to carry out daily, routine activities over three months following surgery. In addition, 89 percent of non-retired patients had returned to work by their three-month checkup.
Atavi, a streamlined and fully integrated surgical system, combines novel access technology with advanced visualization and instrumentation capabilities. This unique combination of features enables surgeons to perform virtually all of the steps of a complete posterolateral lumbar spine surgery through the same access portal while preserving the fundamentals of the traditional open surgical technique. While Atavi can be used endoscopically, it is also compatible with surgical loupes and a microscope, enabling surgeons to select the exact visualization method that best suits their needs and likes.
Endius' minimally invasive approach also has potential to minimize "fusion disease," or "failed back syndrome," a common and debilitating condition attributed to trauma to surrounding muscle tissue caused while gaining access to the surgical site during the traditional invasive open fusion procedure. Fusion disease and/or failed back syndrome can lead to chronic post-operative pain even if the radiographic fusion is successful. Clinical results for Endius' single-level minimally invasive lumbar spine fusion procedure show significant benefits compared to the open procedure, considerable reduction in the use of narcotic pain medications, less blood loss and reduced hospital stay(s), all contributing to a potential 21 percent reduction in hospital costs. More than 700 patients have been treated with Atavi by more than 120 surgeons in leading hospitals nationwide.