Lumbar spinal access

Lumbar spinal access

Spinal access surgery is a rapidly evolving surgical specialty. Traditional approaches to the spine have involved cutting the postural muscles that provide the spine its postural integrity. Modern approaches use exposure from the front (Anterior lumbar interbody fusion or ALIF) to either fuse or replace the interbody disc or fuse it obliquely from the front and side (oblique interbody fusion OLIF).

The main concern for spinal surgeons with approaching the spine from the front or front and side, is that the spine is covered by large abdominal vessels. These vessels (the aorta, Inferior vena cava, iliac arteries and veins) block exposure to the spine. As a vascular surgeon with experience in vascular trauma and kidney transplantation, Mr Brooks is used to dealing with and mobilising these large vessels. This provides the safest access to the spine.

Mr Brooks works closely with Mr John Choi, a prominent and respected spinal surgeon in the Frankston/ Mornington Peninsula area. They have both spent time in Las Vegas and Florida together perfecting the treatment and now they have a busy practice working together to provide the best patient outcomes. They get along both in and out of the operating theatre, at times assisting each other with each other’s part of the operation.

In most cases a single level of spine can be accessed through an incision no larger than 10 cm. This will vary somewhat depending on the patient’s body habitus. Mr Brooks with routinely see patients once prior to the operation, during the inpatient stay, and once 4 to 6 weeks after the operation to ensure the operation proceeds as smoothly and safely as possible.

At times Mr Brooks and Mr Choi host international guests from throughout the Asian region from Hong Kong and Thailand to Japan, to help disseminate their local expertise and help foster improved spinal surgical techniques in our region of the world.