Surgeon performs historic operation at Campbelltown Private
Campbelltown Private Hospital is continuing to build its reputation as a centre for excellence, with history-making surgery performed last month.
Glen Alpine surgeon Greg Etherington became the first specialist to complete an anterior spinal fusion at the hospital since it opened in 2007.
Anterior spinal fusions aim to reduce back pain and involve an incision in the lower abdomen before pushing the abdominal contents to the side to allow access to the front of the spine.
Spinal discs are then removed and replaced with a cage, usually with a graft to enhance bone fusion.
Dr Etherington, who has performed more than 90 anterior spinal fusions, said he was pleased to be the first to perform the surgery in his home town.
“I’m sort of experimenting with the hospital at the moment as to the size of the surgeries I can do so I hope to continue doing more in the future,” he said.
“As I’m the only one in this area who does these types of surgeries it should be easy for me to start doing more from the Campbelltown area.”
Campbelltown Private Hospital general manager Chris Profitt said the hospital had been privileged to have Dr Etherington perform the ground-breaking surgery.
“It is very rewarding to see innovative surgical techniques that give our patients a quicker recovery time becoming more widely used, and our surgical staff really welcomed the opportunity to be involved with Dr Etherington in the performance of this operation,” she said.
Dr Etherington said anterior spinal fusions were becoming more prominent as developments in implants and surgical techniques advanced.
“This technique of joining bones together is one of the methods used to treat back pain,” he said.
“The technique has been used for about 40 years, but only over the past 10 years has it become more widespread.”
The advantages of anterior spinal fusions include less blood loss and total avoidance of muscles at the back of the spine which makes recovery faster.
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