Sunday, February 7, 2016

Can my daughter dance freely after scoliosis surgery?

Ava is a 13 yo young lady from Long Island, NY who had scoliosis surgery along with her younger brother in November 2015 with Dr. Lloyd Hey (Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery), in Raleigh, NC.  Her mom Marisa shared a recent video of Ava at dance class, showing how freely she can move on the dance floor after instrumentation and fusion correction of her scoliosis.  Her younger brother is back to full activity as well from his thoracolumbar scoliosis surgery.  Ava and her mom and dad allowed us to share this video and her before and after X-Rays with all of you!  Go Ava!!!!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Thank You Note from 15 yo Susan 6 weeks postop adolescent idiopathic scoliosis

Saw 15 yo Susan back for her 6 week postop visit, who made me a wonderful home-made thank you car that I share below.

Dr. Hey,
Thank you for all the help you have done.  After the surgery, I know i can do the things I love to do without having limits or being in pain.  Throughout the day of my surgery, I was scared and so was my family.  But when you said a prayer for me and my family, me and my family knew everything was going to be just fine.  Thank you so much!!  You made a true difference in my life!!  And for that I want to thank you.    Love, Susan"

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery

Thursday, November 5, 2015

24 yo Vanessa with severe scoliosis and one lung looking well and feeling well at 5 months postop

We saw Vanessa and her husband back in clinic today, and she was absolutely radiant!  We've shared her story on a previous blog with her permission, and again today with he permission.    She was sent to me by Dr. Chris Brown, a wonderful Duke spine surgeon who I have known for many years.  Vanessa was quite a challenge:  a severe scoliosis, and missing one lung from birth, which is not a good combination for long-term cardio-pulmonary health, and even for perioperative risk.   She had done very well, however, and I am thankful that she now able to enjoy better quality of life with her 3 yo and husband, better posture and appearance, and also better long-term outlook for her cardio-pulmonary health!  Vanessa and her husband share their updated story on YouTube video and transcribed text below.
Dr. Lloyd Hey -- Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and SpineSurgery

“I am Vanessa. I am originally from Fayetteville. I have been seen by Dr. Hey. My surgery was this past June of 2015. I suffered from scoliosis since I was about 12 years old and it was ongoing pain, literally. I am really grateful now because Dr. Hey has fixed my spine. I feel prettier now. I used to grow my hair really long to hide my hump and now I cut it short, so I’m happy about that. I have a 3 year old that I can keep up with now. I took him trick or treating recently and I was excited to look at the pictures because I didn’t have any hump and I was able to last all night long. It was great! So I am very thankful for Dr. Hey and his staff and everybody at Duke Raleigh who took care of me. I’m very grateful. I feel beautiful. Much more beautiful  than I did before. Life is great and is going great now.” -Vanessa

“I would just like to thank Dr. Hey and everybody at the Hey Clinic and Duke Raleigh medical center. Just for getting my wife to where she wanted to be, where she is pain free. She is taller now. Pain free everyday too. A lot happier and her morale is a 100 times better.” –Vanessa’s husband

Vanessa's new back posture, incision looks good
Vanessa's very good side posture postop

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Can I regain quality of life after flat back syndrome kyphosis and scoliosis surgery? Email received today from Sheila, South Carolina shares.

Sheila had severe flatback syndrome, spinal stenosis, and severe kyphotic posture combined with severe L5S1 anterolisthesis below a previous Harrington Rod fusion done many years ago for her adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.  Her pre and postop posture is shown on previous blog post.    She sent me this email earlier this am, with her latest accomplishment.  --- Thanks for sharing, Sheila!  You go, girl!  Dr. Hey

"Hello!  Had to share my weekend with you. This is our bridge here in Beaufort going to Lady's island and I walked it both Saturday and Sunday this past weekend. I made it all the way to the other side and then back again. It has a gradual incline to the top, and my much younger friend ( 23 years old) who walked with me, was very concerned about the incline.  She said if I wanted to, we could only go halfway and come back.  Nope. I said I'm walking the whole bridge and back. And we did. She was amazed. And even more amazed that I did it again the next day. It's about 3/4 of a mile each way. Not too shabby for someone who is recovering from spine revision surgery.  LOL I haven't been able to walk this bridge in over 2 years. I was in too much pain from being bent over to be able to do it. My husband reminded me I couldn't make it from the parking garage to your office the day I came to see you. We had to stop several times. When I first approached the bridge, I stood at the bottom and looked up and said to myself, can I do this?  I was just hoping to make the walk up to the top and then come back down to my car.  I made it to the top, stood and enjoyed the view and then started  going down the other way.   And I made the climb twice!  My hubby was worried. He said only go half way.  When I came back and told him I did the whole bridge, he cried. And then I cried. And we remembered that day  before surgery,  when I couldn't walk to Dennys restaurant from our hotel. I couldn't do it. And next month,  we will welcome a new grandbaby and this grandma will be able to stand up straight beside his crib. I am so very happy that I decided to have this surgery. I wished I had sooner. But I was scared.  And by the way, anyone who is worried about their clothes afterwards in warmer weather because of the scar, don't worry at all. You can wear anything you want.  My scar looks great.  Went right over the old one. That was a concern to me cause before I was in a body cast for 9 months years ago with the first surgery and didn't worry really about what it would look like.  This time I did. I just want others to know that I'm not sure if it was possible for anyone to have been more scared than I was. And I did great.  And had a great outcome. This surgery now allows me to walk without pain, stand without bending my knees constantly,  stand straight and not be bent over, stand at my sink and do dishes,  stand at my stove and cook, go to events and not be constantly looking ahead for a bench to sit on. And so much more. Please share my story with those who are trying to decide to have revision surgery. They won't regret it.  I never dreamed I would be walking this bridge EVER again in my life.  Thank you again and I'll see you in November. Sincerely,  Sheila C. "

Thanks again for sharing Sheila!!  Keep it up!
Lloyd A. Hey, MD MS -- Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery

Friday, July 31, 2015

Hand-written Thank You Notes....even from the texting generation! Mentorship, and thanks for the whole team.

After finishing up a day in surgery or in clinic, it is always a great joy to find a hand-written note from one of our patients on my desk.  This week I've received a couple of notes shown below -- one from Alex, a 20 yo gentleman from Venice, Florida who had a fairly severe kyphosis that I straightened out for him back in May.  He is heading off to medical school next week! His note is encouraging, since as many of you know, I was inspired to be a surgeon because of my own experience as a patent as a teenager.  I was helped by an orthopedic surgeon who literally gave me my life and my leg and my ability to walk back.  I spend time each week mentoring medical and pre-med students helping them to truly consider how they should take care of the whole person, and whole family, and not just think about diagnoses, procedures, and "cases."  

Sometimes this inspiration happens for patients like Alex as well.  Another postop teenager named Cedar, from Asheville, NC told me this week in clinic that she now wants to be a surgeon,  after I fixed her severe scoliosis a year ago...  Perhaps these 2, and maybe others will help take my place some day when I  retire.  However, God willing, I am not planning to retire anytime soon.  Like my mentor, Dr. John Hall at Boston Children's Hospital, it would be my great joy to keep serving as a scoliosis surgeon for many years to come.  Dr. Hall finally retired at age 80, after 3 Harvard retirement dinners, and I believe his wife finally putting down the final ultimatum!  

My hope is that I can hire a few younger surgeons in the years to come, and share what I've learned through my experience caring for many children, adolescents and adults with spinal deformity using successful conservative treatments in the clinic, as well as surgical treatments in the operating room.   Passing on this learning and wisdom should help keep Hey Clinic going, and growing and improving for many years to come, with excellence.  

20 yo Alex and his mom May 2015 after kyphosis surgery

Here is the note from Alex:  Dr. Hey, I wanted to express my thanks again to you and your awesome team; having you fix me up has done me a lot of good not only physically but psychologically as well.  I am getting ready to start medical school next week, and I can't tell you how much this experience has helped me define where I want to take my career.  You have been a great role model for me, even if our time spent in person has been brief.  Talk to you soon, and God bless you and yours.  Alex"

13 yo Kristin's note was inspired and completely written out by her alone, which was accompanied by a collection of fresh chocolate-covered strawberries and apples that we were able to share with the entire Hey Clinic staff yesterday afternoon.  
Her note reads: 
"Dear Dr. Hey, Thank you so much for fixing my spine and taking care of me during my recovery in the hospital.  I would also like to give thanks to the nurses who helped me handle my pain, helped me sit up, and walk.  I feel little to no pain at all.  :)  -- Kristin"
Kristin, we will be sure to pass along your thanksgiving to the Duke Raleigh Hospital nurses and physical therapists and occupational therapists who helped you!  There were actually quite a few people who helped you even during your surgery while you were asleep who are also a key part of our team.  I will thank them as well.  After my severe leg injury and 3 month hospitalization, I actually made several trips back to the hospital floor and visited the nurses and therapist to just say thanks and to show them that I was actually starting to walk again.  I also shared with them how their compassionate care helped me to get through a very dark valley of my life, and inspired me to become a doctor some day.  

So let's face it:  we're not just X-Raying, measuring, bracing, and straightening up crooked spines here to prevent heart and lung compression and/or pain and disability now or later in life.  We are interacting with very special, developing human beings -- who are quite impressionable.  If we handle this whole experience with your child, adolescent or adult loved one well, they not only end up with the desired CLINICAL result, but PSYCHOLOGICAL, EMOTIONAL and WHOLE LIFE DEVELOPMENTAL and INSPIRATIONAL result that may have a huge impact on their life as they grow up and choose to serve someday.  That's the kind of personalized "signature care" we have been seeking to gradually perfect over many years now with our whole team.  

And that is when we get the hand-written thank you note that makes our day.

Thank you Alex and Kristin for taking the time to send in a thank you note.  It is so encouraging for me and for our whole team.  Each guest and their family is precious to me, and to our entire clinic and hospital staff, both at Duke Raleigh Hospital, and WakeMed Children's Hospital,  and these notes really help us to keep pressing on to serve better and better over time.

Lloyd A. Hey, MD MS
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery

Let us know if we can be of any help for a second opinion regarding conservative (including bracing) vs. surgical treatment for your child, adolescent, or adult loved one.  Our team is ready to help in a non-rushed, no pressure, highly educational way.  There is an easy link on our home page to send in an appointment request.