Friday, October 30, 2009

26 yo police officer w painful progressive idiopathic scoliosis fixed today

Surgical time: 3.5 hrs.
T5-L4 instrumentation and fusion.
Complications: none.
EBL: 1150 cc.
Bood transfused: none.
Correction excellent.

A great team and a great Friday morning here Duke Raleigh Hospital OR room 12.

Now back to clinic.
Saw Dr. R this morning in clinic before surgery, doing great as hospitalist after my revision anterior posterior  scoliosis surgery for her years ago

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for scoliosis and Spine Surgery

Geting ready each morning. "Take My Hands" -- Newsboys

Every weekday morning I get up at 5 am and exercise, while listening to music, and reading the Psalms -- getting heart, mind and body ready to serve for another long day. . today's most encouraging song was from Newsboys -- "take my hands".

Time to do situps, stretch and get going!!

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

12 yo Caroline gets straightened up this morning while "Dukey" the bear keeps a close eye.

Diagnosis: adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, right thoracic (AIS).
T5-L1 instrumentation and fusion thoracic and lumbar pedicle screws.
Blood transfused: none.
Complications: none.
Surgical time: 2 hour 40 min.
Correction: excellent.

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery.

FW: pain free

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Patsy
Date: Tue, Oct 27, 2009 at 11:43 AM
Subject: pain free

Dr. Hey, words will never be able to express my gratitude to you for your expertise and talent in repairing my back three
weeks ago. I have been in pain since I was eighteen years old. I had already had one spinal fusion eight years ago and
was still  in constant pain and on pain medication daily. I wore a back brace for six months. The surgery you performed
fourteen days ago is nothing but a miracle. I'm pain-free for the first time in twenty some years. No back brace, walking
pain-free, enjoying life.  You truly have a God-given talent, and I thank Him every day for you and what you have done 
to improve the quality of my life. In most grateful appreciation, Patsy

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery
Raleigh, NC  USA

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Anterior ALIF Posterior revision decompressioin and fusion for pseudarthrosis faxed today.

Anterior: 1 hour 5 min
Posterior: 4 hour 30 min.
EBL: 750 cc
Blood transfused none.
Opened L5 neural foramen as well.

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery

Sunday, October 25, 2009

FW: Personal thank you to Dr. Hey

From: <>
Date: Sun, 25 Oct 2009 17:27:20 EDT
To: Lloyd Hey <>
Subject: Personal thank you to Dr. Hey

Dear Dr. Hey.

Thank you for your incredible surgery on my back.  I can already tell what a success it will be.  The pressure on my nerves is gone and I think I am right where I should be recuperation-wise.  As we mentioned to you in the hospital we would like to offer you a free week at our house on Bald Head Island NC as a personal thank you.  If you would like to take advantage of this offer just email me and I will set it up....


While we never expect it, it is such a joy to see how our guests sometimes choose to express their appreciation.

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Is it possible to care for children after scoliosis / kyphosis surgery?

I got a chance to see Nancy with her son yesterday in clinic, now 3 months from her T5-L4 instrumentation and fusion I performed for her scoliosis.
Her posture now looks great, with elimination of the 2 “humps” she had preop, and her asymmetric “hour glass”, which is now much more symmetric.  Her X-Rays show excellent correction of deformity with hardware intact.  
She has been able to get back to life, including being able to carry and hold her 35 lb boy shown being held on her hip in this picture.
Depending on certain circumstances, most of our guests who have scoliosis or kyphosis surgery are able to return to caring for their smaller children relatively quickly.
We do teach how to do lifting in a proper way to minimize the load on the healing spine, and sometimes have to have more strict lifting and bending restrictions if there is poor bone quality (osteoporosis).
Fortunately, most of our younger guests who tend to have the younger children that need carrying have excellent quality bone, and typically require shorter fusions.

Good to see you Nancy, and give my best to your family!!

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery

-- Nancy gave her permission yesterday for me to share this photo with all of you on the blog.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday Clinic with Dr. Hey today. 3 month postop visit for Rena, looking great!

We just saw Rena back for follow-up.  I fixed her scoliosis back in July this year with a T5-Iliac wing instrumentation and fusion.
She really looks great.  Her posture is excellent.  Her incision is well healed, and she is very pleased with the result.
Rena is a good example how we can often get a very nice correction even for guests in their 40’s and 50’s, depending on the underlying flexibility of their spine.
Even older people can get good corrections, but in general the spine tends to get stiffer with age, with larger curves, and decreasing bone quality (osteoporosis).  That’s why it is usually better to get scoliosis and kyphosis fixed when you are younger rather than older, which also decreases the medical / anesthesia risks.
You look great Rena!  Thanks for allowing us to share your picture with me on blog.

In addition to Rena, I saw a very nice nurse in her 30’s with a 71 degree kyphosis and progressive lower back pain this morning, who has failed conservative therapy and will be having surgery with us this winter.  The deformity also affects her self-image with her posture from front view as well as side and back view.  We talked about the possible effects of pregnancy on her back with or without surgery.  It is interesting that the back pain with kyphosis is usually below, or above the “hump” which is usually in the thoracic area --> low back pain and/or neck pain.  When you fix the thoracic area of kyphosis, it helps straighten the area above and below, which often helps relieve the pain in those areas.

Also have seen one of Dr. Coonrad’s former Harrington Rod patients who had fusion done back in mid 1970’s, who has done great.  He shared that he was in traction for 10 days before his surgery, had a full day of surgery, then was in hospital for 10 days after surgery and wore a body cast for a year after surgery.   He got into trouble with Dr. Coonrad because he cut a “V Neck” in his body cast several months after surgery!  This gentleman is still doing very well now over 30 years after his fusion done when he was 16, with no significant back pain, flat back syndrome, or leg pain.  He has a little bit of pain under his R rib cage, which is likely not spine related. He could possibly develop flat back syndrome or adjacent level failure with stenosis as he goes from 40’s into 50’s and 60’s, so we told him what signs to look for to see us back.  Otherwise, we’ll plan to see him back in 5 years.

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Beautiful photograph from fall foliage in New Hampshire from one of our adolescent guests!

A couple days ago, I got to meet Katie and her dad from New Hampshire, who flew down to Hey Clinic for a quick second opinion on Katie’s scoliosis.
They flew into RDU airport Tuesday morning, saw me around lunchtime, and then made the 15-20 minute ride back to RDU to fly back to New Hampshire.
Katie shared that she is an avid photographer, especially of nature scenes, and she sent me this gorgeous picture of the fall foliage.
This picture brought back a lot of happy memories my wife and I have of visiting New Hampshire each fall, to see the beautiful colors, and to paddle along Squam Lake.

Take care, Katie, and thanks for sending this beautiful photograph of the colors of fall!!!

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery
Raleigh, NC  USA

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Pat and family from Miami FL comes back to see us 3 months after scoliosis surgery

What a pleasure it was to see Pat and her family back for follow-up yesterday morning.
Pat had adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, with progression of her curves during her adult years, with increasing pain and deformity.
Her posture looks great, incision looked great, and she is doing extremely well. There were lots of smiles — a great way to start my clinic yesterday morning after doing an urgent surgery yesterday morning! She took some time and showed me her photo book that she created of her “journey” through her scoliosis surgery, before, during and after surgery. Everyone has their “story”, and it is always wonderful to hear it, and in this case “see it” through the many pictures she put together in her book.
She’s obviously used the book to tell her story, since the binding was breaking apart! Pat is planning to write up her story sometime soon, which she wants to share on the blog along with this team picture that she wanted me to share now.

I wrote up a couple earlier blogs on Pat’s surgery and recovery with links here:

They made a special trip up to see us yesterday morning using “Net Jets” for her 3 month postop visit, and then flew home direct yesterday afternoon.
She also used “Net Jets” also to fly home for her surgery, which was really very nice. Virtually all of our out of state guests will fly on regular commercial flights, or in some cases drive. We try to minimize the travel for postop visits for our out of state guests also by ordering X-Rays to be completed locally, and then sent to us, and then doing postop visits over the phone, Skype, and/or email. Many families, however, work out ways to come back to visit, while tying it in with other travel to North Carolina to visit our local excellent colleges for high schoolers, visiting our beautiful beaches or mountain areas for family vacations, or visiting other relatives nearby. We can be quite flexible with dates for follow-ups to match travel plans that make more sense for each family.

Pat, thanks for making the special effort to come back and see us. It’s such a blessing to see you doing so well.

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery
Member, Scoliosis Research Society — a great source for scoliosis information.

Friday, October 16, 2009

FW: thank you

From: Craig  <>
Date: Thu, 15 Oct 2009 22:04:59 -0400
To: Lloyd Hey <>
Subject: Re: thank you

Dr. Hey and Staff,
Thank you for taking such good care of my niece Brittany. My
brother Scott, couldn't say enough about how well everything went.
Our family really appreciates all the care and concern you showed for
Good to know their good doctors out their watching out for us.
Thank you,

Thursday, October 15, 2009

No more hump on back!

This morning we fixed Brittany's scoliosis. She's 22, grew up with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) and has large R thoracic curve w pain and very large R rib hump.
I fixed it today using our latest "double rod persuader technique, and the large R rib hump looks and feels like it is gone!
Here is picture of her back just as we were finishing the final subcuticular closure.
Surgical time: 3.5 hrs
Procedure: T5-L1 pedicle instrumentation and fusion.
EBL: 800.
Cell saver: 360 cc returned.
Complications: none.

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Anterior-posterior reconstruction for severe flat back syndrome w pseudarthrosis and severe pain.

Gentleman had instrumentation and fusion for scoliosis over 8 yrs ago, and developed increasing back pain and kyphosis.
We straightened him up today w L5S1 ALIF followed by posterior reconstruction down to ilium w BMP.
Surgical time for entire procedure was 6 hour 15 min.
EBL: 1150 cc.
Complications: none.
Will go to ICU overnight extubated and standing up and walking tomorrow.

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery

Monday, October 12, 2009

Nancy from Alabama heading back to RDU airport after scoliosis surgery last week.

I saw Nancy and her daughter in hospital this morning all set to go home. We showed Nancy's xrays on blog last week before and after she had her nearly 70 degree scoliosis fixed. Here she is standing up straight and tall, now almost taller than me!  She wanted me to share this picture on blog and also express her thankfulness to the Hey linic and Duke Raleigh staff who took such good care of her through the process.

Have a safe trip home Nancy and a speedy recovery!

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Guest returns to Hey Clinic and brings a smile to our faces

Throughout the years at Hey Clinic we have received gifts of thanks from many of our guests.
Today a gentleman came into our clinic for a follow up appointment to surgery that he had with Dr. Hey at Duke. Hey Clinic’s medical assistant, Tracy, brought this gentleman into one of our exam rooms to begin his appointment. To Tracy’s surprise the gentleman looked up on the counter and pointed to a drawing of two hands in prayer that has been displayed for several years.
He said that he was the artist and had given the drawing to Dr. Hey in 2003 when he had surgery. He was surprised and happy that Dr. Hey had held on to the drawing for so long. Tracy was delighted by the news, we have three other exam rooms and he could have been placed in any of them. We knew that we were meant to be reminded that even if our guests move on with their lives they will always be cared for by our team.

Pars fracture and spondylolisthesis below previous scoliosis fusion

This 38 yo woman had scoliosis fixed, and then several years later had increasing back and leg symptoms. Xray and ct showed pars fracture and spondylolisthesis w halo effect around bottom screws at L5.

Fixed today w revision T11-iliac wing extension instrumentation w Gill procedure and BMP.
No complications.
OR time: 4 hour 5 min.

She should do quite well.

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

61 yo woman from Alabama w 62 degree thoracolumbar scoliosis fixed today

Nancy met one of my other scoliosis patients named Margorie from Alabama, who suggested coming up here as well.
She had a very severe scoliosis w severe back and R leg pain and lateral listhesis w collapse lower lumbar spine.

Surgery: T5-iliac wing instrumentation and fusion w 3 posterior Smith-Peterson osteomies as well as 2 laminectimies.

Her spine was so rotated, I actually used a new cross-table technique for the lower R screws w laminotimies --- worked great! 

Surgical time: 6 hour 31 minutes.
Complications:  none.
Correction: more than 50 percent. Well balanced w good lumbar lordosis and much better looking back -- hump nearly gone.

Postop location: PACU to ICU overnight w. extubation this afternoon.

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery

Friday, October 2, 2009

Will do scoliosis surgery for cookies! Great end of the week at Hey Clinic.

Our clinic was blessed mid-day today with a special ginger bread cookie "floral display" from Terri's family -- our scoliosis surgery guest from yesterday.

Last week I spent virtually the whole week at the SRS Conference (Scoliosis Research Society) in San Antonio Texas. This week I was definitely "back in the saddle" in the operating room and clinic!

After a long and busy week, while Brittany, one of our PA's has been of town on a much deserved vacation, I must admit that my low carb diet was put on hold so I could enjoy a good cookie here in clinic at the end of the day w/ Jenny -- one of our awesome PA's.

It's been a busy, but really good week, with lots of "old friends" coming back to see us, and several new families coming in that we got to know for the first time, including Brittany from Fayetteville with the 57 degree curve and large trunk shift, our friend Joe from Myrtle Beach, and our other friend Joe C from Florida who flew up to see us. We also had our 41 yo surgery guest from Tennessee this week who had the extension fusion below her Harrington rod who is doing well, heading home to Tennessee tomorrow, and our 63 yo woman with the big scoliosis we fixed on Tuesday also doing well walking up and down the halls!

We also saw this morning our smaller 5 yo little guest with the large Early Onset Scoliosis (EOS), who has a curve we've been bracing now for a while.

We saw a bunch of our adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) postop guests today, who were looking great, and doing well in school. One is planning to be a nurse, another an elementary ed teacher. One of our AIS postop guests had a really good tan, but showed us how she protected her scar from the direct sunlight as we suggested to do for the first summer to allow the scar to heal better and be less noticeable.

Thanks to Terri and her whole family for this wonderful gift for our staff.
Get well soon Terri, and get home safely tomorrow.


Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery


Thursday, October 1, 2009

15 yo young lady w double (adolescent idiopathic scoliosis) AIS curve ans seizure disorder straightened up today!!

Surgery: T5-L3 instrumentation and fusion
Surgical time: 3 hour 15 min.
Complications: none.
Correction: excellent. Near 100 per cent.
One of the big benefits of fixing scoliosis with curves in 40's rather than 60"'s or 70's or 80's is that we can usually get a better final correction, especially in the younger and more flexible patients.

 A very good day here in Room 12 Duke Raleigh Hospital. Good music, great team, good aura.

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery