Friday, May 24, 2013

Ben and Family Heading Home to Baton Rouge, LA Postop Day 3 from AIS Surgery from Duke Raleigh Hospital

God bless you Ben and family as you head home.  
Dr. Lloyd Hey -- Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery

This is a template for a post

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Ben's Mom Sends Me Before and After Back Photos Showing Improved Posture 2 days Postop!

Ben's mom Rachel is an awesome photographer, and photographic librarian.  She sent me several before and after pictures of Ben this evening, which really show his improved posture.  Rachel also shared that Ben now towers above her -- probably 2 inches taller!  Benjamin is definitely psyched about his improved posture from both front and back view and shoulder view.

Ben has done great postop, and has been cleared for discharge tomorrow.  We've gotten them all their prescriptions, and my staff wrote a letter to help them move up their flight home to Baton Rouge, LA tomorrow, Friday, on postop day 3.  We'll order postop X-Rays and see those in 6 weeks, and will stay in touch over the phone and internet.

Looking great Benjamin!

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery

14 yo Rachel back for her 1 year postop visit after straightening her thoracolumbar scoliosis

I just finished seeing Rachel and her mom Jodi at Hey Clinic for Rachel's 1 year postop visit for straightening up her thoracolumbar adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.  She is doing just great, and loves her new posture.  Her before and after X-Rays are shown on the left here.

She then gave me a really gorgeous small wooden box wrapped in a fancy bow as a gift. I opened it up and found a gorgeous pen inside, made out of Bethlehem Olive Wood, hand made by her grandfather!!  I have deep appreciation for wood work, since I used to do a lot of wood work growing up, including antique boat restoration with varnish, etc.

Wow, what a gorgeous pen, and fine handiwork!!! Many thanks Grandpa S for your wonderful gift through Rachel and her family!  -- Dr. Lloyd Hey, Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

18 yo Benjamin from Baton Rouge, LA straightened out today with his double thoracic adolescent idiopathic scoliosis

Well it's been a little while since I have blogged, but I have a quick minute right now, so I will put up a quick note.  We had a real nice day today helping Benjamin, an 18 yo young man from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Ben has had a rapidly progressing double thoracic scoliosis which has gone to over 60 degrees in the lower thoracic, and upper 50's in the upper thoracic with a very visible back hump.  His deformity with large thoracic hump has become very visible just within last couple years.  Mom was showing me a photo of his back from 3 years ago which looked pretty normal!

His surgery today went great.  Fusion is from T2-L1 with multiple osteotomies to help free up his stiff upper thoracic curve. We got a very nice correction, with no blood transfusions.  He is now with his family up on the third floor at Duke Raleigh Hospital resting comfortably with mom and dad.

I saw a 14 yo young man yesterday with Marfan's Syndrome, or Marfanoid-like connective tissue disorder with a thoracolumbar scoliosis measuring in the 30's.  His dad and his sister both have the same syndrome.  We are going to keep an eye on his curve for now.  He also had some C1-C2 instability noted, which we saw on his flex/ex cervical spine X-Rays, which goes along with this syndrome as well.  His dad had a thoracic aneurism dissection.  This patient has a dilated aorta which is being watched.

I will be writing a blog very soon on Heather C -- at her request.  She is a cool 28 yo young lady with a complex scoliosis history.  For now, we just want to wish her "get well soon" as she heads home from the hospital today after her anterior/posterior  L5S1 ALIF, posterior T10-Iliac wing instrumentation and fusion with special double "Ken Truss Technique"  -- a new technique we developed for revision scoliosis surgery, with the help from Ken Hey, aeronautical engineer (and my brother), and NC State Dept of Mechanical Engineering Biomechanics lab with Professor Andre Mazzoleni, with our finite element analysis computer modeling project.

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery

Friday, May 10, 2013

We had a very busy, but very happy clinic all day today, seeing a bunch of the teenagers back after scoliosis surgery.  Katherine asked to have a picture with me today at her 6 week postop.  She is totally psyched about her new posture.  She had a bunch of questions, and I made a point to answer all of them.  It was pretty funny... she would ask a question, then say "Just one more question.".... which would be followed by  "Wait...Just one more question..."   --- I think I counted 4 or 5 of those questions!! No big deal -- we had budgeted plenty of time for her visit, and her questions were all awesome and appropriate.  I was glad to hear that she is stoked about her new posture, and that she's going to the prom this coming week!  Not bad for a young lady who had a double thoracic scoliosis surgery a few weeks ago.  You go girl!

Katherine wanted to take one serious photo together, and then one silly picture together with her postop X-Ray up on the screen.  I've had MANY patients want to have their photos taken with me and their X-Rays over my last 19 years of practice, and almost 6000 surgeries.... but today was a first --- being asked to do a "silly picture" with one of my postop adolescent scoliosis patients!  Well, as you can see I did my best.... as a pretty serious scoliosis surgeon and engineer, "silly pictures" where never really a part of my vocabulary or experience!

Katherine's mom sent me this photo late this afternoon. Thanks Denise for sending the picture and the nice note!  Dr. Hey

Hi Dr. Hey, 

We really enjoyed seeing you today and we really appreciate all that you and your team have done for us! You're right, Katie has come a long way in just 6 weeks!  Thank you for your brilliance, kindness, and wonderful care. 

Best Regards, Denise

PS. Katie wants me to send you the funny picture - I'll do that in a sec!   Denise

Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery ---

Thursday, May 9, 2013

How much can you learn in one day "shadowing" with Dr. Hey and the Hey Clinic.

One of the great joys we have at Hey Clinic and over at Duke Raleigh Hospital is the chance to inspire and encourage and train the next generation of caregivers.

Yesterday for example we had Meredith with us for the whole day, watching a complex anterior-posterior scoliosis surgery, and then hanging out with us for a half-day clinic.   Meredith is a pre-med at UNC.  She emailed me last night with a few of the things she learned in just one day with us!   Man, she is a smart one.

Here are her lessons learned yesterday:
Hey Dr. Hey!

I had an amazing time shadowing you today, and I can't thank you enough for such a wonderful opportunity! I learned so much more than I expected! Here's a taste of what I learned:

  1.   Don’t separate my faith from my profession; medicine as a ministry tool.       
  2. The OR requires team work
    3.       Surgeons can be goofy, and the OR is a fun environment e.g. jamming to music and “sculpting”
    4.       Never be afraid to ask a question, everyone was happy to answer all mine!
    5.       The human body has 5L of blood
    6.       I can watch a surgery without passing out!
    7.       Blood loss is low in Dr. Hey’s surgeries, and the patient’s blood is re-circulated during surgery
    8.       The nervous system is monitored during surgery via sensory and motor reflexes to prevent any damage to spinal nerves during the placement of hardware in the spine
    9.       A sterile environment is created in blue, anyone not “scrubbed in” must remain 1 foot from the area
    10.   Scrubs are even more comfortable than I could have hoped!
    11.   There are 3 stages to treatment in many patients with back problems: non-surgical (e.g. weight management, brace, exercise), epidural steroid injection, and lastly surgery
    12.   Epidural Steroid Injections are a secondary approach to lower back pain and work by lessening the pressure on the spinal cord nerves, a patient can only receive 3 a year
    13.   After inserting the screws, rods, and other hardware flexibility and bending of the spinal column is limited/lost in that area
    14.   A brace can be used to help young children who have scoliosis maintain their spinal shape (to prevent worsening)
    15.   Early onset scoliosis can be corrected when a child is 9-10 years old and weighs about 70-75 lbs. in a more permanent manner
    16.   Approach the health problem as a “team:” the patient, family, and doctor on one team against the problem
    17.   The Hey Clinic is committed to teaching their patients—showing them their MRIs and CT Scans, while explaining them using models and analogies
    18.   Spending time educating, talking, and sympathizing with patients increases their compliance and trust
    19.   I have a lot to learn!
    20.   I feel confident health care is the right field for me!!
I would love to come back and shadow again in the future, if you'd have me! Again, thank you! It's so encouraging to see clinics like yours out there! Hope you have a wonderful week!


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

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Guest satisfaction results from this past week, plus a few things that have been going on at Hey Clinic

So here's the deal.... if you don't see any new blogs from me for a while, it doesn't mean that I've gone on a round the world sailing adventure, or don't care about blogging.... it is usually because my primary jobs of caring for our many patients and families, combined with care for my family have been taking all of my waking hours.  There have been several really interesting patient stories that have come up where I told myself running from hospital to clinic "I've gotta blog that", but finding the time to do it is another thing.

So here are a few things that I can share.  

First, we've done a bunch of adolescent and adult scoliosis surgeries these past few weeks, including these two so far this week, Monday and Tuesday.  The first one is a 25 you with a double thoracic curve, over 50 degrees with severe back pain.  She is doing well, postop day 2, walking the halls a bit and very happy with her new posture without the big "hump."  Fixing her curve was a little more complex, due to her high upper thoracic curve, which needed to be fixed as well to help with shoulder balance.  

The other one is Rachel, who is a 14 yo  yesterday who we straightened up nicely.  Her surgery took about 3 hours, and her family was thrilled with her correction.

Also, we had our weekly quality meeting this morning, and here are our guest satisfaction numbers from last week:

Hey Clinic GFA
April 22nd  – April 26th
45 patients

15% Best Clinic Experience Ever
85% Excellent

Perry             4/22/2013         Rating: Best Ever
Dr. Hey seems like such a caring and compassionate doctor.

Troy              4/26/2013          Rating: Best Ever
I’m just so tickled I had surgery. I feel so good now. Everyone here rocks and I’m very pleased with my care!

Cameron             4/26/2013          Rating: Best Ever
I cannot thank Dr. Hey enough and the whole staff for getting Cameron in today. We had a very good talk and we are very happy with the results. You will definitely see us back for a follow-up next year and I will make sure Cameron is in uniform!

Jordan             4/24/2013          Rating: Excellent
The doctor is very nice. We are hoping we don’t have to think about surgery.

Susan            4/25/2013          Rating: Excellent
I got a lot of good advice and information from Brittaney today.

Marilyn            4/23/2013         Rating: Excellent
Y’all are the best!

Other interesting things that have been happening:

I met this morning with some parents of a young girl with high grade L5S1 spondyolisthesis Grade 3, with severe back and radiating leg pain, considering surgery.  Turns out her dad had the same thing as a child.  This does tend to run in families, with high grade sacral slip being genetically linked.

Also saw a 7 month old with a 35 degree infantile scoliosis, which still was significantly scoliotic with repeat X-Rays.  This will require careful follow-up.

We treated a lady with a C45 anterior spondylolisthesis, who developed severe myelopathy, losing use of hands and feet during severe vomiting spell over several days, which actually led to her spinal cord getting pinched more and bruised.  I did emergent surgery for her, and she regained use of arms and legs and went to spinal cord rehab walking.  Her surgery was a C4-6 anterior cervical decompression discectomy and fusion (ACDF)

Today I am seeing a few clinic patients, then going over to do a complex anterior-posterior scoliosis instrumentation and fusion.  

We are also working on a very interesting research project with one of our students, looking at risk of curve progression for scoliosis in children, adolescents, young adults and older adults that have come into our clinic the past many years.  Steve Mouro is our research intern, who is a applying to med school, and has done a great job with this project which we will be presenting on the podium at the Piedmont Orthopaedic Society Meeting this Friday!  More on that later.  Hope to videotape this and share slides on the blog.  I am totally stoked about how our custom electronic health record and outcomes system that Jimmy, our programmer has built for us is now providing us with prospective outcome data that we can use to help improve care, and share with others via the literature and teaching and conferences!! Thanks Jimmy and Hey Clinic staff for making this happen.

Off to see patient in preop.
Have a great day!

Dr. Lloyd Hey  -- (the not too consistent blogger, but very consistent scoliosis surgeon).
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery

(PS -- I welcome comments on the blog, but please do not post a comment if you are advertising stuff.  I just delete those, and it takes precious time.  Thanks for your cooperation.)