RiverView Health was the site of international learning Dec. 4th as Japanese Neurosurgeon Dr. Phyo Kim observed RiverView Neurosurgeon Dr. Hamid Abbasi conduct an Oblique Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion (OLLIF). Dr. Abbasi and his practice partner, Orthopaedic Spine Surgeon Dr. Sunny Kim, are two of only about 30 surgeons in the world who offer the revolutionary spine surgery.

    Dr. Phyo Kim is the chief professor of the Department of Neurosurgery, Dokkyo (Japan) Medical University and a neurosurgery specialist at the Tokyo Neurological Center. He heard about the OLLIF procedure at a lecture in Seoul, Korea, by Dr. Sunny Kim.

Increased Safety, Shorter Recovery

    OLLIF is a minimally invasive procedure done to treat back pain often related to degenerative disc disease, herniated disc, spondylolisthesis, scoliosis, and spinal stenosis. OLLIF replaces surgery that used to take up to ten hours and up to five days of hospital stay with an outpatient surgery taking less than an hour. Compared to open, traditional spine surgery, OLLIF does not require removal or cutting of any bone or ligament structures. Only a small (less than the size of a quarter) skin incision is required in which the diseased disc is removed. The smaller incision results in less muscle and tissue damage, allowing for a faster, less painful recovery. It may take patients who have had open surgery up to six months to fully recover, leaving muscles weak from the long period of nonuse. With OLLIF, 96 percent of patients are up walking in the first 24 hours before going home, according to Dr. Abbasi.

    Increased patient safety and shortened recovery time are two of the reasons Dr. Phyo Kim said he hopes to introduce and implement OLLIF to the Japanese market in the next few years.

    Dr. Phyo Kim is one of many surgeons trained by Dr. Abbasi in OLLIF. As pioneers in the procedure, Drs. Abbasi and Sunny Kim have also had papers published and written curriculum on the procedure.

    Through their practice together, they have done more OLLIFs than any other surgeons in the world.

High-End Care in a Rural Setting

    Fortunately, Dr. Abbasi enjoys rural life as opposed to big city life, which is one of the reasons he practices in Crookston.

    For more information on OLLIF, contact RiverView
at 218-281-9553.