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FIRST IN THE NORTHEAST: LASER-TV SURGERY FOR COMMON BACK DISORDER

 NEW YORK, Feb. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- For the first time in the Northeast, back-pain sufferers requiring spinal disc operations can choose endoscopic laser-TV surgery as an option. Such laser surgery, a sophisticated surgical option used in many medical specialties, vaporizes damaged tissue between spinal discs with fine precision, and affords the back-pain sufferer a quicker recovery with minimal post- operative pain.
 The Department of Neurosurgery at St. Vincent's Hospital and Medical Center of New York has set up laser-TV capabilities for spinal disc operations, under the direction of Sherwood Jacobson, M.D., the neurosurgeon specializing in the procedure.
 Dr. Jacobson noted that St. Vincent's is one of only about 10 facilities in the country using lasers for this type of spinal problem. "People with extreme back-pain caused by abrading tissue between two spinal discs are the most likely candidates for this procedure. The laser approach is very precise, allowing the surgeon to vaporize the excessive tissue. Lasers leave little to no scar tissue, as in other surgical approaches, which helps to alleviate post-operative pain," said Dr. Jacobson. He noted that patients usually remain in the hospital no longer than overnight and can resume a normal routine in about a week.
 The laser discectomy is one of two approaches that requires only a local anaesthetic, the other being "percutaneous discectomy," which removes excessive tissue via suction.
 Dr. Jacobson, who is also clinical professor of neurosurgery at the New York University School of Medicine, predicted the two approaches would account for a considerable portion of all spinal disc operations by the end of the decade. Dr. Jacobson noted that back-pain sufferers now have a choice of surgical approaches when a spinal operation is required. Of the four most popular, the remaining two require a general anaesthetic. One, the microdiscectomy, is done with an incision of about one inch through which the tissue is removed. The second, laminectomy, is employed only for the most serious back conditions, or when more than one segment of the spine is affected, and/or, when there has been considerable build-up of bone.
 -0- 2/2/93
 /CONTACT: Dina Gabriel of St. Vincent's Hospital, 212-790-7559, or Gene Boyo of Gene Boyo Communications, 212-949-6288, for St. Vincent's Hospital/


CO: St. Vincent's Hospital ST: New York IN: HEA SU:

CK-OS -- NY038 -- 1780 02/02/93 10:57 EST
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Date:Feb 2, 1993
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