We Do Something Different

UCLA Health article
We Do Something Different’

“The best part of the job is seeing someone happy and benefiting from the surgery,” says Dr. Luke Macyszyn, assistant professor of neurosurgery and orthopedics, pictured here with patient Flo Silverman.“Flo came in with a serious case of intradermal spinal tumor,” says Macyszyn, who specializes in spinal tumors. “Basically a tumor grew on the lining of the nervous system and started pressing on her spinal cord. She had trouble walking, gripping her hands. This was something that was only going to get worse and required surgery to remove the tumor and decompress the spinal cord. Traditionally, you do a big open surgery and sometimes you have to put in screws to stabilize the spine because you remove so much bone. Here, we do something different. We make a small incision from one side of the spine, where the tumor was originating from, and remove just a small piece of bone. Using the microscope we meticulously remove the entire tumor. It’s hard to do all that work through a little tube, but the benefit is that the patient recovers quickly. Flo was walking around the next day and the MRI today showed that the whole tumor is gone. That makes all the extra effort and extra difficulty doing the surgery completely worth it.”