A new, minimally invasive spine surgery program at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital (BWFH) offers community patients comprehensive, world-class care for spinal disorders. The Comprehensive Spine Center draws on the expertise and research of new Center Director Andrew K. Simpson, MD. Dr. Simpson’s clinical interests include the treatment of degenerative spine pathologies of the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine, with special interests in microendoscopic and minimally invasive treatment options.
With a multidisciplinary team approach, the Center’s neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons work with specialists in physical medicine, pain management, and imaging to plan each patient’s care – with an eye toward noninvasive, nonsurgical innovations as a preferred first step. “We all aim to get patients over their spine problems and back to their lives as soon as possible,” says Dr. Simpson.
The Center’s team offers a wide range of minimally invasive approaches that use smaller incisions and lead to faster post-surgical recovery.
If surgery is determined to be the best option for a patient’s treatment, the Center’s team offers a wide range of minimally invasive approaches that use smaller incisions and lead to faster post-surgical recovery. “I trained in Japan where I learned an innovative procedure called microendoscopic spine surgery. Currently, only a few surgeons in the United States are able to offer it,” explains Dr. Simpson. “Microendoscopy involves placing a small tube, with a diameter smaller than a dime, through a one-half inch incision. I use a tiny fiber optic camera and other specialized instruments to remove disc material and bone spurs that compress nerves in spine conditions such as stenosis and disc herniation. This type of surgery causes less damage to muscles and ligaments and other supporting structures of the spine, meaning patients experience lower complication rates, less pain, and a faster recovery. In fact, most patients return to work within a week or two.”
In addition to appointments at the Center at BWFH, patients will be offered appointment options at the Hale Building for Transformative Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and at the Brigham Health Care Center in Chestnut Hill; surgeries will be performed at both the Brigham and BWFH.