The Turkey-based Acıbadem Hospitals Group is offering a thoracoscopic non-fusion surgical operation performed by Prof. Dr. Ahmet Alanay and his team, a treatment that until recently has only been available in the U.S.
The first treatment without applying fusion was performed four years ago by Dr. Alanay with the accompaniment of the U.S. pioneer of this method, Amer Samdani. Two-year follow-up results of this operation, called thoracoscopic anterior vertebral body tethering, reported a 95% success rate. The special equipment has since been brought to Turkey and this technique has been applied to other patients.
With this technique, thoracoscopic anterior screws are placed in the convex side of the curvature. Then, a polyester band is bound to these screws and partial curve correction is achieved by tethering. This band decelerates the curve progression on the convexity. Meanwhile, the concavity continues growing naturally. The curve correction is thus achieved by the patient's own growth. Six incisions are made (1 cm and 3 cm), preventing a long scar after the surgery. Also, using a band versus rods allows mobility for the patient after surgery.
Dr. Alanay said that the technique of tethering was a breakthrough in scoliosis. "We administered this method, which was not applied in Europe and only applied in a few medical centers in the USA, 3.5 years ago in Turkey for the first time and we got an excellent result."
16-year-old Maria Arnarsdot from Iceland became one of the hospital's recent patients. The girl's parents were referred to Acıbadem Hospital by their own doctor in the U.S. after discovering that the local treatment was too expensive.
Maria's surgery was successful. Dr. Alanay said, "Unlike fusion surgery, which involves fusing of bone pieces, tethering does not prevent the spine from developing. I think it will become more prominent in the treatment of scoliosis in the future."
About Acıbadem Healthcare Group
Acıbadem Hospitals Group was established in 1991, rapidly becoming one of the leading institutions in Turkey within the field of private healthcare services. In 2012 the company partnered with IHH Healthcare Berhad. This move made Acıbadem the world's second largest healthcare chain with 21 hospitals and 16 outpatient clinics. All centers are nationally and internationally accredited and qualified.