New Jersey native Abbey Velischek was weighing the options for treating her scoliosis when she met Dr. Scott A. Meyer of Atlantic NeuroSurgical Specialists and discovered highly specialized care close to home.
If you saw college freshman Abbey Velischek walking around campus or working out, you would be surprised to learn that just months before coming to school she underwent major spinal reconstruction surgery. Velischek, who had worn a brace for years to correct adolescent scoliosis, was finding herself in pain. Then x-rays revealed the curvature of her spine had worsened. She and her parents knew it was time to begin seriously exploring surgery.
Dr. Scott A. Meyer – a board-certified neurosurgeon at Atlantic NeuroSurgical Specialists (ANS) in Morristown, NJ, who specializes in reconstructive surgery for spinal deformities, such as scoliosis – explains that even within the community of spine surgeons, there are far fewer who are comfortable addressing spinal deformities.
“While neurosurgery in itself is highly specialized, a neurosurgeon’s sub-specialties can have a very significant impact on a patient’s health and long-term outcomes,” says Dr. Meyer.
“In Abbey’s case, it was clear that with the right approach, we could alleviate her pain and improve her quality of life,” he explains.
Abbey elected to undergo spinal fusion surgery with Dr. Meyer.
“Compared to the metal rods that were used to correct scoliosis decades ago, spinal fusion allows the curvature to be corrected at each point. Patients experience better results, greater stability and flexibility, and typically return more rapidly to their normal functions,” he notes.
Patients also benefit from new, advanced technology. The Medtronic O-arm® Intra-operative Imaging System and the StealthStation® Surgical Navigation System, installed at Atlantic Health System’s Overlook Medical Center and Morristown Medical Center, help ensure more accurate placement of spinal hardware, often with smaller incisions, shorter surgical time, less pain and faster recovery compared with older technologies.
“Undergoing this surgery wasn’t a decision I made lightly,” Abbey shares. “Dr. Meyer gave me all the confidence in the world that this was the best path for me. He was right.”
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Atlantic NeuroSurgical Specialists (ANS) is New Jersey’s largest neurosurgical practice and one of the most advanced in the country. For more information, visit www.ansdocs.com.