Minnesota surgeon performs 4-level fusion on patient who weighs 500 pounds


A 500-pound man with debilitating back pain was turned away from four spine surgeons in Ohio before Minnesota neurosurgeon Hamid Abbasi, MD, PhD, agreed to take on the case with a unique approach.

Dr. Abbasi, CMO of Burnsville, Minn.-based Inspired Spine, took a minimally invasive approach to the surgery, performing a four-level L2-S1 fusion with the oblique lateral lumbar interbody fusion technique.

Dr. Abbasi said the OLLIF approach allowed him to safely perform the surgery, without requiring the patient — who had a BMI of 62.5 — to lose 100 to 200 pounds.

The patient was up and walking the day after surgery and discharged from the hospital two days later, according to a June 15 news release.

The OLLIF procedure takes less than two hours, which is safer than the six-to-eight-hour operative time for traditional approaches, Dr. Abbasi said. OLLIF also uses a 15mm incision resulting in minimal blood loss and preserves muscles and the adjacent tissue.

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