Dr. John Shin performs state's 1st unilateral biportal endoscopic spine surgery


John Shin, MD, an orthopedic spine surgeon, has performed New Jersey's first unilateral biportal endoscopic spine surgery at Jersey City Medical Center, an RWJBarnabas Health facility. 

The lumbar spine procedure treats patients suffering from degenerative spinal conditions, such as spinal stenosis, herniated discs and spondylolisthesis. 

Through a small lower back incision, surgeons can insert an endoscope that provides a magnified view of the spine and neural elements. The view helps surgeons with accuracy and precision, according to a Jan. 9 press release from RWJBarnabas. 

The procedure will allow for reduced blood loss, a lower risk of infection, less pain and faster recoveries for patients than traditional open spine surgery. 

With endoscopic surgeries, patients can typically leave the hospital within 24 hours. 

The new procedure was first developed by East Asian spine surgeons and was introduced in the U.S. in 2019. Dr. Shin was trained in the procedure at New York City-based NYU Langone Orthopedic Hospital. 

He also received additional training in South Korea from spine surgeons who are global leaders in using this technique. He is one of only a handful of surgeons in the Northeast to perform unilateral biportal endoscopic spine surgery.

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