Dr. Antoine Tohmeh pioneers technique for 3-level lateral spine fusions — 5 insights

Written by Angie Stewart | January 16, 2020 | Print  |

Antoine Tohmeh, MD, an orthopedic surgeon with Tacoma, Wash.-based MultiCare, is pioneering three-level lateral fusions using the prone transpsoas surgery method, according to the Spokane Journal of Business.

Five insights:

1. Surgeons in Brazil and the U.S. have performed single-level or two-level prone transpsoas surgery, but Dr. Tohmeh's use of three-level prone transpsoas surgery is "still in its infancy," he told the Journal of Business. The first 25 cases are pending publishing for peer review.

2. Dr. Tohmeh used the method to perform a three-level lateral fusion on Fran Bessermin, the former commissioner of Stevens County, Wash. Ms. Bessermin had been experiencing chronic back pain for 20 years.

3. Dr. Tohmeh fused Ms. Bessermin's L2 through L5 vertebrae. She was Dr. Tohmeh's first patient to be treated with the technique.

4. Ms. Bessermin was reportedly mobile within a day of the surgery. She has experienced some leg pain as the nerves in her back heal, but her posture and gait have significantly improved, she told the Spokane Journal.

5. Prone transpsoas surgery doesn't require surgeons to rotate patients mid-surgery for rod and screw placement, eliminating risks related to sterility and anesthesia, Dr. Tohmeh said. The single-position surgery also minimizes blood loss.

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