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Robotic Spine Surgery with John Serak, MD

Robotic Spine Surgery with John Serak, MD

June 20, 2022

We are so excited to be back for the third season of the show. Today, we hear from an expert who studies and treats one of the most important structures in the human body: the spine. Neurosurgeon Dr. John Serak provides comprehensive care, diagnosis and surgical treatment of disorders of the brain, spine and nerves. He treats all adult spinal disorders and brain pathology.

To begin, Dr. Serak highlights common conditions he sees which classify as chronic back pain. Back pain can originate anywhere from the spine or by the muscles which surround it. When issues or degeneration of the spine are noticed, it becomes a more serious problem. Robotic spine surgery is relatively new and allows for a much more accurate and efficient surgery. Similarly, it makes very complex procedures less complex and gives the surgeon more confidence. Minimally invasive spine surgery seeks to minimize the amount of destruction to normal structures in the body. It preserves muscles and other normalities in the spine. This typically decreases a patient’s hospital visit compared to a more traditional procedure.

Robotic surgery is not laparoscopic surgery, though it is a type of minimally invasive surgery. Laparoscopic surgery, Dr. Serak explains, utilizes cameras to look inside of the stomach to fix problems without opening it up completely. Minimally invasive spine surgery works though similar smaller incisions. At Baptist Health, Dr. Serak uses the state of the art Globus ExcelsiusGPS robot to conduct his robotic surgeries. Its neuronavigation system is used to place screws and rods and special minimally invasive retractors in the patient. He specifies who may benefit from this robotic spine surgery.

Then, Dr. Serat explains failed back syndrome, an issue of degeneration of the spine after a span of at least several years. Robotic surgery is a good option for those dealing with this condition. It is Dr. Serak’s goal is to get his patients back to doing what they want to do after surgery as quickly as possible. He encourages listeners not to be discouraged if they have not yet found a treatment option which works for them.

Key Takeaways:

[0:49] Introduction to today’s guest, Dr. John Serak.


[1:10] - What elements make back pain chronic?


[4:08] - Explaining robotic spine surgery.


[10:37] - Laparoscopic vs. robotic surgeries.


[13:11] - The tool Dr. Serak utilizes for his robotic surgery.


[18:34] - Who would be a good candidate for robotic spine surgery?


[21:44] - Failed back syndrome and its treatment options.


[26:28] - How does life post-spine surgery look for most patients?


[32:12] - Closing words.


Learn more about Baptist Health’s surgical services.


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Do You Know the Difference Between Seizures and Epilepsy?

Do You Know the Difference Between Seizures and Epilepsy?

October 5, 2020

According to neurologist Supriya Kohli, MD, epilepsy affects 1 in 26 people of all ages, or approximately 50 million worldwide. While it’s estimated that 70% of those affected could live seizure-free with proper diagnosis and treatment, she says the condition can be hard to pinpoint. In this podcast, Dr. Kohli describes epilepsy diagnosis and treatment in detail, explaining who is most at risk, signs and symptoms of a seizure, and advanced treatment options. She outlines the types of seizures and defines the relationship between epilepsy and other conditions, such as anxiety, panic attacks, and psychogenic non-epileptic seizures. In addition, Dr. Kohli addresses some common misconceptions about seizures and offers tips on providing aid to someone who may be experiencing one.

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