FL MORRIS / FMORRIS@STARBULLETIN.COM
The Honolulu Spine Surgery Center, located at Restaurant Row, held a formal open house Dec. 7. During a tour of the facilities, Dr. Michon Morita, left, shows Kaiser Hospital's Dr. Sharin Sakurai an operating table with microscope video monitors.
Spine surgery center makes debut
Back patients can get attention from doctors at Waterfront Plaza
A spine center has opened at Waterfront Plaza offering outpatient surgery and care for patients with less complicated spine disorders.
The formal opening of the Honolulu Spine Surgery Center was held Dec. 7, but it began taking patients in September, said Michael Perry, facility administrator. "We have done over 50 procedures."
A group of local surgeons approached NeoSpine, a national outpatient surgery company in Nashville, Tenn., two years ago with the idea of developing a surgery center here only for spine and spine-related procedures, Perry said.
Such clinics are a trend across the country, he said, offering patients an opportunity for minimally invasive surgery without staying overnight in a hospital.
The Pacific Spine Institute, formed by 11 local physicians and surgeons, joined with NeoSpine to establish the center at Restaurant Row in Tower One, Suite 301, Perry said.
Dr. Jon Graham, Honolulu neurosurgeon at the new center, said in a news release, "As more spine procedures become appropriate for the outpatient setting, it only makes sense to move these less complicated cases to a free-standing center."
Graham performs surgery at the Queen's Medical Center and other hospitals, and he and other physicians at the spine center will continue to use hospital operating rooms for trauma and cranial cases.
NeoSpine worked with the Hawaii physicians to obtain a certificate of need from the state to design and construct the 7,800-square-foot ambulatory surgery center. It has two operating rooms, a private recovery room and special equipment for minimally invasive spine surgery.
Besides 11 physicians and surgeons, the center has three full-time registered nurses, four part-time registered nurses, two scrub technicians and other staff members, Perry said.
This is the eighth outpatient spine center opened in the past two years by NeoSpine with neurosurgeons and orthopedic spine specialists, said Stephen Faro, NeoSpine chief operating officer.
He said patient response "has been overwhelming," and "contracts we are able to offer to insurance companies are significantly less than those charged by most hospitals, thus saving the patient and their employer."