Quebec neurosurgery first at the Jewish General Hospital

Dr. Jeff Golan uses spinal endoscopy on patients suffering from herniated discs and pinched nerves, among other conditions.

Quebec neurosurgery first at the Jewish General Hospital
Dr. Golan (left) accompanied by Marc Joannette, (centre) distributor of the spinal endoscopy instruments; and Nurse Athena Baum,(right) Team Leader in Neurosurgery.

As a result of innovative work by the Chief of Neurosurgery at the Jewish General Hospital (JGH), which is part of the CIUSSS West-Central Montreal, patients can now benefit from the least invasive surgery possible. 

“I’m delighted to finally be able to use spinal endoscopy to treat my patients,” said Dr. Jeff Golan. “I used to have to refer them to my colleagues in the United States. But from now on, my patients can benefit from this procedure here free of charge.” 

Spinal endoscopy is a surgical technique that requires only a small incision in the patient’s side for the placement of a tiny tube 7 mm in diameter. Once the tube is near the spine, the surgeon can insert the surgical instruments through the tube and perform the procedure. The doctor can see what’s going on thanks to a miniature camera and an X-ray machine. 

This technology has many advantages. For patients, endoscopic surgery can be done under local anaesthesia, entails a shorter convalescence than conventional techniques and results in much less postoperative pain. 

“When Dr. Golan offered me spinal endoscopy, I didn’t hesitate to choose that option to get my herniated disc repaired,” said Jennifer Orr, one of the first five patients to benefit from this innovation in Quebec. “Today, I’m back to my normal life. I’m back at work and I can go hiking with no back pain.” 

Spinal endoscopy takes less time than other operations. And because patients can go home two hours later, they don’t need to be hospitalized. 

“By introducing spinal endoscopy at the JGH—and being the first to do so in Quebec—we are demonstrating, once again, our commitment to providing healthcare users with access to the latest treatments,” says Dr. Lawrence Rosenberg, President and CEO of CIUSSS West-Central Montreal. “Members of our staff embrace innovation and continually strive to be up to date on any new evidence-based developments in order to restore an individual’s quality of life and well-being.” 

Dr. Golan thinks he’ll be able to operate on as many as 150 patients a year using this technique