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Live internet broadcast of spinal surgery scheduled for May 4

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

GREEN BAY, Wis., A spinal surgery known as anterior cervical fusion will be the focus of a live webcast from 4 to 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 4, at Aurora BayCare Medical Center.

Neurosurgeon Steven S. Weinshel, M.D., will perform the procedure, with expert commentary throughout the broadcast provided by fellow BayCare Clinic neurosurgeons Max Ots, M.D., Richard Harrison, M.D., Mark Gardon, M.D., and Paul Baek, M.D.

The web broadcast also will include a pre-taped segment demonstrating the anterior cervical fusion procedure and will feature internet audience participation through a live question-and-answer session.

Patients of Aurora BayCare will share their perspectives on the recovery process. Physicians, patients seeking treatment options for back and neck pain, community leaders, researchers, university faculty, human resource managers and community members are encouraged to participate in this live surgical web cast.

“The internet improves how Aurora BayCare connects physicians to patients,” said Jeff Mason, CEO of BayCare Clinic. “It enables powerful interactive discussions, access and visibility to ground breaking surgical procedures that can help our community develop a better understanding of treatment options.”

Aurora BayCare Medical Center is a 167-bed, full service tertiary hospital that performs more than 800 spine surgeries annually, equivalent to 74 percent of Brown County’s market share.

“Aurora BayCare Medical Center has become a destination hospital for traumatic injury, brain and spine surgery,” said Linda Smith, administrator at Aurora BayCare. “Our statistics and patient outcomes indicate that we are a regional leader in neuroscience.”

About the procedure
Anterior cervical fusion is a surgical treatment performed on the upper spine to relieve pressure on one or more nerve roots, or on the spinal cord. This pressure can be caused by the rupture of an intervertebral disc or by bony overgrowth associated with arthritic changes.

When these conditions develop in the cervical spine, they can put pressure on one or more nerve roots that provide motion and sensation to the arms, which can then cause pain, weakness and numbness in the neck and or arms. These conditions can also cause compression of the spinal cord itself, resulting in pain, weakness, gait disturbances and other symptoms including bowel or bladder problems.

Disc problems or the formation of bone spurs may be caused by a traumatic accident, sports injury or repetitive stress such as lifting excessive weight improperly.

In this outpatient operation, a surgeon reaches the cervical spine through a small incision in the front of the neck. After the muscles of the spine are spread, an intervertebral disc is removed, any bone spurs are also removed and the disc is replaced with a small plug of bone, which in time will fuse to the vertebrae it lies between.

Generally, most patients are able to return to normal, but non-vigorous, activities within a few days (24-72 hours), including employment for those people who don't do heavy labor.

For more information on the web cast go to:
http://www.or-live.com/upcomingBroadcasts.cfm?broadcastID=287

Aurora BayCare Medical Center is located at 2845 Greenbrier Road on Green Bay’s east side. It opened in September 2001 as a joint effort of Aurora Health Care and BayCare Clinic.

Aurora Health Care is a not-for-profit Wisconsin health care provider and a nationally recognized leader in efforts to improve the quality of health care. Aurora offers services at sites in more than 90 communities throughout eastern Wisconsin.

BayCare Clinic facilities are staffed by nearly 100 physicians, surgeons and specialty providers representing the very best of 20 medical specialties. As northeastern Wisconsin’s largest independent physician-owned organization, BayCare is dedicated to providing patient choice and high-quality care.

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Contact:

Mike Spofford, Media Relations
920-445-2165 or 920-704-1386 (pager)

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