The first surgeon in Australia to implant artificial spacers into the spine, Dr Coughlan specialises in minimally invasive spinal procedures including ‘lateral access surgery’ – a new keyhole technique through the side of the body, inserting either an artificial 3D printed spacer or generic spacer between the vertebrae of the spine.
This technology allows for tailored implants, specific to the anatomy of each individual patient.
“The 3D implants are fantastic for patients with severe scoliosis where the whole spine is rotated. The implants sit on the hard outer periphery of the vertebrae, so are also ideal for elderly osteoporotic patients.”
“Using the lateral access technique to place the implants allows multiple levels of the spine to be accessed through the same keyhole, creating minimal disruption and thus very quick recoveries. We are fortunate at Gosford Private Hospital to also have a CT navigation system, BodyTom, which can be used throughout the surgery and allows visualisation in all three planes, ensuring the implants are perfectly placed and positioned without the need to use X-ray.”
“The use of these procedures has massively reduced the recovery with complex spinal patients, and allows us to operate on more frail osteoporotic patients,” says Dr Coughlan.
As part of a dedicated team of Neurosurgeons treating patients on the Central Coast over the past 13 years, Dr Coughlan has helped to introduce a number of procedures including minimally invasive lumbar decompression, spinal fusion techniques using lateral and anterior access, and disc replacement surgery to treat chronic lower back pain.
“We’re proud to be leading the way in the provision of high end, innovative neurosurgical procedures for patients here on the Central Coast. Our team of specialist Neurosurgeons and experienced staff are second-to-none, providing world class services locally and allowing patients to remain close to home and their family,” says Gosford Private CEO, Matt Kelly.