July 19, 2019
Standing Tall: One Teen’s Transformative Spine Surgery
Dr. Lenke performs vertebral column resection
NEW YORK — Seattle native Solomiya D. suffered spinal cord infections as a baby, which caused her to develop severe scoliosis. As she got older, the scoliosis worsened, creating a large protruding bump on her upper back and compressing her heart and lungs, which were confined to a mere 3- to 4-inch space. After two unsuccessful surgeries, her previous doctor referred her to Lawrence Lenke, M.D., Surgeon-in-Chief at the NewYork-Presbyterian Och Spine Hospital.
Dr. Lenke conducted a rarely performed series of surgeries called "vertebral column resection." This surgery involved breaking the spine, separating it into two pieces, and then moving the pieces into their correct positions and permanently fixing the spine. After two 10-hour surgeries, she now has a much straighter spine and the improved ability to breathe at ease. Dr. Lenke believes she has a great future ahead of her and can lead a normal life.
“After my surgeries, I grew a few inches. I’ve never wanted to not be able to do something, and I feel like I’m already living the dream that I’ve had in my heart. I got my driver’s license about a year after my surgery, and I’ve been driving and I’ve been able to move across the country. It’s a miracle.” —Solomiya
Video about Solomiya's case, including an interview with her and Dr. Lenke
More information about this case
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