Wenzel Spine has announced the launch of the S-LIF procedure for standalone lumbar interbody fusion using the VariLift-LX device, which the company says is the only standalone expandable posterior lumbar interbody fusion device that is US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-cleared for one or two level fusion.
Wenzel Spine also recently held its first S-LIF training lab in Austin, USA, to give surgeons the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with the procedure.
William Wilson, the newly appointed CEO of Wenzel Spine, said: “Surgeons came to the lab with the question, ‘If I’m doing a least-invasive surgery and not incorporating screws and rods, how can I have confidence knowing that this technology will lead to strong, stable fusion for my patients?’ It was validating to watch them leave feeling excited, saying, ‘I can’t wait to start using this more and more in my practice.’”
Ahmer Ghori, an orthopaedic surgeon in Fort Wayne, USA, added: “Increasingly, surgeons are asking, ‘What is the least invasive spine surgery that I can do for this patient?’ The VariLift device has allowed me to operate on some patients on an outpatient basis, usually using a local spinal anaesthetic; and with the correct anaesthesia plan, they have reasonable pain control to where they can go home and return to their lives sooner than if they had undergone a much bigger operation.”
Michael Weiss, an orthopaedic surgeon in Boca Raton, USA, commented: “When you insert the device, screw it into place, expand it, and hear the mechanism pulling those bones apart, you see and feel the results. They don’t subside. They give you excellent bone graft abilities. And after you’ve done a few of these, you then get the confidence that, ‘I don’t need all that posterior fixation,’ because the anterior column, when that’s solid, it’s solid and your spine is stable. So, if you are worried that this is not enough, you can allay those fears, because it is.”
Another surgeon faculty member, Adam Kremer, a neurosurgeon in Bay City, USA, agrees, stating: “Using this device to restore height and alignment and stabilise the weak joint, I feel very strongly that I’m fixing the root cause, and having an outpatient lumbar fusion surgery option really gives patients hope.”
Alex West, a neurosurgeon in Houston, USA, added: “People hear the word ‘fusion’ and they get very nervous. With VariLift, my patients are going home in two hours in many cases. One patient called me the following morning and said, ‘Something is wrong because I don’t have any pain.’ Being able to use a least-invasive device with a zero-profile construct that expands in situ makes a world of difference to patient and surgeon alike.”