(Courtesy of Hudson Regional Hospital) As a police officer for the New York Police Department for 20 years, Gary Parlefsky has seen it all and has felt it all. A high-impact job of keeping New York City’s streets clean and safe contributed to a back injury and significant chronic pain, causing discomfort all the way from the neck to the tailbone.
And Gary thought this pain might be been permanent until he found Hudson Regional Hospital. As a new community hospital in Northern New Jersey, Hudson Regional Hospital has invested heavily in state-of-the-art technology such as Mazor Robotics and the da Vinci Xi Robotic Surgical System. With the help of Dr. Jonathan Lewin, Gary shared his story with us, detailing how he went from being painful to pain-free!
Can you tell us a little bit about your pain history and how you found Hudson Regional Hospital?
Gary P: Back in 2003, I was working and I had a high-impact injury. The lower discs in my back collapsed. I had tried everything—therapies, chiropractors, countless injections—I even tried acupuncture. You name it, I’ve tried it. I was with George Matyjewicz one Shabbos dinner and he told me about the new robotic surgery at his hospital—Hudson Regional Hospital. I called and their concierge service scheduled a convenient appointment with Dr. Lewin and he suggested the robotic surgery to me.
Had you tried other treatments in the past?
Gary P: Definitely. Over the past 40 years, I’ve been to countless orthopedic surgeons and they’ve always told me that there would be no guarantee that the procedure would work. When I saw Dr. Lewin, he said, “That’s insanity, the procedure is going to work.” Dr. Lewin told me that I wouldn’t have any restrictions.
Dr. Lewin, what are some of the advantages of using Mazor Robotics?
Dr. Lewin: Well, part of the surgery is the placement of spinal screws. There is not a lot of room for error. What the robot is capable of doing cannot even be paralleled by human hands. We look at it like landing a plane. There is a technical assistance that can in conjunction with the pilot aid for a successful takeoff and landing. It enables us to put our best foot forward and use the skills we’ve been trained with to accurately place those spinal screws.
Gary, what was your experience like at Hudson Regional Hospital?
Gary P: The first few nights I was in the hospital I was in the ICU. I can’t say enough about the staff. Anything I needed, they were there. If I hit the buzzer, within seconds they were there. They were just great. I had all the confidence in the world in the facility. It’s really nice to know I can live my life without pain medication. Choosing Hudson Regional Hospital is the best decision I’ve made in my life.
Dr. Lewin, what made you choose to collaborate with Hudson Regional Hospital?
Dr. Lewin: There are very few hospitals in the state that have both Mazor Robotics and the da Vinci Xi Robotic Surgical System together. We can develop a robotic program that will result in shorter hospital stays and a quicker recovery time. This means we can get people back in the game so much sooner. Hudson Regional Hospital is at the top of its game. The hospital has been forward-thinking in terms of its approach towards surgeons and technology. The patients are being subjected to a less invasive procedure which will translate into less negative outcomes. We are seeing that now.
What is your treatment philosophy when using Mazor Robotics?
Dr. Lewin: We put quality first. A surgery that took three hours now takes two hours with less blood loss and better post-op recovery. We have implemented a patient-first, personalized view of care, and I think you are going to see great things from Hudson Regional Hospital. It’s very exciting for the hospital to have this technology and being able to bring this technology to the community at-large.
Gary, how do you feel now, six weeks post-surgery?
Gary P: It’s been six weeks since the surgery and my progress has been incredible! I don’t feel any pain. I am at zero pain. I haven’t been able to say this in 40 years.
Hudson Regional Hospital offers many pain management and other services, both on an inpatient and outpatient basis. Over 100 physicians have joined HRH in the past couple of months, with more joining every week, as they see the advantages of a facility dedicated to patient comfort with less pain and advanced technology robotics. For a tour of the new Hudson Regional Hospital or to meet the owner and executive staff, physicians should call George Matyjewicz at 201-392-3436 or email [email protected]
Patients can inquire about these services or schedule appointments by contacting the hospital directly, either via telephone, at 201-392-3100, or email, at [email protected] Patients facing medical emergencies should proceed directly to the emergency room. The emergency room contact number is 201-392-3210.