Health Beat - Summer 2017 - 12

Salina specialists coordinate
approaches for brain, spine surgery
By Meghan Klaassen


hen patients require a procedure as
intricate as brain or spinal surgery,
they want a coordinated approach from
skilled specialists.
Salina Regional Health Center provides neurosurgical
care with collaboration among doctors at Tammy Walker
Cancer Center and Salina Regional Neurosurgery. This
means more people in north central Kansas have access to
highly skilled care close to home.
Neurosurgeons Scott Boswell, M.D., and Justin
Whitlow, M.D., of Salina Regional Neurosurgery
frequently collaborate with oncologists at Tammy Walker
Cancer Center to operate on cranial and spinal tumors
or abnormalities.
"It's not uncommon that patients with different
types of cancer get cancer that spreads to the brain
or the spine," says Whitlow.
Both Boswell and Whitlow are highly skilled and
use state-of-the-art technology in all of their cranial
and spinal procedures.
"The nice thing about the partnership that we have here
with Tammy Walker is that you can get a very broad spectrum
of care here," says Boswell. "You can come here and you can
see the neurosurgeon, the radiation oncologist, the medical
oncologist, the nutritionist, the physical therapist, and all
of these people are under one roof. That makes things really
convenient for the patient."
This connection gives cancer patients in need of neurosurgery
convenience without sacrificing skill or quality.

Noninvasive Surgery



In addition to traditional open surgery, Whitlow is trained in
stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS). This nonsurgical procedure uses
a linear accelerator to deliver precise, high doses of radiation to
cancerous and benign tumors. Image-guided tools allow physicians to
target the treatment area directly and avoid damage to healthy tissue.
Most treatments can be done in one five-minute session. But depending
on the tumor size or abnormality, it could take as many as five sessions.
Time and accuracy are the greatest advantages to SRS. This
technology also serves as a nonsurgical treatment option for patients
who are not candidates for open surgery either because of health
issues or potentially problematic tumor location.
Claudia Perez-Tamayo, M.D., a radiation oncologist at Tammy
Walker Cancer Center and fellow of the American College of
Radiology and the American College of Radiation Oncology, is

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