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Top Surgeons Join Tri-City

Top Surgeons Join Tri-City

Oceanside, CA – In the continuous pursuit of providing the most advanced healthcare to the community, Tri-City Medical Center recently opened the first of three specialty institutes and is adding top physicians to the medical staff.

Among the most recent additions to the medical staff are Dr. John Regan, an internationally recognized orthopedic surgeon and Dr. David Perkowski, a pioneer of off-pump or ‘beating heart’ coronary artery bypass surgery. Both doctors performed their first operations at Tri-City in December.

Tri-City’s Cardiovascular Health Institute opened in December; the Orthopedics and Spine is scheduled to open in the spring followed by the Cancer Institute. All three centers of excellence will feature the patient-centric model of care – ‘one stop shops’ that combine prevention, the most advanced medical technology, and comprehensive clinical care. The institutes have already begun attracting prominent physicians to Tri-City.

Dr. John Regan

Dr. Regan, an innovator in minimally invasive spine surgery, performed his first case at Tri-City with Dr. Neville Alleyne, orthopedic surgeon. They operated on one of the victims of the 2008 Metrolink train collision in Los Angeles County. The accident left 34-year-old Luis Cruz with excruciating back and leg pain. The pain was so severe, Cruz was unable to work or enjoy normal daily activities. Drs. Regan and Alleyne performed a posterior decompressive laminectomy fusion with inter-body cages, bone graft and instrumentation on the lower region of Cruz’s spine.

According to Dr. Alleyne, the addition of Dr. Regan is an important step in developing a comprehensive spine network at Tri-City. “We will be able to treat very complex cases for a myriad of different people from within and outside the area – people like Mr. Cruz who otherwise would have to live with excruciating back and leg pain the rest of their lives. Our skills complement one another and together, we are greater than the sum of our parts,” said Dr. Alleyne. Mr. Cruz says that as a result of the surgery, he no longer has to take pain medication, the pain in his legs was gone almost immediately and he is looking forward to returning to work. “The doctors were excellent; they were around day and night to answer all my questions. I have a family to provide for and I am looking forward to going back to work thanks to this surgery,” said Cruz.

Dr. Regan has operated in hospitals around the globe and was impressed with the Tri-City Operating Room team. “This is the best experience I have ever had in an operating room. It is a top-notch facility,” said Dr. Regan.

Dr. Regan was part of the prestigious Texas Back Institute and is on staff at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles where he was the director of the Cedars-Sinai Institute for Spinal Disorders until 2005. Patients from around the world seek out Dr. Regan, in part, because of his extensive training. He completed fellowships in spine trauma and surgery at A.O. International Hospital in Switzerland and at Johns Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore. Formal teaching and international presentations are a large part of Dr. Regan’s career; he has given over seventy-five presentations at major medical meetings and institutes. In addition to research and teaching presentations, twenty-two of Dr. Regan’s articles appear in peer reviewed publications. Dr. Regan’s commitment to medical education is evident as author of fourteen chapters for medical textbooks.

Tri-City Medical Center CEO Larry Anderson says the addition of Dr. Regan greatly expands the capability of the hospital’s back and spine surgery center. “The expertise and experience Dr. Regan provides will be of great benefit to our patients, who can now stay in their own community to receive these complex surgeries and treatments,” Anderson said.

Dr. David Perkowski

Dr. David Perkowski is a cardiothoracic surgeon who was one of the first doctors in Southern California to perform off-pump coronary artery bypass surgery or “beating heart” surgery. In beating-heart surgery, only a small portion of the heart is stilled with a special device while the rest of the heart beats normally, allowing for normal circulation. “It adds a new dimension to cardiac surgery because it’s less invasive than the traditional bypass” said Dr. Perkowski.

The advantages of keeping the heart beating during bypass surgery include fewer infections, reduced risk of stroke following surgery, and often shorter recovery times. Dr. Perkowski says that he chooses the beating heart procedure in 98% of his surgeries. He has performed approximately 2,000 surgeries using this technique. The surgeon says he also sees fewer cognitive problems in his ‘beating heart’ patients compared to traditional bypass surgeries which use a heart lung machine.

Dr. Perkowski has a 1.8% mortality rate which is more than two times below the national average. The median age of his beating heart patient is 71 years, which is seven years older than the norm. Statistics show his patients recover extremely well from the surgery. In over 1500 beating heart surgeries, just one patient developed Sternal infection and none of his patients developed intra-operative stroke. Dr. Perkowski says these outcomes tell him older patients seem to tolerate this surgery better and with fewer complications than the traditional bypass.

Dr. Perkowski is affiliated with a number of Orange County hospitals including; Mission Hospital Regional Medical Center, St. Jude Medical Center, Children’s Hospital of Orange County, Saddleback Memorial Medical Center, and St. Joseph Hospital.

Tri-City Medical Center CEO, Larry Anderson said the addition of Dr. Perkowski to the outstanding cardiovascular team means that patients at Tri-City can be assured of receiving the bypass surgery that is most appropriate and beneficial for their individual case – it is true comprehensive care.

“Our vision is to be one of the best hospitals in the nation by 2015. By adding these pioneers in medicine to our already outstanding medical staff, we are making significant progress to that end,” said Anderson.