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Alvarado Hospital is changing the way spine disorders are evaluated and treated in San Diego. The newly opened Advanced Spine Institute & Minimally Invasive Spine Center has brought together an exceptional team of experienced medical, surgical and rehabilitation spine specialists who meet regularly to evaluate, diagnose and develop treatment plans for individual patients.

"The multidisciplinary team approach works well and provides the best quality for individuals with spine disorders,” said Medical Director Kam Raiszadeh, MD. "And, it happens to be the least expensive approach because patients benefit from the resources and receive the most appropriate care.”

Assembling such a highly experienced team of experts to discuss individual cases may sound costly, but Dr Raiszadeh said the spine center concept has been shown to be far more cost-effective than when patients consult individually with specialists. He explained that the Advanced Spine Institute as a "one-stop” center of excellence in which all patient care is coordinated after the first phone call. Comparing the process to triage, he said patients are personally guided through the system to the most appropriate level of care.

"This is case management at the highest level,” Dr. Raiszadeh said. "Whether people call looking for a doctor, information or community services, we will find the best resources for them.”

Only a Handful in the Nation

"To be a world-class spine center, we need to stay ahead of the curve on the latest treatments available,” said Choll Kim, MD, PhD, who is a pioneer in minimally invasive surgery.

Dr. Kim has joined Alvarado Hospital from UCSD Medical Center, where he is an associate clinical professor and conducted basic science and clinical research for the last several years. He is also executive director of the Society for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery.

Dr. Kim is one of only a few spine surgeons in the world performing minimally invasive spine surgery using computer navigation, a process with imaging capabilities that gives surgeons unprecedented pinpoint accuracy. Soon, Alvarado Hospital patients will have the opportunity to participate in clinical trials for new devices and technology.