2013 Annual Report Video

2013 Annual Report Video

You may have seen our 2013 Report to the Community distributed in local papers, watch here to see the video! If you did not receive a copy and would like one please email us at info@nlh.org and we’ll mail one to you.

New Balloon Kyphoplasty Procedure Dr. Shen Performs at Nathan Littauer Provides Significant Improvement in Quality of Life to Patients Suffering from Spinal Pain

Dr. Shen is pictured as he performs one of the area's first Kyphoplastys

Dr. Shen is pictured as he performs one of the area’s first Kyphoplastys

Dr. Shen from Nathan Littauer Hospital announced today that he is offering Balloon Kyphoplasty, a minimally invasive treatment option for patients suffering from spinal fractures due to osteoporosis. Balloon Kyphoplasty is designed to treat the spinal pain and deformity associated with vertebrae fractures that occur from osteoporosis or cancer. The new technique significantly reduces back pain and improves a patient’s ability to return to daily activities. His first two Kyphoplasty surgeries at Nathan Littauer were deemed a success. “Both my patients are reporting a substantial improvement in their pain” said Dr. Shen.

“The surgery is new to the Fulton-Montgomery county areas and only a handful of surgeons in the Capital Region currently perform kyphoplasty.” said Hospital spokesperson Cheryl McGrattan. One factor contributing to spinal pain is Osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a disease that causes the bones of the spine to weaken and often collapse, resulting in spinal fractures. Traditional treatment for spinal fractures includes bed rest, medication and back bracing. While these therapies may help to decrease a patient’s pain over time, they do not treat the deformity related to the osteoporotic fractures.

Balloon Kyphoplasty is designed to repair vertebral compression fractures and restore the vertebrae to the correct position, reducing back pain, reducing the number of days in bed, significantly improving mobility and increasing overall quality of life. The procedure generally takes less than one hour per fracture and has been performed under both local and general anesthesia. In most cases, Medicare provides coverage for Balloon Kyphoplasty. Other insurance companies may also provide coverage.

This picture was taken minutes before he performed the new surgery.

Dr. Shen preps for the surgery

Dr. Shen says, “I am pleased to bring this surgery to our region.” He added, “Of all the surgeries I perform, this technique is especially rewarding because it can reduce pain significantly and in a short period of time. The surgeon concluded, “I enjoying seeing the patient return to a better quality of life after this procedure.”

Osteoporosis-Related Spinal Fractures: More Frequent Than Hip Fractures

In the U.S., according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, each year 700,000 patients suffer from spinal fractures due to osteoporosis. Unfortunately, over 400,000 of these fractures go undiagnosed and untreated due in part to lack of awareness about osteoporosis and available treatment options.

The consequences of untreated fractures can be devastating. Once a patient suffers one vertebral compression fracture, the risk of suffering a second fracture increases five-fold. Left unattended, many fractures can result in an exaggerated rounded curvature of the spine, called kyphosis or dowager’s hump. This condition is painful and debilitating — making walking, eating, sleeping, and even breathing painful and difficult. Long-term, this condition could be fatal. Diagnosing such fractures is the first step toward providing patients who have been impacted by this devastating disease state with hope for treatment.

The statistics are staggering — one in two women and one in four men age 50 and older in the United States will have an osteoporosis-related fracture in their lifetime, with bone loss potentially beginning in women as early as age 25. This figure is projected to double in the next 50 years due to the increase in aging population and lifestyle factors, according to the International Osteoporosis Foundation. The current incidence rate has caused the World Health Organization to cite osteoporosis as second only to cardiovascular disease as a leading international healthcare problem. For more information about osteoporosis and spinal fractures, please visit the National Osteoporosis Foundation web site at www.nof.org.

Although the complication rate with Balloon Kyphoplasty has been demonstrated to be low, as with most surgical procedures, there are risks associated with Balloon Kyphoplasty, including serious complications. Patients should consult with their doctor for a full discussion of the risks.

The surgical team at Littauer gets ready for the procedure

The surgical team at Littauer gets ready for the procedure

For consultation:

For a consultation concerning treatment options for a spinal fracture, please contact Dr. Shen at the New Johnstown Surgery Center at 773-4242.

Public Forum Offered:

For people who are interested in learning more about Dr. Shen and his surgical solutions, Nathan Littauer is offering a FREE seminar: “Reducing Spine Pain” October 18, 2011 at 6:30pm at The Johnstown Holiday Inn. “It is an evening with Dr. Shen and a rare opportunity to hear first-hand the myriad of solutions this phenomenal surgeon brings to our region” said Hospital Spokesperson Cheryl McGrattan. Patients will learn about break-through surgeries and be given the opportunity to ask questions. A dessert buffet will be provided.

Ground-breaking surgery performed at Littauer

Ground-breaking surgery performed at Littauer

Dr. Jian Shen performs area’s first Endoscopic Cervical Spine Surgery

Gloversville, NY — At approximately 1p.m. Friday, August 5, 2011 Dr. Jian Shen, an orthopedic surgeon specializing in complex spine care, practicing at Nathan Littauer Hospital, completed the first Endoscopic Cervical Spine Surgery in our area. The patient suffers from a rare spine disease. “The patient reports they already feel a difference from surgery.” said Dr. Shen. The doctor added, “Although it is early in the recovery process, the patient already has improved range of motion”. The patient was released today.

Dr. Jian Shen at Nathan Littauer Hospital

Dr. Jian Shen at Nathan Littauer Hospital with the equipment he used for his ground-breaking surgery

Hospital President and CEO Laurence E. Kelly stated, “San Francisco, Chicago, Texas and now Gloversville, NY!” Mr. Kelly explained, “According to our research only a few academic centers in the United States perform this type of surgery.” Mr. Kelly added, “Obviously we are thrilled for this patient and for others in our region who suffer with spine problems.”

Endoscopic techniques permit smaller incisions, with less muscle damage and less irritation to the nerve root. The resulting loss in muscle strength is also considerably less with endoscopic techniques. “Nationwide there is an increasing demand for minimally invasive, less traumatic techniques. Because of Dr. Shen we can now meet that demand right here in Fulton County.” hospital spokesperson Cheryl McGrattan said. “The patient’s incision was approximately 2 centimeters. The equipment used in this surgery offers the doctor a better view of the spine than traditional techniques.”

The family is grateful to Dr. Shen explaining, “We have waited for Dr. Shen to come here. We are very pleased to be in his care.”

Minutes after the ground-breaking surgery, the surgery team marks the occasion. From left to right: Pam Dutcher, RN, Dr. Jain Shen, Jacob Dutcher, CRNA.

Minutes after the ground-breaking surgery, the surgery team marks the occasion. From left to right: Pam Dutcher, RN, Dr. Jain Shen, Jacob Dutcher, CRNA.

Dr. Shen started practicing at Littauer a few days ago having arrived from the University of San Francisco. Dr. Shen is an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in complete spine care. “Surgery is not indicated for every spine problem. Dr. Shen also uses non-surgical techniques to get results” said Ms. McGrattan. After the surgery Dr. Shen concluded, “I cannot say enough good things about Nathan Littauer. From the surgical team to the recovery room staff to the nursing team- they are all top notch.” Mr. Kelly agrees, explaining “I am so proud of our staff at Littauer. They have gladly learned cutting-edge techniques to support Dr. Shen as he makes history in our region.”

Dr. Shen reviews images from the surgery

Dr. Shen reviews images from the surgery

To learn more about this procedure and Dr. Shen, please visit www.nlh.org or follow us on Facebook.



Fellowship-trained Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Jian Shen joins Littauer

San Francisco physician brings minimally-invasive spine surgery to area

Dr. Jian Shen at Nathan Littauer

Dr. Jian Shen at Nathan Littauer

Nathan Littauer Hospital is pleased to welcome Jian Shen, MD, PhD to their medical staff. Dr. Shen is practicing with Dr. Russell Cecil and Dr. Gerald Ortiz at Littauer’s new Johnstown Surgery Center. “This is a major announcement for our region.” stated Wally Hart, President of the Fulton County Chamber of Commerce who met Dr. Shen at a recent reception. He added, “It means a lot to our region to have this cutting-edge expertise here.” Laurence E. Kelly Littauer’s President and CEO agreed noting, “Dr. Shen could have chosen to practice anywhere in the country. And he is coming directly from the University here to our community.” He added, “To have him treating people at Littauer is an enormous boon to the people who suffer with pain in our region.” Dr. Shen arrived a few days ago from the University of San Francisco. He explained his reason to come here as, “I chose to practice here because I want to bring cutting-edge spine care from big academic centers to this community.” He added, “I am very happy with the choice I made, I feel like I can do more here.” He added, “The staff at Littauer is top-notch.”

Dr. Shen offers complete spine care

Dr. Shen offers complete spine care

Dr. Shen offers complete spine care to people who suffer with spine problems. He is versed in minimally-invasive and complex spine surgery. He has already completed New York State’s first Endoscopic Cervical Sine Surgery at Littauer. As an orthopedic surgeon, he is well-versed in non operative (including spinal injections) and operative treatment of all spine conditions for people of all ages. He also can address back pain, neck pain, sciatica, leg, shoulder and arm pain caused by spine problems. While surgery is not indicated for every patient, Dr. Shen is also able to provide non-surgical therapies as well. He explained, “If I can get the patient better using non-surgical techniques like ESI (Epidural Spine Injections) or physical therapy I am very happy.”

Dr. Shen’s main expertise has been on minimally invasive decompression/fusion surgery, as well as complex deformity/scoliosis and revision spine surgery. Minimally invasive and endoscopic spine surgery is a technique that allows the surgeon to perform an operation that normally is done via a large midline incision. This type of surgery uses a much smaller incision, allowing for significantly less tissue damage and quicker recovery.

“He has a stellar background.” stated Hospital Spokesperson Cheryl McGrattan. After getting a PhD in basic science research in Pharmacology, Dr. Shen went on and finished his medical school education at Cornell University Medical College in New York City, New York. After a surgical internship at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, he completed an orthopedic surgery residency at Wake Forest University Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Dr. Shen went on to finish a spine surgery fellowship from 2010 to 2011 at UCSF Medical Center in San Francisco, California. He also has earned many accolades including: The Gold Medal, Residents’ and Fellows’ Research Day, Wake Forest University Medical Center, The Basil M. Boyd, MD Memorial Resident Award, 24th Annual Oscar Miller Day Symposium the Katherine Wolcott Walker Resident Research Award, Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF) and the Academic Achievement Award, Wake Forest University Medical Center among others. In the coming years, Dr. Shen hopes to create a Spine Center of Excellence in the Adirondacks.

Dr. Shen speaks to Fulton County President, Wally Hart at a Littauer reception

Dr. Shen speaks to Fulton County President, Wally Hart at a Littauer reception

Hospital staff, board members and community members met Dr. Shen on Monday August 1, 2011 at a special reception. “Many people are commenting on how personable he is.” said Ms. McGrattan. One Littauer staff person said upon meeting him, “What a brilliant man. He is the type of man I could listen to for hours. He truly knows his stuff! Very personable and an awesome asset to our hospital family!” Patients agree. A trauma patient who broke a vertebra in a recent car accident saw Dr. Shen this week and reported, “He was a very caring physician who was very empathetic to what I was going through.”

Dr. Shen explains that one of his reasons he came to this area is because his goal is to “interact personally with each patient, so they do not feel like a number”. He said, “Practicing at Littauer allows me to do that. I cannot say enough good things about the staff at Littauer.” He concluded, “I want to practice traditional medicine- where the patient receives individualized care and gets my full attention. Yet, I can use cutting-edge technologies to treat all their spinal conditions.” Laurence E. Kelly states, “With Dr. Shen’s arrival, we now say, ‘Spines everywhere can rejoice’”.

The hospital plans several outreach activities in the coming months. Patients who are experiencing spine problems are encouraged to contact his office at 773-4242. Further information can also be found at www.nlh.org.