Greenville Health System (GHS) is prepared to meet patients’ basic surgical needs as well as to provide the region with high-end tertiary surgical services; it represents one of the clinical treasures of the Southeast. There are surgical suites located at Greenville Memorial Hospital, Greer Memorial Hospital, Hillcrest Memorial Hospital, Patewood Memorial Hospital, Cross Creek Surgical Center and Patewood Outpatient Center. For more information about our surgical services, or to refer a patientt, please contact us today.
Message from the Chair
The Department of Surgery of Greenville Health System (GHS) is a leader in patient care, investigative research and surgical education. We comprise the largest department or group of board certified surgeons in South Carolina and offer ten divisions that include:
- Acute care, Trauma, and General Surgery
- Cardiothoracic Surgery – including minimally invasive cardiac and valve surgery
- Colorectal Surgery
- Minimally Invasive and Endocrine Surgery – including laparoscopic and bariatric surgery
- Otolaryngology – ENT
- Surgical Oncology – including breast, thoracic, and advanced foregut surgery
- Pediatric Surgery
- Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
- Urology – including robotics
- Vascular and Endovascular Surgery and Medicine – including the Vein Center and Wound Care
All the surgical specialists in the Department of Surgery at Greenville Health System have advanced fellowship training and limit their clinical, educational and research efforts to their specialty of interest. The members of the Department of Surgery are actively involved in research and clinical trial programs to assure patients of the most up-to-date treatment modalities.
The current education programs involve training both medical students and surgical residents; this allows us to continue to train South Carolinas’ future physicians and surgeons. GHS currently has residents in:
Minimally Invasive Surgery
Our team consistently strives to explore new areas of clinical expertise in order to train future surgeons. It’s imperative that our surgeons remain academically active
through teaching, attending and presenting at regional and national surgical conferences and lecturing worldwide. It is important to note that our surgeons are more than highly skilled doctors. We explore the best surgical options in the broadest context of a patient’s overall health and life circumstances, treating each patient with the most individualized care possible. Our patients receive the most current surgical therapy and quality results available. We do all this in the context of training the next generation of surgeons – a responsibility we take great pride.
It is our daily mission to “heal compassionately, teach innovatively, and improve constantly”. The surgeons and professional staff of the Department of Surgery at GHS are proud to live our mission everyday – by doing so; we continually strive to grow a healthier community.
Eugene Langan, M.D. – Chair, Department of Surgery
Greenville Health System
Greenville Health System is a not-for-profit academic health organization committed to medical excellence through research and education and is accredited by the Joint Commission of Accreditation of Hospital Organizations (JCAHO). Our five campuses provide integrated healthcare to communities across Greenville County and beyond through a tertiary referral and education center, community hospitals, a long term acute care hospital, nursing home, outpatient facilities and wellness centers.
Heal compassionately. Teach innovatively. Improve constantly.
Transform health care for the benefit of the people and communities we serve.
Compassion, respect, caring, honesty, integrity, and trust exhibited daily through communication, forward thinking, creativity, continually striving to improve, responsiveness, a willingness to change, education, research, and clinical quality.
Our Administrative Staff
Department of Surgery, Third Floor/Support Tower
Director of Operations
Director of Finance
Surgery in the News
First Patient Implanted in Investigational Study for Self Sealing GORE® ACUSEAL Vascular Graft
Study Gauges Benefits for End Stage Renal Disease Patients during Hemodialysis
Flagstaff, AZ (August 12, 2010) – W. L. Gore & Associates (Gore) reported that the first patient, in an Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) clinical study evaluating the self sealing GORE® ACUSEAL Vascular Graft in patients on hemodialysis, has been surgically implanted with the device. The successful surgical procedure was performed on July 29, 2010 at Greenville Health System in Greenville, South Carolina. Less than 24 hours after the device was implanted it was successfully cannulated or punctured for initial hemodialysis access.
David L. Cull, MD, Interim Chair Department of Surgery at the Greenville Hospital, surgically implanted the GORE ACUSEAL Vascular Graft in the upper extremity of an End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) patient. ESRD patients frequently require prosthetic tube-shaped conduits to access their blood for hemodialysis. The GORE ACUSEAL Vascular Graft features a multi-layer wall construction engineered to minimize bleeding during the implant procedure and during the subsequent needle punctures required to access a patient’s blood during dialysis sessions.
“ESRD patients can pose significant treatment challenges, including the healing and early sealing of vascular grafts,” said Dr. Cull, who is an investigator for the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) sanctioned IDE clinical study. “The concept behind this new product is the blending of self sealing with an optimal handling vascular graft compatible with a patient’s native blood vessels.”
The GORE ACUSEAL Vascular Graft Clinical Study will evaluate the safety and efficacy of the GORE ACUSEAL Vascular Device. 138 patients will be enrolled at research sites across the United States. The primary efficacy endpoint of the study will look at patency with a secondary endpoint of monitoring the amount of time to central venous catheter removal for applicable cases. Study subjects who receive the GORE ACUSEAL Vascular Graft can begin receiving hemodialysis through the device at any time in the early postoperative period and when their physician feels it to be appropriate.
The GORE ACUSEAL Vascular Graft is the only prosthetic vascular graft to combine predictable self-sealing with improved handling and a surface bonded with heparin. Featuring expanded polyetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) on the external and luminal surfaces, the middle layer of the graft is a self sealing elastomer. This unique construction inhibits blood leakage following suturing of the vascular graft or after the repeated needle cannulations necessary for hemodialysis access treatments.
About W. L. Gore & Associates
The Gore Medical Products Division has provided creative therapeutic solutions to complex medical problems for three decades. During that time, more than 25 million innovative Gore Medical Devices have been implanted, saving and improving the quality of lives worldwide. The extensive Gore Medical family of products includes vascular grafts, endovascular and interventional devices, surgical meshes for hernia repair, soft tissue reconstruction, staple line reinforcement and sutures for use in vascular, cardiac and general surgery. Gore was recently named one of the best companies to work for by Fortune magazine for the 13th consecutive year. For more information, visit goremedical.com.
Erik Clausen or Kena Hudson
College Hill Life Sciences for W. L. Gore & Associates
415-230-5385 or GoreMedical@CollegeHill.com
Products listed may not be available in all markets. GORE®, ACUSEAL, and designs are trademarks of W. L. Gore & Associates.
Doctors Use High-Tech Technique to Fix Teen’s Heart, Save His Life
By Liv Osby
Staff writer, Greenville News
May 29, 2010
Highway 308 was slick with rain the night Drew Rice’s cell phone slid off the seat and onto the floor of his silver Mazda pickup truck.
The 16-year-old had just texted a buddy after shooting hoops at the Presbyterian College gym and was expecting a response.
But at 70 mph, when the Laurens teen reached down to retrieve the phone, he lost control and ran off the road, crashing into a tree just seconds from his home.
Pinned between the dashboard and the seat, his legs were crushed and his right elbow was broken. Blood flowed from a gash over his left eye.
But the most serious injuries were inside – a partially torn aorta, the largest artery in the body, and a ruptured heart valve.
Nine out of 10 people with a torn aorta bleed to death at the scene, said Dr. Barry Davis, one of two surgeons who operated on Drew.
But even with such critical injuries, Drew came away with just one small scar on his chest thanks to advances in cardiovascular surgery. Tonight, he’ll graduate from Clinton High School.
That Saturday evening in March 2009, Drew’s mom, Angie, had just started making supper. His dad, David, was working in the yard when the phone rang with word that their son had been in a wreck.
David raced to the scene, climbing into the back of truck to hold Drew’s head through the shattered glass.
“I knew he was trapped. He was in pretty bad shape,” David Rice said. “The only thing I could do was to keep him conscious.”
It took emergency workers more than an hour to extract Drew from the wreckage. He remembers it all but the impact – the sound of the roof being sawed off, the EMTs pulling him out, the pain and the fear.
“I said, ‘Dad, I’m going to die right now,’ ” he recalled. “And he said, ‘No, you’re not.’ ”
“It was a scary time,” said David, 44. “Maybe the worst moment of my life.”
“I knew it was bad,” added Angie, her voice quivering. “I honestly thought I had lost my child.”
The fog and rain meant Drew couldn’t be transported to medical help by helicopter. Instead, he was put in an ambulance with two paramedics while a firefighter drove the nearly hour-long ride to Greenville Memorial Hospital.
The Rices followed behind, praying he’d survive.
At Memorial, Dr. Eugene M. Langan III, program director of vascular surgery, decided to repair Drew’s aorta endoscopically rather than through conventional surgery.
So instead of making an incision across the whole left side of his chest and going through the ribs to clamp off the aorta, he threaded a catheter from the femoral artery in his groin to his chest, similar to angioplasty. And through it, he deployed a compressed Gore-Tex and nickel stent graft which expanded to the size of a garden hose inside the aorta.
Repairing the injury this way reduces the risks associated with open surgery, which can include heart attack, paralysis, loss of a leg, infection and death, Langan said.
“The biggest risk is if it ruptures during trauma,” he said. “If you survive, it can be repaired. The question is when to fix it and how.”
Drew spent three weeks in the hospital, during which his legs and elbow also were repaired. And in September, he returned to have surgery on the heart valve.
Again, instead of a major incision and sawing through the breast bone, Davis, chief of cardiothoracic surgery, made a 2-inch incision to effect repairs, reducing complications and trimming recovery time from months to weeks.
“He had two major cardiovascular operations through a minimally-invasive approach that would typically require a large chest incision, going through the sternum, and maybe being placed on a heart-lung machine,” said Davis, noting GHS performed about 170 such operations in the past two years. “It’s been great to see how well Drew is doing.”
Between recuperating and rehab, Drew missed the last half of the school year. But he managed to catch up, using his own valve surgery for his senior project, which included a report, models of the heart, and even a video of his surgery courtesy of Davis. It earned him an A.
After eight surgeries, he graduates from Clinton High with an eye on studying graphic art.
“I wouldn’t wish this on anybody,” he said. “But it makes you realize how much you have and how precious life is.”
“Fourteen months ago, I would have never thought we are at the point that we are,” said Angie, 43. “He had the best attitude and has shown so much strength and determination.”
When Drew first started to drive again, the Rices were understandably anxious. To ease their fears, he suggested that at least initially, a parent or other adult ride with him. That was something they could live with.
But Drew, who turns 18 Monday, admits he still talks on the phone while driving, though he pulls over to text.
“Talking on the phone, I think that’s a lot less distracting because you’re not actually looking at the phone,” he said. “But if mama sees me on the phone at all, that’s a no-no.”
The Rices are relieved things went so well, but they still call Drew and his older brother, Michael, 22, whenever they hear a siren.
“We feel blessed more than anything,” said his dad. “If you saw a picture of the truck, you’d say there was no way somebody survived that.”