Patient guided successfully through three surgeries in eight months


When Larry W. checked in for his spine surgery, he was hopeful it would be his last. This would be Larry's third surgery in eight months: spine surgery, a total hip replacement and prostate surgery. He also had a previous surgery to his lower back in 2010.

When Larry was diagnosed with arthritis in his mid-fifties, he never dreamed that twenty years later he would require multiple surgeries, due in part to the arthritis.

Larry's primary care physician, Gordon Gillespie, MD, guided him through the necessary testing, procedures and specialist selections for his surgeries. Local specialists were chosen, and all of his surgeries took place at Salem Hospital. "I had great faith in my doctor prior to this experience, but now I have even greater faith in him," said Larry.

In June of 2012, Larry had his most recent surgery at Salem Hospital through the Salem Spine Center. "I had a herniated disc in my L5 that had wedged against the nerves in my spine," said Larry. "Numbing went down into my left foot and toes."

Larry's physician referred him to neurosurgeon Magdalena Banasiak, MD. According to Larry, Dr. Banasiak was very concerned about the nerve dying if it wasn't addressed soon. "She took charge and very quickly after her diagnosis, I had my surgery through the Salem Spine Center. I felt like Dr. Banasiak and the team at the Spine Center really advocated in my best interest."

Days after his surgery, Larry felt 100 percent better. The numbness in his foot and toes was gone. He only had a little pain around the incision, which is expected until recovery is complete. According to Larry, "Dr. Banasiak was professional and empathetic. She went over my problems, treatment options and expectations. I really liked her. She was just excellent."

During that eight month window, Larry also had successful surgeries for an enlarged prostate and total hip replacement. Larry's left hip was bone on bone with arthritis and bone swelling in the joint.

His physician recommended having his total joint replacement surgery at Salem Hospital's Joint Center of Excellence. The Joint Center of Excellence is nationally recognized as a top provider for total joint replacement surgery and the first program to be certified in Oregon.

"I was very pleased with my experience there," said Larry. "My surgeon from Hope Orthopedics was great. I was up the next morning and released in two days."

Prior to Larry's surgeries, the hospital handled all the necessary blood tests, EKGs, MRIs and X-rays. "All I had to do was drop in," said Larry. "I didn't even have to wait more than ten minutes. It was a one-stop deal." 

Throughout the series of surgeries, the whole Salem Hospital staff was concerned with Larry's comfort level, his wife was allowed to stay in his room, and his anesthesiologists checked in with Larry after surgery.

"I am kind of a grumpy old man," said Larry "and I couldn't find one thing wrong with any part of the process or my care. The facilities were great, the care was great and the staff was wonderful. I feel comfortable knowing Salem Hospital and the people who work there would give me great care if I had to have three more surgeries."

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