FROM CLEVELAND CLINIC TO SGMC

Dr. David Hardy bringsnew vascular capabilitiesto South Georgia

Dr. David Hardy, vascular surgeon at South GeorgiaMedical Center, has only been in Georgia for a fewmonths and is already expanding access to vascular andsurgical interventions available to patients throughoutthe region. 

Dr. Hardy comes to Valdosta from Cleveland Clinic wherehe practiced for the last three years. But he’s nostranger to Georgia, he grew up in the peach state andreceived his medical degree and served his residency,post-doctoral fellowship, surgical internship and surgicalresidency at the Medical College of Georgia. Dr. Hardythen completed his subspecialty training with afellowship in vascular and endovascular surgery atCleveland Clinic. 

Dr. Hardy recently performed South Georgia’s firstTransCarotid Artery Revascularization (TCAR). TCAR is aclinically proven, minimally invasive and safe approachfor treatment of carotid artery disease and preventionof stroke, especially for high surgical risk patients. 

Carotid artery disease is a buildup of plaque in the two main arteries in the neck that supply oxygen-rich blood to the brain. If left untreated, carotid artery disease can often lead to stroke; it is estimated to be the source of stroke in up to a third of cases, with 427,000 new diagnoses of the disease made every year in the U.S. alone. 

“TCAR is an important new option in the fight against stroke, and is particularly suited for patients we see in our region who are at higher risk of complications from carotid surgery due to age, anatomy, or other medical conditions,” said Dr. Hardy. 

TCAR is unique in that blood flow is temporarily reversed during the procedure so that any small bits of plaque that may break off are diverted away from the brain, preventing a stroke from happening. A stent is then placed inside the artery to stabilize the plaque, minimizing the risk of a future stroke. 

This is just one of many unique procedures Dr. Hardy’s expertise brings to the operating table. 

A NEW APPROACH TO SPINE SURGERY

Another fascinating surgery that’snow being performed at SGMC isthe anterior lumbar interbody fusion(ALIF). This surgery requires aneurosurgeon and a vascularsurgeon. SGMC neurosurgeon Dr.Kimberly Mackey has alreadyperformed seven ALIF surgeriessince Dr. Hardy’s arrival. 

ALIF is a spine surgery that involvesapproaching the spine from thefront of the body to remove all orpart of a herniated disc from inbetween two adjacent vertebrae inthe lower back, then fusing orjoining together, the vertebrae oneither side of the remaining discspace using bone graft or a bonegraft substitute. 

According to Dr. Mackey, “TheALIF approach is advantageous inthat, unlike the posterolateralapproaches, the back musclesremain undisturbed.”

Another advantage is that placingthe bone graft in the front of thespine places it in compression, andbone in compression tends to fusebetter. 

A much larger implant can beinserted through an anteriorapproach, and this provides forbetter initial stability of the fusionconstruct. 

According to SGMC Chief Medical Officer Dr. BrianDawson, SGMC is committed to being the region’sdestination for specialty care that can’t beresponsibly performed elsewhere. “We areorganizing a team of the very best physicians,which include both Dr. Hardy and Dr. Mackey, and asa result we continue to see expanded capabilitiesand enhanced patient outcomes.” 

“My favorite part of the job is taking care ofpatients,” said Dr. Hardy. “I consider it a privilege tobe able to build relationships with my patients andtreat their chronic medical problems to ultimatelyhelp them enjoy a better quality of life.” 

Dr. Hardy says he is excited to be back in Georgiaand at SGMC. “The people here are phenomenal andthe facilities are state-of-the-art— it just feelsright,” he shared. SGMC has the area’s only hybridoperating room in South Georgia. 

Hybrid operating rooms combine the mostadvanced operating room and medical imagingtechnology, which is especially helpful in treatingpatients with complex aneurysms, circulatoryissues in the lower extremities and carotid arterydisease—situations where expert imaging isbeneficial.

As a vascular surgeon, Dr. Hardy performs aortasurgery, including re-operations and high-risk re-operations; aneurysm repair, including minimallyinvasive and open aortic aneurysm repair andvisceral aneurysm surgery; minimally invasive andopen surgery for peripheral arterial disease (PAD);aortic dissections; dialysis access; treatment forcarotid artery disease; thoracic outlet syndrome;iliac and vena cava management; and spine access.

Dr. Hardy is married with three children and enjoyswatching his children compete in their swimmingevents. 

To learn more, visit sgmc.org. 

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