HCN News & Notes

Institute for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Opens at Holyoke Medical Center

HOLYOKE — Holyoke Medical Center has expanded services to open the Institute for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery, led by Dr. Frederik Pennings, an internationally recognized expert in minimally invasive spine surgery.

“We are excited to announce the opening of the new Institute for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery, under the renowned leadership of Dr. Pennings,” said Spiros Hatiras, president and CEO of Holyoke Medical Center. “His expertise will allow us to provide patients throughout the region and beyond with the high-quality medical care they need.”

Pennings is the only fellowship-trained spine neurosurgeon in the area. He has more than 25 years of training and experience in neurosurgery, with a background that includes multifaceted training, various leadership positions, professional recognition, clinical education, technology development, and published research. Prior to Holyoke Medical Center, he established the Minimally Invasive Spine Center of New England and the minimally invasive spine surgery program at UMass Memorial Medical Center.

Also joining the Institute for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery is Michael Bennett, a neurosurgery physician assistant for more than 20 years. He brings a wealth of clinical experience to the diagnosis, treatment, and recovery of spine-surgery patients, while also assisting on advanced procedures. Bennett has been part of Pennings’ team for 13 years.

The experienced spine-surgery team is able to tailor treatments using patient-centered, evidence-based, multi-disciplinary care with either traditional open-spine surgery or minimally invasive techniques. However, minimally invasive options generally offer important advantages over traditional procedures.

“Minimally invasive spine surgery approaches the spine through much smaller incisions than in an open procedure,” Pennings explained. “It is less traumatic to tissues, so most patients recover more quickly, with less blood loss and lower risk of infection.”

Common conditions that may warrant minimally invasive spine surgery include spinal stenosis, scoliosis, lumbar spondylolisthesis, cervical and lumbar disc herniation, and sacroiliac joint pathology.

The new Institute for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery at Holyoke Medical Center is located at 10 Hospital Dr., Suite 101, Holyoke. To learn more or make an appointment, call (413) 535-4860.