10 The Ramsay Way 2018 | 01
For Mr Nguyen, a 30-year-old factory work, the
loss of two fingers in a workplace injury was
devastating. Doctors were unable to repair
and reattach his fingers as they were beyond
However, with the collaboration of Westmead Private
specialist plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr Laith
Barnouti, prosthodontist Dr Zoe Potres and Southern Implants
– Mr Nguyen is due to receive finger implants, which will be
highly functional and provide a great cosmetic and functional
outcome. This will be the first time this procedure has taken
place in Australia.
The implants are made from pure titanium and have been
developed by Southern Implants, a manufacturer and
distributor of dental implants.
Titanium screws will be placed into the finger bone to
function in a similar way to natural bone root. The bone grows
onto the implants in a process called osseointegration. The
prosthetics are only made once sufficient healing has taken
place. An impression of the other hand finger will be taken as
a second stage procedure and an identical prosthetic finger
will be attached to the implants.
The development of the finger implant will be a major benefit
to finger and thumb amputees.
TAVI hope for
John Flynn Private
Hospital has become the
first hospital on the Gold
Coast and one of the
first Ramsay hospitals
to be accredited
to undertake TAVI
TAVI is a life-saving option
for patients suffering from
Severe Aortic Stenosis
and deemed too high risk for surgical aortic valve
replacement, or otherwise deemed inoperable.
John Flynn Private has been undertaking these
procedures and improving the quality of life for
countless patients for over 18 months, but from 1
November, the TAVI procedure became Medicare
rebatable meaning no out-of-pocket expenses for
eligible patients with private health insurance.
TAVI is a minimally invasive procedure where a new
aortic heart valve is placed into position via catheter
and will work immediately. The procedure takes
between 1 – 3 hours – sometimes without the need for
the patient to be fully asleep.
Hospital CEO Greg Jenke said: “We have had a number
of patient success stories whereby this procedure has
indeed saved the lives and vastly improved their health
as a result”.
Ground breaking surgery at
Westmead Private to replace
PINDARA ENT STARTS NEW
PHASE IN THE SEARCH FOR
SPINAL INJURY CURE
The TAVI heart valve
Dr Brent McMonagle
Dr Brent McMonagle, one of Pindara’s leading
ear, nose, throat, head and neck specialists is
continuing his involvement in finding effective
treatments for spinal injuries through the
collection of olfactory cells to be used in the
Olfactory Cell Transplantation Project.
Such is the promise of this research project; it was
recently backed by the Queensland State Government
with a funding grant of $5million in order to advance the
research into the next phase of testing.
Part of Dr McMonagle’s role in the next phases of the
Olfactory Cell Transplantation Project is to collect samples
of human olfactory epithelium from consenting patients
undergoing procedures in his rooms or at the Pindara Day
“I have found many of my patients are happy to be
involved in the research project and want to contribute to
developing a cure for spinal injury. It is a condition people
truly want to see a cure for,” Dr McMonagle said.
The tissue collected from these patients will be used in
the Olfactory Cell Transplantation Project, of which Dr
McMonagle is a chief investigator and which is led by
Griffith University Eskitis Institute researcher, Associate
Professor James St John.
Dr McMonagle became involved in the Olfactory Cell
Transplantation Project while completing his PhD at
Griffith University under Australian of the Year – Professor
Emeritus Alan Mackay-Sim, who lead the initial research
which enabled the next phase of the project to advance.
During his research Dr McMonagle developed protocols
for purifying and transplanting olfactory glia which he will
apply and further develop throughout the Olfactory Cell
The tissues retrieved by Dr McMonagle will be collected
and the cells extracted before being purified and
activated using natural growth factors. The cells will then
be used in numerous areas of testing and development
within the project, such as how to determine the best
ways to prepare the cells for transplantation, how best to
structure them for transplantation and in determining the
best surgical procedure for implantation.
Dr McMonagle’s commitment to research into finding and
developing effective treatments for spinal injury is further
supported by his position as Scientific Director of the
Perry Cross Spinal Research Foundation; an organisation
with the mission of finding a cure for paralysis. The Perry
Cross Foundation has been instrumental in gaining
support for the project and is committed to assisting its
advancement through clinical trials.