Wooridul Spine Hospital aids the people of the world with Spirit of Love and human respect
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Wooridul Spine Hospital aids the people of the world with Spirit of Love and human respect
  • Lee Kyung-sik
  • 승인 2020.08.24 15:42
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States Chairman Lee Sang-Ho at an exclusive interview with 'The Korea Post'

By Publisher Lee Kyung-sik with Editor Ms. Joy Cho, Reporter Kim Ka-hee

The United Arab Emirates is a very special country to Chairman Dr. Lee Sang-ho of the Wooridul Spine Hospital in Seoul, who has an extensive number of member hospitals in Korea, the UAE and in many other parts and countries of the world.
Chairman Lee had a special regard and affection for the UAE. He said, “And I am thinking that it might be a good idea to invite young students from the UAE to learn and work at good hospitals, medical research institutes, medical equipment producers, pharmaceutical companies, and various other medicine-related organizations in Korea.” 

 

Chairman Dr. Lee Sang-ho of the Wooridul Spine Hospital in Seoul
Chairman Dr. Lee Sang-ho of the Wooridul Spine Hospital in Seoul

Details of the interview follow:

Question: The Korea Post publishes an extensive Special Report in its August issue. We understand that Wooridul Spine Hospital is well known in the UAE. What is your impression of the people and the country?
Answer: 
Mubadala, an Abu Dhabi national investment company founded by the UAE government, has started a project to build several hospitals in the UAE, including the Cleveland University Hospital, in cooperation with renowned foreign hospitals to improve medical welfare for its citizens. In 2008, Mubadala visited Wooridul Spine Hospital in Korea and began cooperation in 2011. Currently, four Korean doctors, four nurses, four physical therapists, and one administrative staff are working here. There are a total of 40 local employees related to the Wooridul Spine Center, and local employees are managed through systematic education.

The UAE is known as an Islamic country. However, the UAE is a wide-open country friendly to all the countries of the world. I would say that the UAE is a ‘Melting Pot’ of all the ethnically different peoples living together in all but complete harmony, and all working together.
When we entered the UAE first, we all had a substantial measure of concern and reservation commonly shared by people. However, very soon, we all found this to be an unnecessary preconception.

In particular, the people in the UAE, like Koreans, family-oriented. They have respect for the elders and like to mingle with people, just like Koreans, possessing traditions and values which compare favorably with those of the Korean people.
Many UAE citizens have visited Korea with varying purposes and reasons, which include education, tourism, medical cooperation, and although cultural exchanges such as performance by Korea’s popular K-Pop members.
Frequently at our hospitals in the UAE, we find some visitors saying, “Gamsa Hamnida” (“Thank you!”).
In the past, the medical infrastructure in the UAE is known to have been not overly sufficient and we find reports that many UAE patients went abroad for medical treatment and attention. However, such a number of patents on the decrease thanks to the government policies in the UAE to improve medical facilities and infrastructure.
I would say that there still are good prospects in the UAE for hospitals specializing in certain areas and fields.

 

Chairman Dr. Lee Sang-ho (right) of the Wooridul Spine Hospital interview by 'The Korea Post' media Vice-Chairperson Joy Cho.
Chairman Dr. Lee Sang-ho (right) of the Wooridul Spine Hospital interview by 'The Korea Post' media Vice-Chairperson Joy Cho.

The UAE is a relatively young country in the world with her history not by far exceeding half a century and in this spare education is among the top priority areas in the country.
And I am thinking that it might be a good idea to invite young students from the UAE to learn and work at good hospitals, medical research institutes, medical equipment producers, pharmaceutical companies, and various other medicine-related organizations in Korea.
After they return to their country, they would surely contribute to the development and expansion of relations, cooperation and friendship between the two countries in the area of medicine and various other spheres, including economic partnership. 
Recently, Korea’s timely detection of COVID-19 cases and their treatment, as well as preventive measures, is considerably receiving the limelight of the world. I would say that he is still another area where we can promote cooperation with the UAE.

 

The following is an interview with Dr. Chanshik Shim, the current head of the hospital at the Dubai & Abu Dhabi Wooridul Spine Centre:

Dr. Chanshik Shim, the current head of the hospital at the Dubai & Abu Dhabi Wooridul Spine Centre
Dr. Chanshik Shim, the current head of the hospital at the Dubai & Abu Dhabi Wooridul Spine Centre

Q: What are the areas on which your hospital concentrates efforts? Please elaborate on the topic.

A: Our hospital is widely known not only in Korea but in many parts of the world for our Minimally Invasive Treatment System. We applied and use our treatment system for spine patients in the UAE. The local patients developed a very high opinion for our treatment method and we became very well-known in country four of our achievement and dedication.

Q: Have you ever met with the Crown Prince of the UAE? If you have, what are your impressions of him?
A:
Yes, I have. I got the impression that His Royal Highness was a person of rare warmth. It was just like meeting with a warm-hearted plain person like your neighbor. His Royal Highness appeared to be a person of great warmth.

Wooridul Spine Centre in Dubai
Wooridul Spine Centre in Dubai

Q: Do you have any recommendations/suggestions useful in the promotion of cooperation in the medical/health areas between the two countries?
A:
Export of medical service is handled by the Ministry of Health and Welfare in Korea.
In doing this, I would say that it is very important for Korea to try to fully understand the existing situation and conditions in the country.
For instance, the UAE authorities seem to be trying to improve and expand their own medical infrastructure to reduce the number and range of UAE citizens having to go abroad for medical treatment and attention.
What we in Korea should do at this juncture and try to do to meet the situation in the UAE would be to try to actively participate to cooperate with the UAE in her effort to expand her medical infrastructure. We should try to meet the wishes and requirements of the UAE in the direction of the UAE policies wishing to successfully treat the patients in the country.
The medical system in the different Emirates of the UAE differs from one another and without a proper study of the existing conditions and circumstances in each Emirate successful local settlement is not so easy. This is the reason why some of the Korean hospitals that had entered the UAE failed to continue their operation and business but left the country.
If the Korean hospitals try to induce as many UAE patients to be treated in Korea instead of the UAE this can also be a reason for an unsuccessful result.
The best idea is to try to treat the patients in the UAE as much as possible and then when it is really impossible to treat them in the UAE, then evacuation to Korea for treatment could be considered.
One such area is the treatment of cancer patients. Korea has better means of treatment for cancer patients. It might be a good idea to try to find patients in the UAE who cannot be cured in the country and try to seek ways to treat them in Korea.

 

Photo shows Dr. Junseok Bae performing a Posterolateral Endoscopic Thoracic Decompression
Photo shows Dr. Junseok Bae performing a Posterolateral Endoscopic Thoracic Decompression

Q: Please present supplementary information on the details which our questionnaire might have left out.
A:
I would say that it is sheer pride for Korea that in the UAE Korean medical service is rated even more highly than that offered by many other countries, including the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, and other countries including Singapore.
We are proud that we are rated as one of the 25 hospitals of the world rated to top in the area of high-tech medical technology.


There are four main reasons providing for ground and justification for the establishment of the Wooridul Spine Hospital in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. They are:
1. Bloodless spinal surgery, minimally invasive spinal surgery
2. Successful second/supplementary operation
3. Minimalism: Early return to work. For example, a patient comes to us on Friday, gets operation on Saturday, and goes back to his/her country on Sunday. Then he/she starts working on Monday.
When former President Lee Myung-bak was incumbent in Korea, then one the ministers of energy had his waist problem cured at our hospital, from which he had suffered for 20 years. The minister was cured in one day, over which many people then praised it as “a miracle.”
4. We are also well known for such rare services as endoscopic laser treatment, multiple spinal stenosis, ligament reconstruction. (Chairman Lee of the Wooridul Spine Hospital does not mention it but it is learned that many ambassadors in Korea have also visited his hospital and had their problems solved at the hospital.)

 

Six times selected as one of the world's top 10 hospitals
Six times selected as one of the world's top 10 hospitals

Details of Wooridul Spine Hospital:
Wooridul Spine Hospital has focused on spine treatment for over the past three decades after it was first established in Busan in 1982. Woori has grown as a hospital that has captured the world’s attention and met the expectations of patients from all parts of the world as well as from within Korea. 
Wooridul Spine Hospital currently manages 9 hospitals which are located 3 in Seoul, 2 in Busan, one in Daegu, two 2 in Gwangju, and one in Jeonju in Korea. 
Shanghai Wooridul Spine Hospital started in 2009, Wooridul Spine Center in Jakarta, Indonesia in 2010, Wooridul Spine Centre in Dubai, UAE, and Wooridul Turkey Spine Center in Istanbul, Turkey were both added in 2011. Based on its “Patient First” philosophy, Wooridul Spine Hospital has investigated and developed an advanced spinal surgical technique, the Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery (MISS), that preserves as much of the normal disc tissues as possible and meets patients’ expectations for minimal scarring and fast recovery with reduced complications. 

 

Chairman Sang Ho-Lee of Wooridul Spine Hospital has won “The Parviz Kambin Award Gold”
Chairman Sang Ho-Lee of Wooridul Spine Hospital has won “The Parviz Kambin Award Gold”

These results were achieved by the integrated cooperation of a multi-disciplinary team including neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons, internal medicine physicians, rehabilitation physicians, and thoracic and general surgeons. 
This integrated team, in addition to over 1,200 employees of Wooridul Spine Hospital, has contributed to the health and welfare of the patients around the world. As a world-leading spine hospital, Wooridul Spine Hospital vows that it will continue to do its best to give patients hope and a better quality of life.
 

Wooridul Spine Hospital Medical Tourism World Top 10 Hospital Selection :
"It is significant that we have been certified as the world's best international hospital through a non-profit international organization composed of experts from various levels," said Lee Sang-ho, president of Wooridul Spine Hospital. "In most cases, overseas patients cannot solve spinal diseases in their own countries, so they often look for papers or visit our hospitals with the introduction of their doctor, which shows that there are many patients who move beyond accessibility to find a high level of medicine." So far, 15,330 foreign patients have visited Wooridul Spine Hospital in 130 countries.
Wooridul Spine Hospital was recently selected as one of the top 10 Medical Tourism Destinations in the World 2018 by the International Medical Tourism Association (MTA), the hospital said on the 8th.
The report was published in the latest issue of "Medical Tourism," a magazine published by MTA.
It is the second time since 2008 that Wooridul Spine Hospital has been named one of the top 10 hospitals in the U.S. by the MTA. He also won four gold medals at the "Top 10 Hospitals in the World" selected by the U.S. MTUA. In 2015, it was selected as one of the top 30 high-tech hospitals in the U.S. by Top MH and was on par with world-class hospitals such as Johns Hopkins Hospital, Mayo Clinic and Cleveland Clinic in the U.S.
 

Team Surgery Minimizes Risk of Spine Revision Surgery:
As the number of elderly population increases due to the increase in average life expectancy, the prevalence of degenerative diseases is also increasing. Spine disease is one of the most common diseases among the elderly. There is a steep increase in the number of people who are considering spinal surgery, and those who are actually undergoing surgery. The number of patients who underwent spinal surgery to visit hospitals again due to aftereffects has also increased over the years.
It is not hard to imagine how much frustration you will feel when your big-hearted back surgery is wrong and you are not satisfied with your new surgery. That's why you have to decide much more carefully than the first time when you need a re-surgery. What should be the top priority in revision surgery operations?
Spinal disc disease is the most frequent condition during spinal surgery. revision surgery of the disc accounts for more than 50 percent of the total. Next is the order of about 30% spinal canal stenosis, about 15% spondylosis, and about 5% spondylosis.
The main reason for the increase in the number of spinal re-surgery is the aftereffects or complications caused by premature spinal surgery. Spinal diseases are often caused by a combination of causes. Therefore, it is easy to cause aftereffects and side effects if the patient is busy treating pain without knowing the exact cause of the surgery.

Motto of Wooridul Spine Hospital:
On the spirit of love and human respect, Wooridul aids the people of the world by minimally invasive spinal surgery and techniques, (MISST) to lead a normal or better quality of life.
Wooridul vow to treat patients with love, compassion, and trust, developing a global network and Wooridul families system together
Based upon care built on the spirit of love and human respect, Wooridul Spine Hospital aids the people of the world by minimizing pain, affliction, and paralysis through an accurate spinal diagnosis which enables them to lead normal lives.

 

Every Friday morning, Chairman Dr. Lee Sang-ho (behind mike, foreground) shares the latest information of Wooridul Spine Hospital with doctors through the form of the teleconference.
Every Friday morning, Chairman Dr. Lee Sang-ho (behind mike, foreground) shares the latest information of Wooridul Spine Hospital with doctors through the form of the teleconference.

Five steps of confirmation for an accurate diagnosis:
Accurate diagnosis is essential before making a decision for surgery. Wooridul accomplishes a high rate of success in treatment with a five-times confirmation system, as follows:
1st step: Patient's symptom, diagnosis and X-ray exam (success rate 50%)
2nd step: MRI examination (success rate 60%), including soft tissue, disc, and nerve
3rd step: CT exam (success rate 70%), vertebra, ligament calcification, spinal joint
4th step: Non-invasive myelogram MR exam (success rate 80%), neurography
5th step: Spinal nerve function test (more than 90%)
- Injection therapy
- DITI (Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging)
- Provocation discography
- EMG (electromyography)
- Medx, Centaur test
- 3-dimensional motion analysis
- Spinal mouse

The number of patients across in the Middle of East, UAE, Africa treated at Wooridul Spine Hospital in the UAE is close to 16,000 each year, with some 500 of them undergoing surgery. 
The world is rapidly changing and medical technology is evolving. As the UAE is being built as a medical center linking the Middle East and Africa to Europe-Asia-Africa, we have no choice but to deploy Dr. Lee Sang-ho of our hospital on the front line.

Patients treated through our hospital admire the miraculous results, and Dr. Lee Sang-ho attributes the honor to God's gift of spinal medicine.
Dr. Lee Sang-ho said, "No matter how many patients I operate on my own, I can do more than 1,000 patients a year. But I thought I could benefit more patients if I shared it with other doctors," he said, adding that he has not monopolized differentiated minimally invasive treatments but has been passed on to doctors around the world.
Also, in the operating room with the disciples, I still supervise the patients and treat them as if they were my body and my family.
 

Wooridul Spine Hospital in Abu Dhabi
Wooridul Spine Hospital in Abu Dhabi

Case 1 treatment: Former President Lee Myung-bak, then one of the ministers of energy is proving the truth, such as a miracle, after receiving treatment for back pain that had suffered from chronic illness for 20 years at the Wooridul Spine hospital and returning within a day.

Case 2 treatment: Surgery of the Madam of the former Israeli Ambassador to Korea and an anecdote of former South African Ambassador to Korea Stephanus J. Scumann.

Before He visited Wooridul Spine Hospital, he had surgery on his back in another country, but the pain recurred to the point where he couldn't live a normal life. When he was suffering from pain, he met Dr. Lee Sang-ho of Korea. After hearing the explanation of minimally invasive methods with fewer aftereffects, he underwent surgery at Wooridul Spine Hospital and now freely leads his daily life. Some of the patients wanted to thank Dr. Lee Sang-ho for changing one’s life like this. At the Chosun Hotel, where chefs can cook crocodile meat in South Africa is located, some ambassadors from 30 countries were invited, and Dr. Lee Sang-ho was invited to dinner. Stephanus J. Skumann volunteered as ambassador to South Africa, number one ambassador to Abu Dhabi, and ambassador to Wooridul Spine Hospital.
Through his connection with the Dubai Spine Center, he provided an opportunity for patients from the United Arab Emirates and South Africa to fly to Wooridul Spine Hospital in Abu Dhabi.

Case 3 treatment: Madame An, who works as a curator of Paik Nam-june Artist at the Chicago Museum, has been cured of chronic back pain for more than 20 years after receiving treatment by Dr. Lee Sang-ho overnight, just like One Night Miracle.

Case 4 treatment: A British employee of the United Arab Emirates Airlines, a Pilot, who was unable to walk in a wheelchair due to a neck disc, came to our hospital and had surgery, but the paralysis was lifted and he was able to miraculously walk the next day. There is a story that made him a doctor for the United Arab Emirates.

 

The "MISS Course" education program, which has been operated by Wooridul Spine Hospital since 2004, recently marked its 100th anniversary. In commemoration of this, "Our Hospital Alumni," who went through a MISS Course process, hold a symposium and shout fighting.
The "MISS Course" education program, which has been operated by Wooridul Spine Hospital since 2004, recently marked its 100th anniversary. In commemoration of this, "Our Hospital Alumni," who went through a MISS Course process, hold a symposium and shout fighting.

※ MISS Course: Minimally Invasive Spinal Surgery Course
"MISS Course is a popular program for vertebrates around the world. The MISS course, which was opened in 2004 by Lee Sang-ho, chairman of Wooridul Spine Hospital, has been operated for 16 years, is a specialized curriculum only for our hospitals that intensively trains "minimum, invasive, and spinal treatments."
So far, more than 500 foreign doctors have completed the course in 41 countries, and 850 foreign doctors have been trained in 46 countries, including fellowships and short-term surgical visits.

 

Wooridul Spine Hospital in Seoul
Wooridul Spine Hospital in Seoul

There are 356 SCI-level papers published by Wooridul Spine Hospital until recently, and a total of 760 papers. Such research results are the highest in the nation's spinal hospitals as well as university hospitals, and the world's No. 1 paper on endoscopic spinal surgery with the largest number of presentations was recently published in the global medical journal European Spine Journal.
Also, spinal surgery at our hospital has been published in medical textbooks in advanced countries such as the United States, Britain, Germany, and France. So far, more than 31 (206 paper) medical books have been written by our hospital.

 

A high-level revision surgery team
A high-level revision surgery team


Biographical data of Chairman Lee:
· Spine attending physician of the President of the Republic of Korea
· Selected as MTQUA "Top 10 Medical Hospitals" and "Top MHA selection "30 most advanced medical technology in the world" the president of Wooridul Spine hospital
· Fellowship at the Royal College of Anaesthetists (FRCA)
· Selected Awards and Honors of International Society for Minimal Intervention in Spinal Surgery (ISMISS)
· Founder & Honorary President of World Congress of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery and Techniques (WCMISST)
· Fellow of the American Board of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery (FABMISS)

 

Dr. Lee Sang-ho briefing foreign doctors who took part in a Minimally Invasive Spinal Surgery Course.
Dr. Lee Sang-ho briefing foreign doctors who took part in a Minimally Invasive Spinal Surgery Course.

Titles:
· Chairman of Wooridul Spine Hospital, Korea
· Previous spine attending physician of president 
· Selected as MTQUA "Top 10 Medical Hospitals", "Top MHA selection", "30 most advanced medical technology in the world" the president of Wooridul hospital
· Fellowship of the Royal College of Anaesthetists (FRCA)
· Selected Awards and Honors of International Society for Minimal Intervention in Spinal Surgery (ISMISS)
· Founder & Honorary President of World Congress of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery and Techniques (WCMISST)
· Fellow of the American Board of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery (FABMISS)

Education:
Master and Ph.D.: Neurosurgery Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea 1976-1985
M.D: Neurosurgery Pusan National University College of Medicine, Pusan, Korea 1968-1975
Intern & Resident: Dept of Neurosurgery, National Medical Center, Seoul Korea 1975-1980
Korea, Army Major at the Neurosurgery Department in103 Field Hospital 1980-1981
Clinical Fellow: UFR Biomedicale Laboratoire D'anatomie, Academie de Paris Universite Rene Descartes Paris France 1985-1986

 

A surgical team of spine doctors shares knowledge and experience with one another even when the patient to be operated on is only one person.
A surgical team of spine doctors shares knowledge and experience with one another even when the patient to be operated on is only one person.

Awards:
2019: 'The Parviz Kambin Award Gold'
2015: ‘The Parviz Kambin Award'
2011: The 8th ‘Korean-German spoonful Management Award’
2009: ‘Royal Society for Surgery Lifetime Achievement Award’
2007: ‘Republic of Korea business leaders 大賞 R & D Management Division Award’
2003: 'The Grand Master of the Year' by the International Minimally Invasive Surgery Society (ISMISS)
1996: Excellent thesis on International Musculoskeletal Laser Society (IMLAS)

Academic appointments:
Clinical Professor, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Dept. of Anatomy
Clinical Professor, Dong-A University College of Medicine, Dept. of Neurosurgery
Clinical Professor, Pusan National University School of Medicine, Dept. of Medicine

Professional membership:
Founder & Honorary President of World Congress of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery and Techniques (WCMISST)
President of Intl. Society for Minimal Intervention in Spinal Surgery (ISMISS); 2011~2014
Honorary President of International Intradiscal Therapy Society (IITS)
International Member of American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS)
Active Member of North American Spine Society (NASS)
Fellow of the American Board of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery (FABMISS)
Adviser of The Korean Spine Pain Society:2017.11.1~2019.10.31

Textbooks:
'The Practice of Minimal Invasive Spinal Technique' (US, 2005)
'Endoscopic Spine Procedures' (US, 2011)
'Endoscopic Spinal Surgey' (UK, 2013)
'Endoscopic Spine Surgery-2nd Edition' (US, 2018)
'Minimally Invasive Spinal Surgey' (U.K., 2018)
"Minimally Invasive Thoracic Spine Surgey" (U.S. to be published in October 2020)


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