On the eve of his scheduled second surgery, Dr. Robert B. Spitzer is confident he will not have a recurrence.
“I’m a great believer in life,” he said in a telephone interview, adding that he plans to avoid a repeat of the April surgery.
“There is no question I can handle this, because it’s such a relief.
I’ve been told, ‘You’ve got a long road ahead.'”
Spitzer, a longtime orthopedic surgeon, has performed more than 200,000 surgeries in his 20 years as an emergency surgeon at New York Presbyterian Hospital and the New York City Medical Center.
He said the surgery, scheduled for Oct. 6, was his first since the beginning of his medical career in 1985.
“We’ve been in a long-term crisis for decades,” Spitzer said.
“And so it’s important for us to be optimistic.”
Dr. Spitz has a history of recurrence, including three rounds of surgery for a stroke in the 1990s that required a bone graft.
The recurrence was treated with a bone marrow transplant.
He is the only orthopedist to have received such a transplant, he said.
A previous surgery to treat a stroke left him with a hole in his brain, and a bone-marrow transplant in 2003 caused an infection that forced him to retire from the practice.
Spiff is one of the rarest doctors in the United States, a rarity that has been exacerbated by the nation’s opioid crisis, the result of which has forced more than 6 million Americans to seek care.
In the past year, Spitzer has been treated for infections, heart attacks and brain tumors.
“A lot of times people will say, ‘Well, you’ve got the best heart, the best lungs,’ and you don’t,” he recalled.
“But I have to say, I’m the best of the best.”
The surgery is part of a broader push by Spitzer to expand the scope of his specialty.
He has been treating patients with stroke, heart attack and other conditions that are less common than other surgeries.
He also has been working with cancer patients, stroke survivors and others with other conditions.
Spiller has seen patients with a wide range of conditions, including multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, bipolar disorder, diabetes, Huntington’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder and more.
In some cases, he has treated patients with conditions such as cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
“The goal is to get to the point where we can do everything,” Spitz said.
Spiegel was first admitted to the practice in 1987.
Since then, he had been treating the nation, helping the medical system adapt to the explosion of care and the growing burden of chronic pain, as well as helping to educate doctors on the best treatments.
“It’s a pretty crazy job,” he told Reuters Health in 2015.
“If you’ve ever had an injury that left you physically and mentally unwell, you know what that means.”
He also said he has been “in a little bit of a coma” due to the drug withdrawal he experienced after the stroke, and he was “a little nervous.”
“I don’t know if I’ll ever let my crazy thoughts ‘earn’ me another day,” he added.
His success is largely attributed to his dedication to patients.
“Dr. Spikes care and dedication is what’s truly remarkable,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said in his annual State of the State address in 2017.
“He’s made sure every patient is treated fairly and fairly.”
He continued: “He takes on the daunting task of keeping the hospital’s doors open to new patients and patients with severe chronic pain.
He knows his patients, knows their pain and is willing to help them overcome it.”
In 2016, Spitz had surgery on his left hand to remove a tumor that had grown to a size of about a quarter-inch.
He was able to return to work after a few weeks, and was able, he told the New Yorker, to begin working again on his other hand.
“This is one big surgery,” Spikes said.
He believes he has recovered enough from the surgery that he will be able to resume practicing and working in the fall.
“My goal is going to be to get back in the field and do something else,” Spiders said.
But he added: “I know this: If I get hurt again, I’ll do it again.”
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons estimates that one-third of all surgeons who have been admitted to their specialties are out of practice.
Many have been forced to retire due to medical costs, such as inpatient care, or due to injury or other complications, the society said in 2016.
It also estimates that some 1.6 million U.S. workers have been unable to get a job.
Some surgeons have left their specialty for financial reasons.
“Most of us are struggling with a lot of things,” said Spitzer.