From Cleveland Clinic to SGMC, Dr. Hardy brings new vascular capabilities to South Georgia
Dr. David Hardy, vascular surgeon at South Georgia Medical Center, has only been in Georgia for a few months and is already expanding access to vascular and surgical interventions available to patients throughout the region.
Dr. Hardy comes to Valdosta from Cleveland Clinic where he practiced for the last three years. But he’s no stranger to Georgia, he grew up in the peach state and received his medical degree and served his residency, post-doctoral fellowship, surgical internship and surgical residency at the Medical College of Georgia. Dr. Hardy then completed his subspecialty training with a fellowship in vascular and endovascular surgery at Cleveland Clinic.
Dr. Hardy recently performed South Georgia’s first TransCarotid Artery Revascularization (TCAR). TCAR is a clinically proven, minimally invasive and safe approach for treatment of carotid artery disease and prevention of 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.
Another fascinating surgery that’s now being performed at SGMC is the anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF). This surgery requires a neurosurgeon and a vascular surgeon. SGMC neurosurgeon Dr. Kimberly Mackey has already performed seven ALIF surgeries since Dr. Hardy’s arrival.
ALIF is a spine surgery that involves approaching the spine from the front of the body to remove all or part of a herniated disc from in between two adjacent vertebrae in the lower back, then fusing or joining together, the vertebrae on either side of the remaining disc space using bone graft or a bone graft substitute.
According to Dr. Mackey, “The ALIF approach is advantageous in that, unlike the posterolateral approaches, the back muscles remain undisturbed.”
Another advantage is that placing the bone graft in the front of the spine places it in compression, and bone in compression tends to fuse better.
A much larger implant can be inserted through an anterior approach, and this provides for better initial stability of the fusion construct.
According to SGMC Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brian Dawson, SGMC is committed to being the region’s destination for specialty care that can’t be responsibly performed elsewhere. “We are organizing a team of the very best physicians, which include both Dr. Hardy and Dr. Mackey, and as a result we continue to see expanded capabilities and enhanced patient outcomes.”
“My favorite part of the job is taking care of patients,” said Dr. Hardy. “I consider it a privilege to be able to build relationships with my patients and treat their chronic medical problems to ultimately help them enjoy a better quality of life.”
Dr. Hardy says he is excited to be back in Georgia and at SGMC. “The people here are phenomenal and the facilities are state-of-the-art— it just feels right,” he shared. SGMC has the area’s only hybrid operating room in South Georgia.
Hybrid operating rooms combine the most advanced operating room and medical imaging technology, which is especially helpful in treating patients with complex aneurysms, circulatory issues in the lower extremities and carotid artery disease—situations where expert imaging is beneficial.
As a vascular surgeon, Dr. Hardy performs aorta surgery, including re-operations and high-risk re-operations; aneurysm repair, including minimally invasive and open aortic aneurysm repair and visceral aneurysm surgery; minimally invasive and open surgery for peripheral arterial disease (PAD); aortic dissections; dialysis access; treatment for carotid artery disease; thoracic outlet syndrome; iliac and vena cava management; and spine access.
Dr. Hardy is married with three children and enjoys watching his children compete in their swimming events.
To learn more, visit sgmc.org.