Hartford HealthCare doctors perform 1st awake spinal fusion surgery in area

A back surgery patient says she has a whole new outlook on life after local doctors used a special procedure to alleviate her pain.
Doctors at Hartford HealthCare have performed the first awake spinal fusion surgery in New England.
Dr. Vijay Yanamadala performed the procedure on Oct. 1 at Saint Vincent's Medical Center in Bridgeport.
His patient was 82-year-old Edith Gooch, who suffered for years from a debilitating spine disability.
Due to a severe reaction to general anesthesia, she sought area specialists for an awake spine procedure.
She said she dealt with a lot of pain that is gone now.
"I couldn't get my groceries, no cooking. Basically just hanging out on the couch or the chair. So, I feel normal now," said Edith Gooch.
Doctors say they have many candidates for this surgery and may be performing many more of these in the years to come.
Doctors say they used limited anesthesia for the three-hour surgery and that Gooch was able to fully recover in a few weeks.