Inside the trauma OR; A conversation with Yale Medical Group orthopedic surgeon Dr. Michael P. Leslie, DO

Orthopedic Trauma Surgeon Michael P. Leslie, DO, knows firsthand the demands and intricacies of performing surgery in a Level 1 Trauma Center. He’s an Assistant Professor of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation with the Yale Medical Group, which is affiliated with Yale School of Medicine. Shedding Light caught up with Dr. Leslie to discuss his practice and how Enova LED surgical headlights impact his ability to perform surgery.

Shedding Light: What kind of injuries do you see most?

Dr. Leslie: I perform surgery on patients with multiple injuries, many of whom require post traumatic reconstruction. Such a patient could have injuries to the neck, chest, abdomen and extremities; I work with every bone in the body except the spine.

Shedding Light: What would you say has advanced the practice of Orthopaedic trauma surgery most?

Dr. Leslie: We have a better understanding of how to keep patients alive between the trauma scene and the trauma center. A patient is transported within minutes by helicopter support and a team of physicians is ready and waiting. The patient goes directly to the intensive care unit (ICU) to stabilize his bodily functions and to identify his specific injuries. Orthopaedic trauma surgery is invasive and requires the patient be as healthy as possible before undergoing surgery.

Shedding Light: How does lighting impact your ability to perform surgery?

Dr. Leslie:  Typically there are two lights in the OR but there can be two or three surgeons working on a trauma patient at the same time. Orthopaedic surgery requires us to move around the patient and the body cavities we access are deep. Lighting needs to be portable and extremely bright.

Shedding Light: What was your experience like using fiber optic headlights?

Dr. Leslie: Most surgeons use fiber optic headlights provided by the hospital. I found fiber optic headlights prohibitive for a couple of reasons. First, because we must move around the patient during surgery, fiber optic headlight cords can potentially contaminate the surgical field, though this doesn’t happen often. Second, the light from the fiber optic lights are not very bright. As an Orthopaedic surgeon, I need very bright, focused light. Plus, multiple people use the same fiber optic headlights at the hospital; I just didn’t think they were optimal for the kind of surgery I perform.

Shedding Light: How and why did you find Enova Illumination?

Dr. Leslie: One day the cord to my fiber optic headlight got stepped on. The accident jerked my head back and caused quite a bit of pain. That’s when I started looking for an alternative. I evaluated a number of headlights but I liked the Enova Iris D-200.

Shedding Light: What about the Iris D-200 LED surgical headlight do you like?

Dr. Leslie: The D-200 provides very bright, white light which helps when I’m working in deep cavities. It’s portable and lightweight. Plus, it is very comfortable and balanced front to back. That’s important because I wear a lead vest during surgery and that already puts extra weight on my neck and shoulders. While some battery packs heat up, the Enova battery pack doesn’t and a single charge has lasted 24 hours for me.

Shedding Light: How often do you use your Enova headlight?

Dr. Leslie: When I’m in surgery I’m using the D-200. I generally perform surgery four or five days each week and surgery can be scheduled from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm.

Shedding Light: Have you recommended Enova LED surgical headlights to your colleagues?

Dr. Leslie: As a matter of fact I have. Two of my partners use the Iris D-200 and another one is looking at Enova’s newest headlight, the Enova XLT-125. I don’t wear glasses during surgery or I might be interested in the XLT-125 because of its coaxial design.

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