Pioneer in Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Techniques

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Meet Dr. Neel Anand

Dr. Neel Anand serves as Professor of Orthopedic Surgery and Director of the Cedars-Sinai Spine Center at the renowned Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Dr. Anand has dedicated his career to improving patient care through the advancement of new and better treatments and technology for spine surgery.

When the world’s leading spine surgeons began to explore less invasive techniques for their patients, Dr. Anand was one of the pioneers involved in developing and participating in FDA trials which would eventually lead to what is becoming the new standard of patient care. Dr. Anand and these other thought leaders and innovators believed that by sparing the muscle when accessing the spine that patients would have better outcomes. Minimally invasive spine surgery is not new anymore and research has proven that it is both safe and effective for patients. Over the last 15 years these minimally invasive procedures have gone through countless clinical research studies and the results have proven that patients who undergo minimally invasive spine surgery benefit over those patients who received open spine surgery, because these minimally invasive surgical approaches can be faster, safer and require less recovery time due to reduced trauma to the muscles and soft tissues surrounding the spine.

Some of these proven benefits are:

  • Better cosmetic results from smaller skin incisions
  • Less blood loss from surgery
  • Reduced risk of muscle damage since muscle sparing techniques are used
  • Reduced risk of infection
  • Less postoperative pain
  • Faster recover from surgery and less rehabilitation required
  • Reduced reliance on pain medications after surgery

Currently, all spine surgeons are taught how to perform spine surgery through traditional open spine surgery techniques. Open spine surgery generally consists of a 3 inch or longer incision that cuts through the muscles of the back to provide access to the spine. While open spine surgery makes it easier for the surgeon to perform the procedure, it is much more painful and difficult for the patient to recover.

While not every patient is a candidate for minimally invasive spine surgery, Dr. Anand will perform minimally invasive spine surgery on every patient who can benefit from a minimally invasive process while ensuring the safety and best possible outcome for that patient.

Dr. Anand is a member of several professional academic societies, including North American Spine Society (NASS), the Scoliosis Research Society (SRS), and he is currently on the Spine Program Committee for the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS).

Dr. Anand’s skill, knowledge and passion for advancing minimally invasive spine surgery for his patients has placed him as a world-wide leader who is sought after to share his knowledge and expertise with other spine surgeons at medical conferences and workshops around the world.

Dr. Anand is a heavily-published author, editor and presenter of articles, studies and poster/abstract presentations in prestigious academic journals, trade publications, textbook chapters and world-wide industry meetings with more than 500 such contributions to Spine, Journal of Spinal Disorders, Journal of Orthopedic Trauma and the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, among many others.

Dr. Anand is a section editor of Gray’s Anatomy 41st Edition and Gray’s Surgical Anatomy 1st Edition.

Dr. Anand earned his medical degree from the University of Bombay, Topiwala National Medical College in India. He completed orthopedic residencies at the University of Bombay, the Royal College of Surgeons of England in London, the Royal Liverpool University Hospital in Liverpool and at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine Orthopedic Program at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital in New York. Dr. Anand accomplished a reconstructive spinal surgery fellowship at the University of Florida Spinal Health Centers in Gainesville as well as a scoliosis fellowship and spinal trauma fellowship at the Hospital for Special Surgery at Cornell University in New York. He completed his surgical internship at New York Medical College, Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center.

Three men standing next to each other in a room.
A surgeon is performing surgery on an animal.

A Mentor for Future Spine Surgeons

In addition to his distinguished surgical and academic accomplishments, Dr. Anand has been pivotal in the education of new and experienced spine surgeons around the world.  Dr. Anand's perspective on the application of minimally invasive techniques provides unique insight into the future of spine surgery and patient care.  Dr. Anand served as Spine Fellowship Director at the Cedars-Sinai Institute for Spinal Disorders from 2005 to 2007.  He continued on as a faculty member for the fellowship through 2019.  In August 2019, Dr. Anand established the Comprehensive Minimally Invasive & Outpatient Spine Surgery Fellowship to provide a focused educational experience for surgeons interested in enhancing their minimally invasive spine surgery techniques.  Over the years, Dr. Anand has also visited many institutions as a Visiting Professor to inspire the next generation of spine surgeons.

Cedars-Sinai Institute for Spinal Disorders Fellows trained:

John K. Stokes, MD: 2001-2002
Paul C. Liu, MD: 2001-2002
Alan T. Villavicencio, MD: 2001-2002
F. Clifford Roberson, MD: 2001-2002
Darren Bergey, MD: 2002-2003
Mark Wolgin, MD: 2002-2003
Firooz Amjadi, MD: 2002-2003
Ali Abazari, MD: 2002-2003
Karin Swartz, MD: 2003-2004
Saad Khairi, MD: 2003-2004
Chris Lycette, MD: 2003-2004
Hamid Miraliakbar, MD: 2003-2004
S. Craig Meyer, MD: 2003-2004
Toki Oyelese, MD: 2004-2005
Khawar Siddique, MD: 2004-2005
John Hamilton, MD: 2004-2005
Hooman Melamed, MD: 2004-2005
Brian Perri, DO: 2004-2005
Anthony Hadden, MD: 2005-2006
Tooraj Gravori, MD: 2005-2006
Edward Rustamzadeh, MD: 2005-2006
Justin Paquette, MD: 2005-2006
Stepan Kasimian, MD: 2005-2006
Eli Baron, MD: 2006-2007
Kevin Ammar, MD: 2006-2007
Raman Rabbani, MD: 2006-2007
Richard Wupperman, MD: 2007-2008
Curt Freudenberger, MD: 2007-2008
Ty Thaiyananthan, MD: 2007-2008
Terrence Kim, MD: 2008-2009
Paul Salinas, MD: 2008-2009
J. Scott Schoeb, MD: 2008-2009
Stephen Scibelli, MD: 2009-2010
Kamal Woods, MD: 2009-2010
Thomas Phillips, MD: 2010-2011
Harvinder Bedi, MD: 2011-2012
M.Kamran Khan, DO: 2011-2012
Ali Shirzadi, MD: 2011-2012
Nicholas Slimack, MD: 2012-2013
Ashley Simela, MD: 2013-2014
Zeeshan Sardar, MD: 2014-2015
Andrea Simmonds, MD: 2014-2015
Justin Millard, MD: 2015-2016
Jason Cuellar, MD: 2015-2016
Victor Lo, MD: 2016-2017
Christopher Kong, MD: 2016-2017
Jared Ament, MD: 2016-2017
Saqib Hasan, MD: 2017-2018
Ajit Jada, MD: 2017-2018
Michael McGinity, MD: 2018-2019
Robert Ravinsky, MD: 2018-2019
Alisa Alayan, MD: 2018-2019

Comprehensive Minimally Invasive & Outpatient Spine Surgery Fellows trained:

Alisa Alayan, MD: August 2019-March 2020
Andrew Chung, DO: August 2020-February 2021
David Gendelberg, MD: February 2021-August 2021