Khalid M. Abbed, MD, is director of minimally invasive spine surgery for Yale Medicine and co-director of the Yale New Haven Hospital Spine Center, which he helped create. As a clinician, he specializes in spinal neurosurgery and is an expert in innovative, minimally invasive techniques. Even though Dr. Abbed is a surgeon, he tries to avoid operating whenever possible. “If you have to operate, do the smallest amount of surgery with the most benefit and the least risk,” he says. “The whole purpose of my life, honestly, is to try to get people better.”
Advances in minimally invasive surgeries are making a significant impact on patient pain, recovery times and hospital stays. Yale Medicine is a leader in such techniques, attracting patients from as far away as Italy, Dr. Abbed says. An associate professor of neurosurgery at Yale School of Medicine, he further helps to advance his field with clinical trials focused on spinal cord injuries, spinal fusion and neurosurgery. He is also interested in minimizing spinal cord injuries at the time of occurrence to prevent further damage and enhancing recovery.
Dr. Khalid says he believes strongly in connecting with patients who are undergoing new complex treatments to make sure they understand what they are experiencing. “Surgery is the easy part, but the social and human aspect is the harder part, and I think it’s the most important part,” he says.