The treatment was surgery, and Kaitlyn was afraid she would never return to her former fitness level afterwards. Dr. Tumialan set her at ease by connecting her with another patient with a similar condition who had thrived after spinal surgery.
“Dr. Tumialan got me on the surgery schedule as soon as he could,” says Kaitlyn. “I was terrified knowing I had a tumor, but I was relieved I wasn’t crazy and there was a cause for the pain.”
In September 2021, Dr. Tumialan performed a minimally invasive laminectomy to remove the spinal tumor. This surgery would commonly be performed with a midline open approach. However, he resected the lesion through a 30-milimeter incision, which is a more novel approach and only performed in highly specialized centers.
“That approach was essential in someone like Kaitlyn,” says Dr. Tumialan.
The surgery was a success, and Dr. Tumialan attributed how well it went in part to Kaitlyn’s excellent fitness level.
“Kaitlyn demonstrates that the better shape you are in going into surgery, whatever surgery that may be, the better you are going to recover from that surgery,” he adds.
She is thrilled to have made a full recovery. Although she still has a bit of sensory numbness in her leg, she is completely pain free, which has changed her life.
“I didn’t realize how much I had given up. Now I can go on car trips, and I resumed my activities and all my lifting,” she says. “Dr. Tumialan completely changed my life, which often brings me to tears.”