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Originally published: 2014-06-09 13:25:28
Last modified: 2014-06-11 10:29:21

Watauga Medical Center offering new surgery options and procedures

Watauga Medical Center, part of Appalachian Regional Healthcare System, has recently added several new surgical options -- hip arthroscopy, facial reconstruction (plastic surgery), spine and complicated hernia repairs. 

"I am proud to work for a health care system that is continually evaluating community needs and responding to them. We continue to enhance our extensive surgical capabilities, Joan Messner, director of surgical services at ARHS, said.

A hip arthroscopy is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure that takes about an hour to complete. 

The procedure, which requires advanced training, involves placing a miniature telescope and specialized instruments in the joint through two pinhole incisions. Post surgery, patients can expect to be able to walk on their hip the same day.

To learn more about hip arthroscopy surgery at Watauga Medical Center visit  

Historically, High Country trauma patients in need of immediate facial reconstruction including cheek, nasal and jaw fractures, were referred off of the mountain for care. 

However, this changed in December 2012, when facial plastic surgeon Dr. Neal Goldman decided to move his practice to Boone. Shortly thereafter, the double board certified physician (plastic surgery and ear, nose and throat), with specialized training in minimal-invasive surgery, obtained hospital privileges at Watauga Medical Center. Beyond reconstructive facial trauma, Dr. Goldman specializes in other minimally-invasive procedures, including face-lifts, neck-lifts, wrinkles, eye-lifts, brow-lifts and chin augmentations.

For more information about plastic surgery options at Watauga Medical Center visit To learn more about Goldman visit 

For the first time in approximately 20 years, spine surgery is once again available in the High Country. OrthoCarolina welcomed orthopedic spine surgeon Dr. James Califf to its Boone practice in May 2013. Since his arrival, Califf, who has medical staff and surgical services privileges at Watauga Medical Center, has performed many successful back and neck surgeries.

Califf is experienced in all aspects of the back and spine, including general, lumbar and thoracic areas. 

Fusion procedures are also available for patients with central back or central neck pain. For more information about spine surgery at Watauga Medical Center, visit more information about Califf visit

Complex hernia repair and advanced laparoscopy procedures are new procedures and became available when Watauga Surgical Group welcomed its newest physician Dr. Lionel van der Westhuizen to the High Country in August 2013. 

Dr. van der Westhuizen's specialties include laparoscopic and open repair options for a range of hernia defects including umbilical, incisional, flank, parastomal, inguinal and recurrent hernias. He also specializes in other advanced laparoscopic techniques including paraesophageal hernia repair, gastroesophageal reflux, colon surgery, adrenalectomy, splenectomy and nephrectomy. 

For more information about complicated hernia repair at Watauga Medical Center visit To learn more about van der Westhuizen and Watauga Surgical Group visit