A Firm Grip
Today's Cutting Edge Hand Surgeries & More
August, 2015 - Issue #130

AVORS medical group has already made quite a name for itself since opening its fourth So Cal location in Valencia, thanks in part to the addition of Dr. Justin Heller, a board-certified surgeon who has a firm grip on today's most technologically advanced upper-extremity procedures.

From being trusted with the most rare of opportunities - such as being part of the surgical team for the country's first full-face transplant patient - to treating common problems like joint pain, the Santa Clarita resident has made a national name for himself. When not authoring papers or cultivating new micro-surgery techniques, the popular physician is sharing his warm bedside manner with patients young and old. "Helping people live without pain - that's a huge motivator for me," says the Yale-educated doctor. "I became a physician because I'm passionate about improving the lives of others."

Dr. Heller does just that by treating patients with a variety of complaints. "I have significant experience in the most intricate of procedures, like finger replantation, but most often my days are spent assisting individuals with much more common concerns, like waking with numbness in the hand or loss of strength to the point where items will slip out of a patient's fingers," he explains. "An easy way to understand it, and how I communicate it to my patients, is that nerves are much like hoses. When a hose, or a nerve, gets pinched, it slows down and stops flowing. There's a back up at the source, and that build up can cause tension and strain - in a nerve and a hose. When we release the points of constriction, things begin flowing well again. You can see this when people complain of pain in the hand; the nerve damage could be in the elbow or the wrist. When that damage is alleviated, muscle strength is nearly immediately restored. The treatment not only reverses the symptoms, but halts progression of the damage, since the nerve is essentially dying."

The surgeon's micro-surgical techniques ensure that recovery is lightening fast. "Many procedures don't even require a single cut with the smallest scalpel. A pin-prick is all I usually need to accomplish many pain-freeing procedures, though it's important to note that I always will exhaust non-surgical options first. For example, many people complain of pain in their thumb - usually caused by arthritis. It makes sense that there'd be joint pain in the hand. If there's one pound of pressure on the tip of a finger, that translates to 100 pounds of pressure at the base. Still, PRP, steroids and therapy can help a patient avoid surgery altogether. If surgery's necessary, though, there are very minimally-invasive methods to fix the problem permanently," says Dr. Heller.

Some patients aren't worried about pain and functionality as much as appearance. "Another common concern I hear from my patients is that their hands 'age them' in a way that makes them self conscious," says the physician. "Because we lose fat in our hands as we age, we can be left with a lot of very obvious veins and joints. That volume loss makes people look older than they feel. For patients who want to rejuvenate these areas, I can use their own fat - obtained through a very simple micro-liposuction procedure - or use a filler substance to re-volumize the hands. These microparticles of fat don't just plump the skin, but restore the quality of the skin above it by creating a healing atmosphere, too. Both of these treatments are often combined with laser or chemical peels to restore surface color and texture."

These kinds of innovative treatments are what has made AVORS, now open in Valencia, such a success. The medical center, with four offices and a decade's worth of grateful patients, has cultivated a reputation for exceptional experiences.
AVORS Valencia office is now open and accepts most insurance plans. 661-705-5100
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