Kansas Spine neurosurgeon Theo Mellion originally planned to become a cardiologist in the academic world, treating patients while also conducting research. During the course of his medical school career, he was drawn into the intricacies of the neurosciences, and its far-reaching impact on the human anatomy. I thought, what could be more fascinating than operating on the brain and the nervous system?,” he said.
Born and raised in Connecticut, Dr. Mellion did his undergraduate work in New Jersey, obtained his medical degree from the University of Connecticut and his PhD from Tulane University. He completed his neurosurgery residency at the Baylor College of Medicine and practiced in Baltimore and Southern Illinois until moving to Wichita in 2003.
Dr. Mellion’s priority is reducing the pain his patients face, and he often recommends physical therapy or epidural shots to address the problem. Many are experiencing back and/or neck pain which can also radiate into the arms or legs, often caused by disc-related problems or arthritis of the spine.
“If a patient hasn’t had significant treatment for their problem, I try to put them through an aggressive course of physical therapy, different types of injections if it’s appropriate and perhaps some other conservative measures before considering surgery,” he notes.
Dr. Mellion is also proud of Kansas Spine’s team approach to health care. Kansas Spine was established as a hospital for spinal surgery, and rapidly developed the ability to provide treatment for orthopedic problems, including total joint replacements and has since taken on doctors who specialize in hand surgery, neurologic surgery and urologic surgery. While we don’t treat the entire range of problems the way a general hospital might, we treat a very specific range of problems and our staff has become very adept at managing them,” he said.
His interests outside of work are diverse. Dr. Mellion enjoys hunting and fishing, and after a long day of focusing on patient needs, he loves to wind down by cooking a gourmet dinner for his wife and daughter. His interest in cooking spawned his own small import business called Roche-Mère Wine Selections which imports selected French wines into the U.S., most at a moderate price point. The endeavor also allows him the opportunity to travel to France, meet wine makers and sample various wines. Roche-Mère wines are available at Jacob Liquor Exchange, Auburn Wine & Spirits, and numerous Wichita restaurants.
Dr. Mellion’s love for food and wine is eclipsed only by his desire to help his patients live the quality of life they desire. One of the things I really enjoy about my practice is the interaction I get to have with patients,” he said. It’s a wonderful feeling when patients come in and they thank you. You know they are really happy and there’s no better feeling than knowing you’ve helped somebody in that way.”