Discectomy options through WorldMed assist are high quality, affordable and convenient. You receive the benefit of our expertise and the compassion of our registered nurses as you receive care in the US or outside the US. We are affiliated with hospitals that are approved by JCAHO or the Joint Commission International (JCI) and associated with respected US medical institutions, including Johns Hopkins and Harvard Medical. Our case managers are registered nurses who consult with you to make certain all your concerns and questions are taken care of to your satisfaction.
Most importantly, we provide you with a personal touch from start until well after your procedure is completed.
Options for quality discectomy include:
- Discectomy in the U.S.
- Discectomy in Korea
- Discectomy in Mexico
- Discectomy in Turkey
- Discectomy in India
We also offer information on costs:
What is a discectomy?
Discectomy (also called open discectomy) is the surgical removal of herniated disc material that presses on a nerve root or the spinal cord. Before the disc material is removed, a small piece of bone (the lamina) from the affected vertebra may be removed. This is called a laminotomy or laminectomy and allows the surgeon to better see and access the area of disc herniation.
Microdiscectomy uses a special microscope or magnifying instrument to view the disc and nerves. The magnified view makes it possible for the surgeon to remove herniated disc material through a smaller incision, thus causing less damage to surrounding tissue. A variant of microdiscectomy is percutaneous endoscopic discectomy.
Evaluating your suitability for discectomy
Surgery may be considered if tests show that your symptoms are due to a herniated disc and your doctor thinks surgery may help relieve the symptoms. In deciding whether to have surgery, you and your doctor will consider factors such as:
- A history of persistent leg pain, weakness, and limitation of daily activities that has not gotten better with at least 4 weeks of nonsurgical treatment.
- Results of a physical examination that show you have weakness, loss of motion, or abnormal sensation (feeling) that is likely to get better after surgery.
- Diagnostic testing, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT), or myelogram that indicates your herniated disc would respond to surgery.
Discectomy: the surgery
During discectomy, the surgeon removes the portion of the disc that is herniated and protruding into the spinal canal. The disc space may also be explored, and any loose fragments of disc can be removed. These procedures are usually done in a hospital, usually using general anesthesia, although some of our hospitals can do the surgery with a local anesthetic.
After a discectomy procedure, you will be encouraged to get out of bed and walk as soon as the anesthetic wears off. You can use prescription medicines to control pain during the recovery period and will be advised to resume exercise and other activities gradually. Other things to think about include the following:
- You can sit as long as you are comfortable, but most people avoid sitting for longer than 15 to 20 minutes. After surgery, sitting can be uncomfortable for a while.
- Use walking as your primary form of exercise for the first several weeks. Getting up frequently to walk around will help decrease the risk that excess scar tissue will form. Scar tissue can keep the nerve root from gliding freely as you move, and can press on the nerve root. Walking will also provide exercise for your heart and lungs without stress to your back or the incision line (scar).
- Avoid any activities that cause pain.
- You may begin bicycling and swimming about 2 weeks after surgery as directed by your doctor or physical therapist.
- If you work in an office, you may return to work within 2 to 4 weeks. If your job requires physical labor (such as lifting or operating machinery that vibrates) you may be able to return to work 4 to 8 weeks after surgery.
Many people are able to resume work and daily activities soon after surgery. In some cases, your doctor may recommend a rehabilitation program after surgery, which might include physical therapy and home exercises.
Set realistic expectations
People with milder symptoms tend to do well without surgery. People with prolonged symptoms that are severe enough to interfere with normal activities and work and require strong pain medicines may gain relief from surgery.
Before the surgery, there is no sure way that your surgeon can know how your nerves will respond after the pressure of the disc herniation is removed. So there is a risk that your pain may not improve with surgery, or your pain may only partly improve.
As with any surgery, there are some risks. There is a risk of damaging the nerve roots or spinal structures during surgery. There is also some risk of infection following surgery, which may require antibiotics and additional surgery. Some people may get a vein thrombosis (blood clot) or embolus (the clot breaks away and causes a blockage of blood flow in the lung). These conditions can lead to death, but dying from these conditions is rare.
Because there are risks with general anesthesia, your doctor and medical staff will carefully monitor you during your surgery and recovery.
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