Patient Own Words


In My Own Words
A patient describes his experiences with conventional Spine Surgery and Keyhole Disc Surgery – and the difference between the two

About seven years ago I was diagnosed with two herniated discs. I was working for a trucking company and I had hurt my back in a minor accident. One of the herniated discs had ruptured causing severe right leg pain. Another disc though damaged was not touching the nerve roots. I had an open discectomy operation done in Muscat on the first disc. The recovery period took about 2 months. I had to give up my job in the trucking company and settle for a more sedentary job.

“Oh No! Not Again!”
The second herniated disc did not cause me any pain until 5 years later. One day, when I was bending down to pick up my child, I felt a sudden and severe back pain  radiating down my left leg. It was similar to the pain I had felt before. So I called Dr. Mohandas at MIOT Hospitals and scheduled an appointment. He prescribed some pain medication and we tried some conservative treatment like physiotherapy for a while. When my pain did not subside we did an MRI scan and I was told that I would need an operation to relieve my pain.

Having gone through an agonizing saga of events following the previous discectomy. I dreaded the idea of a reoperation. However, Dr. Mohandas convinced me that thistime the surgery would be different. This would be an endoscopy assisted, micro-discectomy procedure done through a small incision, with a series of scopes. The post-operative period would be painless, he promised, and I should be able to walk on the day of the surgery itself.

Surgery – with a Difference
I found this hard to believe. Yet, I had full faith in Dr. Mohandas and his surgical team. I myself had witnessed many of his patients with an agonizing back pain, recover miraculously and doing well in Oman. I took the decision to undergo endoscopic discectomy in MIOT Hospitals. The surgery started around six in the morning and was completed by 7.00 am. I was back in my room and on my feet by noon -pain free. I was discharged the very next day and I was back in the office within five days. Soon I left for a 10 week trip to Europe -pain free, the entire time.

The interesting thing about my case is that I have undergone two discectomy procedures – with a vast difference between the two. With the open procedure my surgery was longer. I was under general anaesthesia. I had a larger incision with stitches that had to to be removed two weeks post op. I was in hospital for seven days and I had to have antibiotics intravenously. It was a full blown surgical procedure. I was still sore when I went home because they cut through a major back muscle in order to reach the disc, and remained sore for atleast two to three weeks. Besides I had to restrict my activities for almost 10 months before returning to routine. I had to give up my job.

“No Comparison”
With the endoscopic procedure, on the other hand, I only had to have a local anaesthesia. I was completely pain free after the surgery. There was no cutting of the back muscle and I received only three stitches which did not have to be removed. The major difference between the two, is that instead of making a larger incision and

 cutting through the large back muscle, the surgeon made a small incision and used scopes, gradually adding one on top of the other until he was able to do the surgery through the scopes. Plus, there is no comparison in procedure time. If I had an open procedure the second time around. I would not have been home 8 hours later -having dinner with my family!