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Discal Biacuplasty

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:26 AM in Chronic Pain
Hi all...
Has anyone heard of this procedure? It give patients suffering from chronic discogenic pain a new minimally invasive option to treat their symptoms. It sounds similar to IDET (which I understand the success rate is not good) but uses a bilateral approach & lower temperature needles to treat the disc/nerves.
Apparently there is a clinical trial currently in progress, so the procedure isn't covered under insurance. I emailed the trial sponsor & waiting a reply. Just wondering if was suggested to anyone else? I couldn't find any hits on the forum.


  • I haven't heard of this before. Please keep us posted on what you find out!

  • I have heard of it, and in fact have it scheduled for next week....there is a website if you wish to learn more, though it is somewhat "rah rah" as it is written by the company who markets the "device." My pain doc is performing the procedure. If you Google "biacuplasty" you will find the website. I will try and remember to return here to let you know how it goes....I just joined this site today (thought I had joined earlier.....apparently not!). I mostly frequent ADRsupport, but hey, I'm flexible!! (pun intended)

  • Not sure where you live STKNDOC, but in the US biacuplasty isn't covered under insurance (at least BC/BS). I've contacted a Dr. in Canada who's conducting a clinical trial. I would need to pay for a discogram 1st (have already had 2 several yrs ago), then travel to Canada for the trial. My PM doc also performs the procedure (supposedly) but I doubt he's done many since it's a pretty new procedure. But it seems very similar to me to IDET, which hasn't proven to be very successful & has a poor success rate. If the discogram comes back inconclusive, then I'm not a candidate for the trial.

    With your ADR recommendation based on your discogram, how many disks would they suggest be replaced?
  • The surgeon I consulted was only suggesting replacing one, as he said that is all that is approved in the US, so it was pointless to speculate on replacing the other one that caused some pain during the discogram, but not concordant pain. The biacuplasty procedure requested by my pain doc (to the insurance comp) was noted as not requiring pre-auth, just go ahead. I'm actually waiting for the fight. Or they have somehow disguised what the procedure actually is.....not sure about that. I was shocked, frankly, when they called to schedule it, I just assumed insurance would say no. I live in Colorado. I'm beginning to think BC doesn't actually cover anything, except their own A%%. ~X(

  • SO, the old adage, "if it sounds too good to be true, etc" certainly applies here. Seems my biacuplasty has been postponed, pending insurance. I do believe that Baylis, the biacuplasty folks, are giving it their all to get it approved, asking my doc's office for more info. But in the meantime, I am in limbo, and back on my NSAIDs. Gotta learn some new colorful metaphors, the old ones are getting old. So, we wait.

  • I recently had biacuplasty suggested as a potential option for dealing with my lower back pain that seems to be coming from my L4/L5 disc. The doc admitted he'd only done about 10 of the procedures but said that 8/10 his patients got some relief. He offered to put me in contact with one or two patients to hear about their experience - I'll let you know if I hear anything. The doc acknowledged that we don't have long-term outcome information on the procedure. (I wonder if outcomes would differ much from IDET.)

    The Cleveland Clinic seems to be doing a trial; a Clinic newsletter from last year said that about 200 patients had received the procedure at that point.

    Theoretically, this sounds exciting, but there doesn't seem to be much clinical evidence out there yet. I doubt my insurance would pay and it sounded like most of his patients were paying the full cost.

  • Engaged in a battle with insurance, and actually receiving some aid from a group which appears to represent Baylis Medical, the marketer/developer of biacuplasty. So, maybe I will actually get somewhere.....I will keep you all posted on how far I get. I've got nothing better to do, and badgering Blue Cross seems to be the best option at this time....

  • [cross-posted on another thread]

    I had disc biacuplasty on March 6, at GW University Hospital's surgery center in Washington, DC, to fix a torn disc. I have a few more degenerative discs, but my doctor thinks the one causing the pain is at the first level, so that's where we went first. My doctor, Mehul Desai, heads up the pain management center at GW, and after several spinal injections that didn't work, six months of physical therapy, and lots of meds, we decided that the biacuplasty might be the best option for now. GW has a terrific team, and as the procedure is still pretty rare here (my doctor is the only pain management specialist between Richmond and Baltimore that does the procedure), we were both interviewed by the health reporters for a story on one of the local news stations, WJLA, and they filmed the procedure.

    Much of the success of the procedure depends on the patient, since full compliance is absolutely necessary. Good candidates for the biacuplasty tend to be more active, have never had back surgery (thus, no scar tissue around the affected areas), and are very vigilant when it comes to their recovery. They tend to be very conscientious and work hard in physical therapy, as well. I'm 52 years old, and have been pretty active my entire adult life, until the serious pain began about two years ago.

    For me, the post-op period has been one of constant (and sometimes fearful) mindful behavior: no bending, no twisting, and being very conscious of every move. I have been wearing the back brace at night, and at first, it's hard to get used to, but after two years of pain, I can get used to anything. You tend to cringe at any new pain, trying to figure out if it's "new" pain, or "old" pain.

    My insurance, BC/BS (CareFirst) will be paying about 80 percent for the procedure, but I had to get a referral from one of my doctors to keep down the cost of what I will be paying out of pocket, which is about $1,062. I'm sure that my doctor spent a considerable amount of time on the phone, as all docs seem to do these days, fighting with the insurance company to try to get them to cover it in the first place.

    The surgical brace (mine is from RS Medical) is the RS-LFS lumbar functional system), and those are VERY expensive: costing it out, it's $1,010, of which I have to pay $413.00.

    I have a lot of faith in my doctor, and he seemed very pleased with how the procedure went. Of course, we'll know more in a few weeks.

    My sister is a surgical nurse at U.Va. hospital in Charlottesville, VA, and she came up to help me through the procedure as well as to watch it, since they don't perform it down at her hospital. The team let her put on scrubs and come into the OR, which was a wonderful accommodation to me, and made me feel a lot more relaxed.

    The post-op booklet from Baylis Medical needs to be more detailed! I can think of about twenty things I would like to have included in the text.
  • My doctor mentioned biacuplasty to me. Did your procedure air on WJLA? I'd like to see it.
  • Had Biacuplasty on 12/3/08 - paid out of pocket ($3200) and...well...the Office I went through seems like nice people, nice people who didn't solve my back problems at hall.People who made me feel like I was wasting thier time and just complaining. Going in for ALIF 6/8/09 for L5/S1 fusion through a great office who looked at ALL of my MRI/CT/Xray scans and gave me this option.

    Asked "medical professionals" about their opinions on Biacuplasty. Basically thier responded that since IDET doesn't work and isn't convered by insurance anylonger, they have reinvented the proceedure and , therefore, Biacuplasty is born!

  • edited 04/12/2015 - 8:58 PM
    Hi Anon,Just came from the doc today,Said the study group would pay for ALL cost of the procedure,ALL of the meds,All of the follow up appts.And pay $400.00 at the end of the study.He said what they do is put two probes in spine heat them up to kill pain nerves and is very safe and effective. .He wrote many publications on Biacuplasty.Hope this helps.He is now in Winston-Salem N.C.but moved recently from Ohio I think? H L H
  • Did he inform you whether there was a chance you'd get a sham treatment? I know there was a discussion of this on another thread, and that was a big issue.
  • I don't think I have ever seen so many "not verified" people on one post before!

    Must be some kind of record here?

    Looks like some doctors names and maybe a link needs deleted too.... :?

    It's almost lunch time and I think I'll have

  • Yes he did mention the sham treatment.This is a big issue,Half would get sham other half get real treatment.After 6 months you find out what group you were in then get the real treatment paid for by the study.But going 6 months without relief to the flip of a coin worries me.Good luck,H L H
  • Also, just as long as you know that "anonymous" and "not verified" posters have left the forums. So, you'll likely not be hearing from them. You might be better off starting a fresh thread, introducing yourself, etc :)

    As long as you're aware of the nature of the study, and are OK with it! Good luck with your decision!

  • Hello, I am having a Biacuplasty procedure done and wanted to know about the recovery expierience you had in detail and what you can and cannot do the first two weeks post op. I am paying out of pocket since insurance denies this at this time.
    Thank you,
  • Barrie BraidenBBarrie Braiden Posts: 1
    edited 04/02/2014 - 2:24 PM
    Good day,

    I had degenerative disc disease and chronic pain, until I successfully underwent a Discal Biacuplasty, at the xxxxxx Ontario, Canada - October 17 2007. This targeted the L3-L4 and L4-L5 discs. I had to come off of all pain medications before the procedure. I had heard of the procedure through the Toronto XXXXXX; and was intending to go to XXXX for the procedure, but the travel and recovery, would have been potentially difficult, as I was living in Toronto, Ontario. With the help of Dr.xxxx,XXXXXXXXXXXat my expense, the procedure was conducted on Oct 17 2007. It was the first time that TWO discs were operated on, ever. I wore a back brace for 6 months afterwards and went to physiotherapy, weekly, for 6 months to develop the core muscles. I also exercised daily. The results were phenomenal - the chronic pain was gone immediately after the procedure; I had to go back on the pain killers, only for the purposes of doing a gradual elimination - I was wheeled into the OR, had been walking with a cane at age 57; I walked OUT of the hospital, fully erect and pain-free. I also did PHYSIO BEFORE the procedure for SIX weeks, in order to prepare the back, abdominal & related muscles for the physio that would follow. I was at physio within 5 days and stuck to the regimen. I am pain-free, have a healthy back, have good core strength - complete success and satisfaction with the DISCAL BIACUPLASTY procedure.

    Post edited to remove name of specific hospitals and surgeon. by Liz The Spine-Health Moderator Team

  • philnoirphilnoir Posts: 52
    edited 04/02/2014 - 6:48 PM
    I know that discal biacuplasty can have mixed results, but I'm glad it worked for you. Gives us all hope.

    Best wishes.
  • wenmysterwwenmyster Posts: 3
    edited 04/12/2015 - 9:00 PM
    Where can i sign up for these medical trials?

    Forum rules prohibit recommendations of medical professionals and facilities
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