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Surgeons in Wales, UK

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:30 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I was wondering if anyone on these forums have had fusions done in Wales, UK. I think the system is different here than in the UK and just wanted to check what experience people may have had here.

I am due to have an anterior fusion at L5 S1 in May and I am very worried having read a lot of stuff on the forum. Is there anybody out there who has had the same done in Wales?


  • Hello Julieann,

    I am sorry I can't help you as I am in the USA, but if you are scheduled for surgery in Wales, then obviously they are performing it there. Ask your surgeon's office about his past experience with fusion, how many has he/she done? Any possibility of talking to one of the former patients? I am sure they can provide you with some information.

    Good luck,

  • we never get the chance to do that here in the UK there is only usually one or two surgeons to cover large areas of the UK & we got to the closest one that our health care trust sends us to!!!!
    Hi I am Ian & I live in Dorset, not too far away from Wales !!!! Has your surgeon said if they are putting cages, x stops or rods & screws in?? I have a posterior fussion at three levels in Dec 2006. It was a very long op - 9 3/4 hours in total & i managed to get out of hospital & home within 45 hours of leaving recovery room !! I'm not a patient man LOL!! I was at home for around 7 weeks & then returned to work which was rather silly but I own my own business so not working not earning !! Does you surgeon or the spinal unit where you are having the op has a senior nurse practioner or specialist. Dorchester Hospital where I had mine done does & I could call her up & ask quesitons get advice etc - worth checking out. Take any advice on offer & don't try to do too much for a while after the op!!!! PM me at any time, usually on line during office hours (LOL!!) Ian
  • If you have been on medications for quite some time for gods sake do not try to come off them too quickly post op as you might get withdrawl. I only mention this as I have a whole series of injections a couple of weeks ago & am currently 95% pain free & cut down on my drugs too quickly & went into withdrawl last night & feel really rough today!! I keep forgetting that I have only had around 8 months off morphine in the last 5 years. Not due to dodgy surgery, I am too stupid to stop doing too much & I end up re-injurying myself !! db
  • Hi

    Thankyou for your comments Dorsetboy. I have rarely taken medication for my condition (suffering in silence). I get worried sometimes that mine doesn't seem to be as bad as others despite requiring a fusion.

    I have had problems with the same disc for around 25 years, having had five prolapses during that time. Didn't do anything about it, just lay down for a couple of days and then up and about again. however, in Nov 2007 I had a severe prolapse in the same disc and couldn't walk for around 4 weeks (still didn't take medication for fear of addiction). After that I was in a lot of pain and had difficulty walking, but still returned to my office job in March and continued to work all year. Originally, my surgeon recommended a decompression, however having waited a year for this and had facet joint injectsion etc physio, he then told me this Feb that I had severe degeneration in the disc, although the prolapse had righted itself by then. Following a discogram (ouch, did take painkillers for this little darling), he told me I needed an anterior fusion with metal etc. I am assuming a cage is going to be put in as well, but given that the surgeon gives me less than five minutes everytime I have seen him and rarely answers my questions direct, I don't know the full story. There seems to be a problem in this area with daring to ask questions despite the proposal of serious surgery.

    I am a little concerned of some ofthe things I have read on this site following surgeons so I am still debating whether to go that way or not. My lifestyle is limited, for example I drove to docs today and my feet became numb and had several searing (short) pains in my bottom and thighs. I find this is quite copable providing I do very little in my life and this is the problem. however, I don't want to come out of this being even worse off.

    I have been signed off work for the past two months because towards the end I couldn't sit for more than a couple of minutes because of the pain and I was full of infections constantly over the year (run down because I didn't take painkillers I guess). I have been doing physio exercises three times a week, taking glucosamene sulphate and walking in water as often as possible and that has made me feel a little better, it is just so unpredictable though as to where the pain is coming next and that is the difficulty. I am going to try and ask the surgeon about my prognosis without it, because when there is instability and facet joint problems it could be bad move not having it.

    Like yours, my pains are sometimes in the back, sometimes in the pelvic, sometimes in the hips, calves, back of thighs etc. I sometimes feel like putting a sweepstake to guess where the pain comes next.

    Decisions, decisions
  • but i am in Manchester {my car did come from wales tho} any way i digress ..my neurosurgeons at hope hospital salford dont like to use any metal in spinal surgery when i asked why i was told that there is too many reports of infection and rejection . all my surgeries have been done without the use of metal implant {rightley or wrongly}
  • Thanks Straker

    I had heard about problems with hardware and I am still undecided as to whether I am going to go for it or not. I will certainly need to know more information than what the surgeon has provided me with to date.

    I feel like setting my watch back 30 years going through all this to a time when us mere mortals didn't ask those high above questions regarding our health, but just put faith in them regardless.

    I am originally from Manchester too
  • hello, im from wales, near cardiff, and had a tlif fusion done on april 5 at llandough hospital.

    i had fusion of L5 S1 with rods and screws and a cage with bone graft and bmp, and a coflex spacer put in L4 L5 with decompression.

    i am getting on very well, and have not taken a pain killer since week 3!

    i like you got worried about the operation after reading things on here, but im getting better really quickly and i see my surgeon on the 21st of this month so i will know more then. his name by the way is Mr Chopra and he is amazing

    feel free to ask me anything, or pm me if you prefer.

    the first 2 weeks are horrible, but then it was fine
  • Thankyou so much for your positive comments Shazza. I am due to have surgery with Mr Ahuja at Llandough. I have only heard good things about him in knowing that he is a cautious surgeon, however, he hasn't been too forthcoming with as much info as I need to date. I may get asecond opinion just to put my mind at rest.

    Thanks again
  • that many people can have slipped discs & other complaints & get no pain from it at all, some with minor pain, so your situation is no less important or serious than anyone else on this site!!! You need to be happy with what is going to be done to you & you must be able to ask the questions that you want. Surgery will impinge on your life for some time afterwards as recovery has to be taken seriously (hark at he who didn't do as he was told !!LOL)and steadily. From my tag line you can see that I have a fair amount of metal work in my lower back, which give me no problems what so ever, never has!!!! I can't feel anything, but I can occasionaly set off alarms in shops - woolies next to my office was a good one for that until it closed !! & had real fun at Exeter airport last May I kept setting the alarms off & eventually had to part undress (my idea!) to show them the scars & get them to sweep that area before they believed me LOL ROFLOL !!!!!!! but again these are odd occurances and unusual as I have been told that most of the metalwork is covered in coloured plastic to stop this from happening. If your surgeon is not forthcoming with answers see if there is any way to speak to his registrar or another person in his team - again check if they have a nurse specialist on their team or department as they are normally fantastic and will do what ever they can to help before & after surgery. Drugs can be addictive but if you need help with pain, worth taking but being sensible with them. Not everyone has a nightmare after surgery. I was doing really well for around 7 months post surgery, no pain off all medication, but then stupidly went to help one of my mums freinds who was staying with us on holiday, when she took a tumble down the stairs at home, she wasn't a small lady & there was no one else around to help, so I had to help her & as soon as i did something popped in my back and the pain was back with avengence and that was almost two years ago - entirely my own fault for being stupid. but what do you do in a situation like that ??? I hope this helps in some way & all of us from the UK know how hard it is to get to see anyone at hospital & the many months you do ahve to wait to get an appointment so it is really frustrating not to get the answers you need in the short time you do get when you are there!!!!. I had the same issue about 4 weeks ago when I had my facet joint injections as I tried to speak to the pain surgeon but he didn't really want to know and I know I won't get a follow up for about another 5 months & that will only be a 5 minute telephone conversation - keeps the clinic times down!!! Hope this helps in some way, again PM if you have any questions Ian
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