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Not sure what NS said?!

delta_dawn67ddelta_dawn67 Posts: 76
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:33 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
When I saw the neurosurgeon yesterday my head was spinning from all of the info he gave me, not to mention the pain from the 3 hour ride in the car. I will post the full version in Intros, but here's the basics. I had laminectomy at L3/4 in March 06 and it is Herniated again (thecal sac narrowed to 4mm). I don't remember the name he gave the surgery which makes it very hard to google! Lol! He said it would be a small incision on my back, with something cut out and then a small "pouch" or something filled with something and crushed bone would be inserted. They said expect 6 month recovery. Does anyone have any idea what this could be?? The surgeon is one of the top in the country and known for using innovative methods. I'm going to call them tomorrow with questions, but would really appreciate any input any of you could give. Thanks!
By the way, I'm not really an idiot! Just a little overwhelmed right now and its definitely affecting my thinking! Lol!!


  • I agree with Paul when he says it sounds like a fusion procedure. The "sack" is probably the cage that will replace your disc with bone fragments inserted to fuse the two vertabrae together. The fusion takes a minimum of 3 months to complete hence the 6 month recovery. He is probably suggesting a TLIF or PLIF but Paul is correct in suggesting that you contact the medical assistant or nurse as they may have more time to explain things to you.

    Take a quick look at the attached link. It may help you understand better. Good Luck!

  • Thank you for the help the three of you gave while I attempted to extract information from the doctor's office.
    So I called the office yesterday and they told me that the scheduler has the day off. I inquired about someone else being able to help me and the rude bimbo pretending to be a receptionist told me that ONLY the scheduler could provide the information. Click.
    So I called back today and the same bimbo answered! Really?! What are the odds?? They have like 6 people that answer phones their and I get the rude one. I ask her for the scheduler and she informs me that she is on vacation until next week!! That would have been good to know yesterday I would have pushed further. Again she swears that none of the hundreds of people can tell me even just the name of the surgery. She complains about it being Friday and her phone is giving her trouble, tells me to call back Monday. Click.
    I call back and try to figure out what button to push for the nurses or MAs. Success!! I get the desk of my Drs Med Asst. And... she's on vacation til next week sometime!!
    I call again and get a different receptionist! Thank God! I explain my situation, she transfers me to someone who is willing to look at the note on my file and read it to me. Not cheerfully mind you, but at this point I don't care!! Lol!!
    And the answer is "Laminectomy with 360 Optimesh". But she doesn't think that's a fusion! Ok then.
    Well I'm off to post my intro. I've been coming on here for about a year now, but never bothered with an intro because I was trying to convince myself I just had a "simple" re-herniation. Even though my misery was telling me differently.
  • If you search for OptiMesh, you will find the manufacturer's website where you can read how the product is used. Not to scare you, but there are also class-action lawsuits against the manufacturer for this product....If you read through this site, there is a segment devoted to the pros and cons of this particular product.

    This does not necessarily mean anything. There are many other surgical technology breakthroughs that have also been the subject of lawsuits, and yet, they are still used in surgery. The law suits stem from OptiMesh being used "off-label." From what little I could find, it looks like your surgery is the type of surgery for which OptiMesh was designed to be used. But it would certainly be worth discussing this further with your doctor.

    Perhaps someone on the board has had this used. Why don't you start a new inquiry with OptiMesh in the title and see what you can turn up. Since this is not commonly used by a wide-range of surgeons, I would really do your research before you go with it.

    The problem with it is that it is used with a product like BMP and, just like in some cases with BMP, the product has overgrown the mesh sac into the spinal canal, resulting in problems, including paralysis in some patients.

    Don't be frightened by this finding, but do your research and be prepared to ask lots of questions. Not every new product/technology is worth the hassle and potential problems.

    I don't know how attached you are to the idea of using this surgeon. You might want to get another opinion from another spinal specialist and mention this method to him.

    Good luck.

    xx Gwennie
  • If you're not squeamish, there is a video on You Tube about the OptiMesh procedure:

  • I appreciate all the info you gave me and I will definitely check it out!!
  • Hey Gwennie I checked out the video and as soon as I saw it on the screen I started laughing! That's my NS in the video! So I guess we can assume he knows how to use the stuff! Lol! However, I am still going to do some research into it, I feel like just because he knows how to use the stuff, doesn't necessarily mean the stuff is good! I can't thank you enough for bringing this to my attention. Normally I am the Queen of Research, but I've been feeling miserable and just not myself lately. So thank you again!
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