The nucleoplasty treatment is intended for patients who suffer from a herniated disc, a bulging nucleus of an intervertebral disc in the spine. This may cause pain which may radiate to legs or arms, depending on where the hernia is located. The nucleoplasty is a short-term treatment under a light sedation, which reduces the pressure in the intervertebral disc, thus reducing pain or making it disappear completely.
The nucleoplasty treatment is intended for patients who suffer from a herniated nucleus of the intervertebral disc (hernia) in the spine. this may occur at different levels in the back: at neck level (cervical) at chest level (thoracic) at loin level (lumbar) The bulging nucleus presses against a nerve in your back or neck and leaks certain biochemical substances from the intervertebral disc. This creates radiating pain to legs or arms, depending on where the hernia is located. The nucleoplasty is a short treatment under a light sedation, which reduces the pressure in the intervertebral disc, thus reducing pain or making it disappear completely.
Preparing for the treatment The treatment is performed at a day surgery center close to OCP Medical Center by your anesthesiologist at OCP. You’ll arrive at the clinic about an hour before the treatment. You will be escorted to your private room, where you can change into a gown. Before the procedure starts, a nurse and/or doctor will bring you to the treatment room. You have to fast on the day of the treatment, until after the surgery. This means that up to six hours before arriving you can have a cracker or biscuit without butter, and with just a little bit of sweet toppings for breakfast, and up to four hours before arriving you can only drink clear liquid drinks (water, tea, apple juice, or clear lemonade). Coffee is not allowed. You may take prescription medication with a sip of water. The treatment In the operating room the assistant anesthetist connects you to the monitoring equipment. You also get an IV in a vein in your arm. Through the IV you get a light sedative administered. Note that you will not be under general anesthesia. During treatment you lie on your stomach if the hernia is thoracic or lumbar located, if the hernia is located cervically you will lie on your back. The treatment is the same regardless of the level to be treated. The anesthesiologist will inject a needle into the core of the intervertebral disc under local anesthesia (5-10 ml lidocaine 2 %). This is done with the help of fluoroscopy. The following day, the doctor inserts a special electrode through a needle into the intervertebral disc. With the aid of low-frequency radio waves the affected tissue will be removed from the core. The result is that the pressure in the nucleus of the intervertebral disc drops, so that the protrusion can move and the pressure on the nerve is reduced. It is likely that the leakage of the substances from the intervertebral is reduced as well. This will take away your pain. The entire treatment takes about 20 minutes.
After the treatment After the treatment you will be taken back to your room where you can recover. You should stay in bed for at least an hour. You may lie on your side or stomach, but not get out of bed. The department nurse will help you and answer any questions you might have. After 1.5 hours of bed rest you can go home, unless something else is decided on consultation with the doctor. Since the treatment and anesthesia can affect your ability to react, you should are not allowed to drive on the day of the treatment and the day after. We will provide you with advisory precepts for the first few weeks after treatment. Possible side effects Possible side effects are: With each operation, there is a limited risk of developing an infection. In a nucleoplasty treatment, an infection of the intervertebral disc may occur. In order to prevent this, you will get antibiotics administered prior to treatment, via the infusion. If you develop a fever after treatment, you should consult a doctor. After the treatment you may experience post-operative pain, for example, by a hematoma at the site of treatment. This may last a few weeks, but it goes away on its own. You can take painkillers to help with the pain. This can be your own pain medication or paracetamol according to the dosage on the package leaflet. Based on the cause of your pain, your specialist will assess if a physical treatment is necessary. Based on the medical history the necessity of additional tests will be decided.
Introducing our Pain Specialist
Introducing our Pain Specialist
Dr, Henk van Driel
Dr. Henk van Driel is operating as an anesthesiologist in the field of chronic pain for more than 25 years. After having initiated the pain management department in the Amphia Hospital in The Netherlands, the largest in the country, he opened Optimal Care Pijnklinieken back in 2008, the first clinic to offer the full range of pain management procedures available in The Netherlands.
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