Laminectomy in South Korea

Laminectomy or decompression surgery is a procedure of removal of the dorsal coating of the spinal canal called the lamina. Mostly done to reduce excessive pressure buildup, this procedure helps in providing umpteenth relief to patients undergoing severe pain. The procedure is performed involves minimum invasion and shows signs of early recovery as compared to other procedures. It is less complex and comparatively more successful, owing to which, laminectomy is being implemented by thousands of surgeons across the world. 

What is Laminectomy Surgery?

Laminectomy is performed to reduce pressure buildup within the spine. This is mostly experienced by aging people or individuals diagnosed with spinal arthritis, as a result of which, bone spur formation occurs. These are extra-spinal ingrowths that pose additional pressure inside the spine. Thus, to relieve this pressure, the lamina or the spinal covering is removed from the dorsal side. The two types of laminectomy generally performed are:

  • Cervical Laminectomy: Surgical procedure performed in any of the seven cervical region 
  • Lumbar Laminectomy: Surgical procedure performed in any of the five lumbar region. 

Ideal Candidates for Laminectomy Surgery 

Laminectomy is performed among individuals suffering from spinal pain or spinal arthritis. The procedure is performed among candidates who:

  • Are diagnosed with bone spurs
  • Show signs of muscular immobility, feeling of numbness, or loss of sensation in particular region
  • Spinal pain due to exaggerated pressure buildup
  • Have bowel dysfunctionality due to spinal problems

In some cases, laminectomy is also required in patients undergoing other spinal surgeries. 

Factors affecting the cost of Laminectomy

The laminectomy cost may vary from $26,000 to $77,000 depending on a number of factors, which are:

  • Age of the candidate. The procedure performed on candidates above 65 years of age costs more than that performed on individuals below 65 years.
  • Extent of procedure required
  • Type of laminectomy required
  • Performed whether individually or merged with another surgical procedure
  • Healthcare facility availed.
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About the Laminectomy

Laminectomy is also known as decompression surgery. In this surgical procedure, a part of the vertebral bone called lamina is removed to create additional space. The lamina is the back part of the vertebrae that covers the spinal canal. Removing the lamina enlarges the spinal canal and thus, helps relieve pressure on the nerves and the spinal cord. Bony growths, especially in people with spinal arthritis, may put an additional pressure on the spinal cord. It may cause severe back pain and in some severe cases, can even cause paralysis. Narrowing of the space between the vertebrae is also known as spinal stenosis.

Laminectomy surgery, which is a form of spinal stenosis treatment, helps relieve pressure on the spinal cord and the nerves by creating a room between the vertebrae and the cord. When the pressure on the spinal cord in the case of lumbar spinal stenosis is relieved by creating a space between the lumbar vertebrae, the procedure is known as lumbar laminectomy. During a lumbar laminectomy, the surgeon may even remove the ligaments or bone spurs pressing the spinal cord.

How is Laminectomy performed?

During the surgery, the following steps are performed:

  • You are asked to lie on your abdomen in a kneeling position so that the pressure and weight of the abdomen on the spine is minimal.
  • Anesthesia is administered prior to making the incision to numb the area and also to put you into a temporary sleep.
  • The surgeon makes an incision over the targeted vertebrae directly
  • The team then removes complete or a part of the lamina and the ligaments to see the affected nerve root.
  • The nerve root is shifted back to the center of the spinal column before removing the disk or ligaments and bone spurs compressing the spinal cord. This is also known as decompression.
  • In some patients, spinal fusion is conducting at this time to stabilize the spine.
  • After the targeted disks are removed, the incision is closed with the help of sutures.

Recovery from Laminectomy

Laminectomy surgery takes anywhere between two to three hours to complete. The loss of blood during the surgery is minimal. Shortly after the surgery, the patient is moved to the recovery room. After a few hours, the patient is transferred to the normal hospital room. The patient can expect the following things after the surgery:

  • You will be asked to lie on your side.
  • A catheter may be placed to drain the bladder.
  • Pain may be there for a few days. However, it is managed with the help of painkillers.
  • Compression stockings or compression boots may be advised to prevent the formation of blood clots in the legs.
  • You will be asked to start walking after a few hours of the surgery.
  • You will be advised to perform certain breathing exercises, tighten the abdominal muscles to support the spine, and always bend at the hip after the surgery.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the health care infrastructure of South Korea / Why should opt for South Korea as a destination for your medical treatment?
South Korea is recognized for its strict rules and regulations which have kept the country in strict discipline. As an upside, the country has well-maintained regulations for every process and impressive medical healthcare facilities which have garnered thousands of visitors from across the world. The reason for opting for hospitals in South Korea is the astounding treatment options available at a very cost-effective price range, which is undoubtedly more affordable than most of the developed countries across the world. Besides the well-planned infrastructure, the treatment in South Korea and the alternatives offered are tempting enough. Apart from that, the country also flaunts high success rates and has thus been able to cure some of the most complex diseases in the world.
What are the conditions of the hospitals in South Korea? Are they JCI certified? What is the quality of the support staff in the hospitals?
The Joint Commission International (JCI) is a global leader in health care accreditation. JCI accreditation is considered a gold standard in worldwide health care. It provides the most skilled and experienced healthcare professionals in the medical industry, as evaluators of the rigorous international standards in healthcare quality and patient safety. YUHS Severance Hospital + Gangnam Severance Hospital is a JCI certified hospital in South Korea.
Are the doctors/surgeons in South Korea of the best quality?
The doctors and surgeons providing treatments in South Korea are globally recognized for their service in the medical field. Furnished with degrees from reputed universities and decades of training and experience, the doctors have earned high success rates throughout their professional careers. The doctors have to undergo rigorous training to keep up with the strict protocol and measures of hospitals in South Korea. Hence, quality is maintained.
What is the process for obtaining a medical visa in South Korea?
The Korean embassy follows a strict protocol for obtaining a visa for traveling to the country. The necessary documents (photocopies and original) have been listed on their official website and should be strictly adhered to. The candidate also has to produce necessary papers stating the medical cause and referral certificate signed by the registered medical practitioner. Although these need to be taken care of by the candidate, the rest of the procedures and further visa assistance is managed by the sponsors in most cases. A Medical Dependent Visa is granted to those who are accompanying a patient traveling to Sount Korea for medical treatment on a Medical Visa. This visa can be given to a close relative/family member or a friend of the patient. Please note that relevant letters/documents explaining details of the treatment, signed and stamped by the concerned hospitals/doctors, a declaration from the patient or an immediate family member is also required confirming the escort travel along with the patient.
What support services does MediGence provide in South Korea?
MediGence enables you to plan and manage your medical decisions better. These are some of our services offered:
  • Expert Opinion
    We help you seek an Expert Opinion on your diagnosis and treatment from an experienced team of doctors at MediGence and specialists from a reputable hospital.
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  • Doctor Validation and Communication
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  • Options to Choose From
    Based on your choice of destination and other preferences, we provide you multiple options with respect to hospitals and doctors to choose from.
  • 24X7 Patient Care Support
    A dedicated patient case manager stays in constant touch with you to help you at every step of the decision-making process and resolve queries that you may have.
  • Transparent Treatment Cost and Other Expenses
    We give a clear and accurate indication of the total cost of treatment including treatment, stay, meals, and other expenses.
  • Visa Assistance
    We provide and help prepare documentation for visa approval and coordinate with the embassy to expedite the visa process.
  • Accommodation Arrangements
    We propose to you a choice of accommodation based on your preference such as long stay, short stay, or luxury properties.
Which are the best cities in South Korea for medical treatment?
Treatment in South Korea is affordable. Seoul is the capital of South Korea and one of the main cities for healthcare. Seoul and Daegu have some of the best hospitals in South Korea. Busan, Incheon, and Ulsan also have developing healthcare facilities.

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