Microdiscectomy in Tunisia

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About the Microdiscectomy

Microdiscectomy is also known as microdecompression or cervical microdiscectomy. It is one of the most commonly performed spine surgery procedures.

Microdiscectomy or cervical microdiscectomy is preferred for patients with a lumbar herniated disc. The main goal of a discectomy is to relieve the pressure on a spinal nerve root by removing the material causing the pain. Traditionally, this purpose was solved by an open technique called lumbar discectomy surgery, which involves making a large incision to cut some of the back muscles, leading to a slow and painful recovery. Nowadays, an advanced form of surgery called microdiscectomy can achieve the same goal that too with the help of a small incision and fewer injury to back muscles. As a result, the recovery takes less time and is less painful.  A special microscope is used in microdiscectomy to view the disc and nerves. The larger view allows the surgeon to make a smaller incision, causing less damage to the surrounding tissues.

 

When is microdiscectomy needed?

Sciatica is a condition caused by compression of the spinal nerve, which generally results in chronic pain in the legs of the patients. This compression of the spinal nerve is frequently the result of a herniated lumbar disc.  As a herniagrows, the damaged tissue extends into the spinal column and pushes on the nerves. This condition causes the nerves to send pain signals to the brain and the brain interprets the pain source to be coming from the legs.

Most commonly, sciatica heals naturally or with the help of medication in a few weeks. But, if sciatica lasts more than 12 weeks after taking oral medicines, patients may benefit from discectomy. Discectomy is also used for the treatment of spondylosis and lumbar spinal stenosis. While spondylosis occurs due to degenerative osteoarthritis of the vertebrae, lumbar spinal stenosis occurs due to narrowing of the spinal canal leading to nerve compression. The latter may also warrant the need for a spinal stenosis surgery.

How is Microdiscectomy performed?

Lumbar discectomy surgery is typically performed for rehabilitation of a herniated disc. The same thing is done during microdiscectomy, but with the help of a special microscope. During this procedure, a small part of the bone over the nerve root and disc material under the nerve root is taken out, which finally result in relieving pressure on the spinal nerve column. The microdiscectomy treatment starts by giving general anesthesia to the patient. The patient will be unconscious during the entire surgery and is not able to feel anything. Preoperative intravenous antibiotics are given before the surgery.

The procedure is performed with the patient lying face down, generally using a special operating table with special paddings. The surgical region is cleansed with a cleaning solution.  A one-to two-centimeter incision is made directly over the area of the herniated disc. Special retractors and a lighted operating microscope are used to allow the surgeon to see the region of the spine. It helps in minimizing or avoid cutting of the adjacent muscles and tissues.

Before removing a herniated disc, a small piece of bone called lamina is removed from the affected vertebra. This is called a laminotomy, a procedure which allows the surgeon to fully visualize the herniated disc. Small scissor-like tools and grasping instruments are used to remove the protruding disc material. Lastly, the incision area is washed out with sterile water containing antibiotics and the deep fascial layer and subcutaneous layers are closed with a few sutures. The skin is fixed up using special surgical glue and does not require bandages.

Recovery from Microdiscectomy

The microdiscectomy recovery time is much less than any other invasive procedure. Typically, the patient can expect to leave the hospital within 24 hours of the surgery. Patients may be advised to meet a physical therapist before leaving the hospital. The therapist will instruct the patient on how to reduce twisting and bending of the back. The therapist may advise some exercises to improve the strength and flexibility of the muscles around the spine.

Patients are advised not to drive, sit for a prolonged period, lift anything heavy and bend over immediately after the surgery. The patient is able to resume normal activities after two weeks, but they are advised to avoid lifting heavy objects for at least four weeks after the surgery. Full recovery after microdiscectomy procedure takes at least four to six weeks.

Microdiscectomy: Risks and Complications

Microdiscectomy is a faster pain relief option than nonsurgical treatment in case of a lumbar herniated disc, but it is not significantly clear that whether surgery makes a difference in what treatment may be needed later on.

Some post-microdiscectomy researchers determined that people who have had microdiscectomy have reported similar improvements as other treatments after one year of surgery. Although it is a less invasive procedure in comparison to other treatment such as spinal fusion, microdiscectomy also involves certain risks just like any other surgery.

Some of the common microdiscectomy risks are:

  • The very first risk is that surgery does not always work, or it may not work better than any other treatment
  • There is a minimal risk of damaging the spine or any other nerves
  • There is a slight risk of some kind of infections
  • Bleeding
  • Leaking spinal fluid
  • Problems associated with general anaesthesia

Patient Stories

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the health care infrastructure of Tunisia / Why should opt for Tunisia as a destination for your medical treatment?
Hospitals in Tunisia are developing and trying to meet the international standards of healthcare. Although there is a basic set up in most of the hospitals for treatment in Tunisia, one can still expect scope for improvement. The Ministry of Health, along with the Government of Tunisia is making effective changes for the healthcare sector. The private hospitals in Tunisia are also undergoing a robust change to provide effective healthcare and treatment in Tunisia.

Like most other countries, hospitals in Tunisia have a private and public healthcare system. Hospitals in Tunisia include three levels of care: primary, with a network of 81 clinics and 2091 basic health centers; secondary, with 109 district hospitals; and tertiary, with 33 regional hospitals and 24 modern CHUs, according to MoS figures.
What are the conditions of the hospitals in Tunisia? 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.
In Tunisia, there are no JCI accredited hospitals but 4 private hospitals are certified ISO and OHSAS (Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series).
Are the doctors/surgeons in Tunisia of the best quality?
The hospitals in Tunisia have seen a constant change in terms of development and technology. Most doctors that are trained in the country understand the needs and requirements of people and are able to diagnose and treat them well. There are various surgeons that fly in from other countries as well to treat patients. This was brought about due to the economic reforms and various expats residing there. The varying levels of health organizations provide reasonable means of treatment for any patient. There are also trained paramedical and emergency service staff in this country.
What is the process for obtaining a medical visa in Tunisia?
Patients who wish to visit Tunisia for medical purposes must contact the Embassy of Tunisia in their home country. One is required to have a valid passport. Those applicants must submit their visa application forms in person together with the following documents:
  1. A duly completed application form with one picture (within a white background).
  2. Original biometric passport and one copy. Passports should have a validity of at least one year from the date of your visa application submission.
  3. Medical certificate stating the type of illness and the treatment to be carried out. This document has to be in English or Spanish language.
  4. Letter from the hospital in Tunisia stating the appointment date and whether the treatment expenses have been already paid in full.
  5. Proof of financial means which enable the applicant to meet life needs while in Tunisia (salary certificate if working, bank statement for the last six months, property deeds, commercial license, other sorts of income).
  6. Travel insurance.
  7. Proof of accommodation (hotel reservation, etc)
  8. Applicants are advised that ALL PASSPORTS HAVE TO REMAIN at the Embassy premises while the visa application is under process (between 10 and 15 days), and therefore cannot be retrieved unless very special and urgent circumstances might arise.
  9. The Embassy has the right to require from the applicant any document that it may deem relevant in order to resolve the visa file.
What support services does MediGence provide in Tunisia?
MediGence enables you to plan and manage your medical decisions better. These are some of our services offered:
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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 Tunisia for medical treatment?
Tunis is the largest country and capital of Tunisia. This country is located in the northern region of Africa and is the best city for treatment in Tunisia.

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