PLDD is a minimally invasive laser treatment performed using local anesthesia for disc hernia/protrusion in selected patients.
During the procedure, an optical fiber is inserted through the needle, thin needle is inserted into the herniated disc (the target of the tip of the needle is the center of the disc called nucleus pulposus) under x-ray guidance. And laser energy is sent through the fiber vaporizing a tiny portion of the disc nucleus. This creates a partial vacuum which draws the protrusion/herniation away from the nerve root , decompressing it. Each PLDD procedure takes 30-40 minutes and two discs can be treated at the same time if necessary. After PLDD, the hospital stay is from 3 to 4 hours. The patient get up from the bed after around 3 hours. After 3-4 hours, the patient is discharged. And the symptom of the hernia is restored day by day(There is individual difference in the speed of the recovery). Usually the patient, after PLDD, needs some pain drugs for days or 2-3 weeks. The follow-up visits are scheduled at 2 months, 4 and 6 months after the procedure. Then doctor will evaluate a result of the herniated disc after PLDD.
The percutaneous procedure does not damage the vertebral body. It has several advantages over conventional surgical procedures. The patient get up from the bed after around 3 to 4 hours. And there is the individual difference, but patients almost can return to work from next day. Best of all, it is not necessary for the patient to be hospitalized.
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