The Oasis Hospital is one of Mexico’s leading medical centers of excellence. The specialists treat and operate patient’s form all around the world with the latest surgical and non-surgical treatments for back and neck pain. Using the most sophisticated diagnostic tools, in-depth clinical experience backed by the latest research, and advanced minimally invasive surgical techniques, our specialists create personalized treatment plans for patients suffering from all manner of conditions.
Every patient is unique, and our dedicated team of medical professionals designs treatment programs to fit the individual needs of each patient. Whether he or she has a common spine condition or required complex reconstructive surgery, our goal is to provide education that will enable the patient to choose the best possible treatment option.
What is Gelfix?
Gelfix is a hydrogel device that has been created to help patients with lower back pain to reduce their symptoms and in some cases, become pain free. Patients have reported a significant reduction of back pain and muscle weakness after placing the Gelfix implant.
Where is the Gelfix placed?
The Gelfix implant belongs to a family of devices called “intervertebral spacers”. As such, the Gelfix is placed meticulously between the patients vertebrae. The implant conveniently fits between the spinous process of adjacent vertebral segments.
What material is the Gelfix made up of?
It is composed of a hydrogel polymer that is water-insoluble. As such, Gelfix implants are able to absorb significant quantities of water. This gives our surgical team a big advantage, by enabling them to place the implant in a ‘dehydrated’ state. This means that the patient will have a smaller incision, and there will be less of a dissection in the vertebral column, in order to allow for proper placement.
Who is a candidate for Gelfix implants?
A Gelfix implant can be placed in healthy patients between the ages of 20 up to 75 years of age. The important detail to consider is that the healthier a patient is, the better candidate he/she can be for a Gelfix implant. Candidacy for the surgery is evaluated on a patient to patient basis.
Generally speaking patients with the following condition are considered:
- Lower back pain
- Degenerative disc disease
- Herniated disc
- Leg weakness attributed to disc disease
- Spinal stenosis
When can I expect to see results?
As mentioned before, the implant is placed in a dehydrated state. As soon as it is placed the implant will begin hydrating with body fluids. It will expand to its full capacity approximately 6 hours after placement.
Some patients will notice IMMEDIATE improvements due to the fact that the mere placement of the implant will cause decompression of the spine. Most patients will see gradual results in 2-4 weeks.
A recent study we published showed 100% improvement of symptoms at the 2 month mark.
All of our patients have said that their quality of life improved dramatically.
Will I run the risk of becoming paralyzed or with severe injuries as a result of the surgery?
In order to gain access to the patient’s spine, we make an incision that is about 2-3cm in length. All of the dissection and work area is done in the postero-lateral portion of the patient’s spine. This means that we will be FAR the your spinal cord, which is the fear of many patients. We will be closer to the spinous process of the vertebrae, ensuring that the risk of spinal cord injury is practically non-existent.
Are there any risks of rejection?
The Gelfix implant is very biocompatible and runs no risk of rejection sue to its compatibility with human tissue.
Is there any follow up?
Like with any other medical procedure at Oasis Hospital, follow-up is a top priority to us. We believe that the follow-up is as important as the surgery itself. Our physicians will be in contact with the patient for the first two years following surgery to track their progress.
Are there any testimonials?
Most definitely! Many of our Gelfix patients have had such promising results that they have agreed to talk to other patients about their results. Please ask our staff to provide you with their contact information.
I feel like I am overweight, can I still have the surgery?
When a patient is overweight, we evaluate on a case-by-case basis to ensure patient safety. Contact our staff to make sure you are a suitable candidate.
How long does the surgery last?
If you are having one Gelfix implant placed, it will take about 15-20 min surgery time in addition to the time it takes to induce the anesthesia.
What type of anesthesia is used?
For the placement of a Gelfix implant, our anesthesiologists use regional anesthesia. This means that you will not feel anything from the surgical area down to your toes. You will NOT have a breathing tube, as you will be able to breathe on your own. Do NOT worry…you will not feel or remember anything.
How long will I stay in the hospital?
Although this procedure is considered to be ambulatory, we keep our international patients overnight to ensure a proper medication administration, and to allow our nursing staff to help you in any way possible.
How soon will I be able to walk?
As soon as the anesthesia wears off, you will be able to take small strides. You MAY feel immediate partial relief of symptoms!
Laminectomy is a procedure to remove the lamina, which is a part of the spinal canal’s bony structure. The spine surgery is performed to relieve pressure on one or more spinal nerve roots. This pressure, often called nerve root compression or “pinched nerve “ may be the cause of back pain and leg pain.
This may involve:
Nerve root compression may be caused by:
- Ruptured disc – Also called a protruded, slipped or herniated disc
- Spondylosis – Deterioration or “wear and tear” of multiple discs with bony spur formation and degenerative disc
- Scar tissue
- Combination of the above factors
How is this spine surgery performed?
Laminectomy is performed with the patient lying faced down after general anesthesia. A portion of one or more vertebra is removed in order to reach the compressed nerve root(s). Once the point of nerve root compression is located; the source of the pressure is removed.
This may involve:
- Removing the ruptured portion of the disc
- Removing the bony spurs and bony overgrowth
- Removing the scar tissue.
The spine surgery takes approximately 1.5 to 3 hours. Sometimes, a plastic drain is left in the wound for a few days after the operation to drain any blood that may have collected under the wound. Post-operatively, patients are in the hospital for 4-5 days. The patient’s ability to return to normal activity is largely dependent on his/her pre-operative condition and age. Patients are encouraged to resume walking; however, it is recommended to avoid excessive bending, lifting or twisting for six weeks in order to avoid pulling on the suture line before it heals.
Cervical Disk Replacement
Pain in and around the neck area is a common problem for many people. If the pain extends down into the shoulder or arm, or if any weakness or numbness results, the source of the problem is often due to compression on a spinal nerve or nerve root by a herniated disc or a bone spur. If conservative methods such as rehabilitation and over the counter medications fail, surgery may be the best option for some patients to restore function and relieve symptoms.
What is cervical disc replacement surgery?
Stated simply, cervical disc replacement surgery is a procedure where an affected, painful disc in the neck is removed and replaced with a new, artificial one. During the procedure the surgeon can also remove any bone spurs and elongate the disc space, further relieving pressure on the nerves and nerve roots. Generally, the surgeon will use an anterior approach to reach the cervical spine, allowing for greater visibility of the problem area. This approach is similar to the spinal discectomy and fusion procedure.
The new artificial disc was developed to function similar to a natural disc, and thus it can to maintain close to normal mobility while also acting as a buffer between the two adjacent vertebrae. Because these characteristics are preserved, the chance of degeneration is greatly reduced in the vertebrae above and below the surgical site.
It is important to note that cervical disc replacement surgery is relatively new and still undergoing many clinical trials to determine if there are any further, long-term benefits or risks. Current evidence shows that cervical disc replacement surgery has just as good if not better results as the current gold standard procedure, spinal discectomy with fusion, in terms of symptom management and incidence of complications after surgery.
What is Spinal Fusion (Spine Surgery)?
Spinal fusion is a surgical technique used to combine two or more vertebrae. This spine procedure is used primarily to eliminate the pain caused by abnormal motion of the vertebrae by immobilizing the vertebrae themselves.
Why is Spinal Fusion done?
Spinal fusion is done most commonly in the lumbar (lower back) region of the spine, but it is also used to treat cervical and thoracic problems. Patients requiring spinal fusion have either neurological deficits or severe pain which has not responded to conservative treatment.
Conditions requiring spinal fusion may be:
- degenerative disc disease
- discogenic pain
- spinal tumor
- vertebral fracture
- other degenerative spinal conditions
- any condition that causes instability of the spine
How is it done?
In most cases, the fusion is augmented by a process called fixation, meaning the placement of metallic screws (pedicle screws often made from titanium), rods or plates, or cages to stabilize the vertebra to facilitate bone fusion. The fusion process typically takes 6-12 months after surgery. During this time external bracing (orthotics) may be required. External factors such as smoking, osteoporosis, certain medications, and heavy activity can prolong or even prevent the fusion process. If fusion does not occur, patients may require re-operation.
If you have a question about a particular procedure, you can send us a message on our contact page or fill out one of our online questionnaire to have a phone consult with one of our doctors.
Additional Spine Surgeries
- Lumbar disc replacement and cervical disc replacement
- Spinal fusion
- Interspinous/interlaminar implant
- Microendoscopic discectomy for herniated discs
- Kyphoplasty for compression fractures
- Minimally invasive surgery