July 18 2006 - HERNIATED SPINAL DISCS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - July 18, 2006

For More Information:

John Moore
Media Relations
903-531-4542

TMFHS NOW OFFERING NEW RELIEF
FOR HERNIATED SPINAL DISCS


JACKSONVILLE, TX - For east Texans suffering from herniated or "slipped" spinal discs, a treatment utilizing water offers most patients less pain and a faster recovery. Peter A. Sirianni, MD, Chief of Anesthesia at Trinity Mother Frances Health System-Jacksonville and a board certified anesthesiologist, is now offering patients from across east Texas a procedure known as HydroDiscectomy. Symptoms of herniation include chronic lower back pain, leg numbness or pain, or leg weakness.

HydroDiscectomy is a minimally invasive procedure that uses a high-speed water stream to remove herniated disc tissue, relieving the nerve pressure that causes back and leg pain. HydroDiscectomy removes damaged or protruding spinal disc tissue.

Spinal discs are the cushioning tissue that lie between the vertebrae, or spinal bones. When the outer wall of the disc becomes damaged or weakened through age or injury, the inner part of the disc may bulge out. This is called disc herniation, disc prolapse, or a "slipped" disc. Procedures that remove this protruding tissue, relieving the pressure on the nerves, are known as discectomy.

HydroDiscectomy uses a high-velocity fluid instrument called SpineJet to cut and remove degenerated disc tissue, relieving the herniation. HydroDiscectomy is performed using a fluoroscope, which is a machine that projects live x-ray pictures onto a monitor. This allows the physician to place the SpineJet device within the spinal disc without using a large incision. The procedure may be performed using a local anesthesia.

The SpineJet is inserted by dilating a tiny hole in the disc wall. Once the device is in place, the water-jet action works to quickly remove the herniated disc tissue. The entire procedure takes 30-45 minutes. In most cases, patients will be able to go home the same day as the procedure. Outpatient surgery means a faster recovery. Patients may be able to return to work in 2-3 days depending on their job.

Patients may be a good candidate for HydroDiscectomy if:

• The disc is bulging and the material inside the disc has not ruptured into the spinal canal.
• Symptoms are severe and disabling.
• Pain has not improved after four or more weeks of non-surgical treatment.
• You have signs of nerve damage in the leg (severe weakness, loss of coordination, loss of feeling).
• Symptoms are getting worse.
• You are not a candidate for open discectomy.

Benefits:
• Outpatient procedure
• Less pain
• Back to work quickly
• Faster recovery
• No general anesthesia
• No hospital stay

Anyone interested in HydroDiscectomy should contact his or her primary care physician for a referral. For more information, call 903-541-4600 or visit www.tmfhs.org.

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John Moore
Media Relations
Phone 531-4542
Fax 525-1206