The Discseel® Procedure
/ Treatment Overview
What the Discseel® Procedure Is
Developed by a team centered on United States (Texas) spine specialist Dr. Kevin Pauza, the Discseel® Procedure has been used clinically to treat spinal conditions since 2010. As of 2021, the treatment has been conducted in around 5000 cases, and has shown 3 distinguished features that are not associated with surgical treatments like discectomy, disc decompression, and fusion.
- Unlike surgery or stem cell transplantation, it can repair and regenerate intervertebral discs.
- Because treatment is completed with just an inserted needle and local anesthesia, it can be done as an outpatient.
- It can be used to treat patients who are not seen to improve after spinal surgery or whose symptoms have recurred.
Since June 2018 Dr. Yasuyuki Nonaka has been licensed by Dr. Kevin Pauza to perform the Discseel® Procedure. At present, NLC Nonaka Lumbago Clinic is the only medical institution in Japan that can provide this non surgical regenerative spine procedure.
- Disc Herniation
- Spinal Stenosis
- Intervertebral Disc Degeneration
- Spondylolytic Spondylolisthesis
- Lumbar Vertebrae Instability Symptom
- Lumbar Scoliosis
Who can be a candidate for the treatment?
- Those suffering from herniated discs, spinal stenosis, sciatica, spondylolisthesis, or other low back pain.
- Those whose intervertebral discs have lost water content and collapsed.
- Those troubled by low back pain caused by intervertebral disc deformity.
- Those who do not want to have a surgery like MED (endoscopic intervertebral disc ablation), spinal fusion, or artificial disc replacement.
- Those who have undergone MED (endoscopic intervertebral disc ablation), spinal fusion, or another surgery but have not improved or whose symptoms have recurred.
- Those who do not want to be hospitalized for back pain surgery.
- Those who are hoping for treatment that doesn’t take such a toll on the body.
- Those who would like to play more golf or other sports in their everyday lives but can’t because of back or leg pain.
We can also treat elderly patients ( 80 years or above ).
The Benefits of Undergoing the Discseel® Procedure
Improvement of intervertebral discs’ Buffer (Cushion) Function
The Discseel® Procedure can be used to relieve a variety of lower back symptoms by improving the function of intervertebral discs that have been worn out due to aging, overuse or dehydration.
Outpatient Treatment That Takes Less of a Toll
Treatment takes about 25 minutes. You will be able to walk 30 minutes after treatment, and you can go home in 60 minutes.
New, Non-Surgical Treatment
The Discseel® Procedure is an alternative treatment for people who are considering spinal fusion or who have undergone spinal fusion without improving.
Treatment of Damage to Intervertebral Discs by the Discseel® Procedure
After numbing the area with a local anesthetic, we place a 0.8 mm (paracentesis) needle into the intervertebral disc. Because we use an X-ray fluoroscope at this time, the possibility of nerve damage is extremely small.
- The presence or absence of intervertebral disc damage is made evident through contrast radiography.
- Medicine is injected into the damaged part of the intervertebral disc.
- Allergic reaction to or side effects of the medicine are extremely rare.
- A cracked intervertebral disc
- A needle is inserted into the cracked intervertebral disc, and medicine is injected.
- Allergic reaction to or side effects of the medicine are extremely rare.
- The intervertebral disc is repaired and regenerated.
- Treatment time
- approx. 25 minutes
You will be able to walk 30 minutes after treatment (*there are some individual differences), and you can go home in 60 minutes. Deskwork or light activity can be done the following day, but you will need to refrain from intense sports or heavy labor for approximately 2 weeks. It is also possible that your symptoms will temporarily worsen for the 2 weeks or so after treatment.
About Post-Treatment Issues
Significant results can be expected 3-6 months after treatment. The reason it takes time is thought to be that, because no blood vessels exist inside intervertebral discs, the growth factor necessary for repair and regeneration is supplemented by slow permeation from the bones. Additionally, when done in the United States for sports players, The Discseel® Procedure's Flow is recommended once a year.
The reason is that, even if intervertebral discs are repaired, new damage will be caused if they endure hard usage. However, there’s no problem if your athletic activity is of the degree done by ordinary people.
About Side Effects
It is said that increased height is one side effect of treatment, but that is really a return to one’s original height due to the repair and regeneration of the collapsed intervertebral discs. The side effect of increased height is also connected with the result of increased volume of the collapsed discs; therefore, it is not as though this side effect were altogether bad.
Physical Activity Guidelines After the Treatment
Since treatment is performed on an outpatient basis, patients can return to their daily life from the very next day after undergoing the procedure and are encouraged to walk and exercise as possible. However, it is advisable to temporarily refrain from the following exercises and daily activities.
|Exercises and daily life activities that can be done after the treatment||Period of restriction|
|Disposable body warmer||Same day|
|Pool Walking||3 days|
|Going to the gym||7 days|
|Nerve block procedure||7 days|
|Chiropractic adjustment||14 days|
|Sportbike riding||14 days|
* We recommend that you wait for at least 30 days before taking a golf round.
Treatment Cost for the Discseel® Procedure
|Disc||1 disc||2 discs||3 discs||4 discs|
|Cost of Treatment||1,320,000(JPY)||1,430,000(JPY)||1,540,000(JPY)||1,650,000(JPY)|
*Consultation, diagnosis, MRI and other tests are all included in the treatment costs listed above.
*If the same treatment is performed again within 3 years after the first treatment, fees will be reduced by half.
*Since the treatment is not covered by the Japanese health insurance, the patient must bear the entire cost of the treatment.
*We accept payments by credit card (VISA, MasterCard, China UnionPay) and cash in Japanese Yen (JPY).
*All taxes included.
The Discseel® Procedure: FAQ
About the Discseel® Procedure
Why is Discseel® Procedure indicated for cases of herniated discs that do not improve after surgery?
Disc hernia operation aims to remove the protruding part of the disc, but leaves the disc the way it is without treating the damage. As a result, nucleus pulposus leaks again through the crack in the disc wall, resulting in persistent inflammation.
The Discseel® Procedure treats the disc damage itself and suppresses further leaking of nucleus pulposus.
Wouldn't it be a problem if the injected medication comes in contact with the nerve ?
The drug solution is not irritating or inflammatory, and even if comes in contact with the nerve, it will not affect it.
We have treated more than 2,880 patients, but there have been no records of nerve damage caused.
Can Discseel® Procedure be used to treat scoliosis, too?
Discseel® Procedure is possible if scoliosis is mild, but treatment of severe scoliosis is difficult. We can make a decision using image diagnosis by X-ray or MRI.
How do you determine the locations to be treated with the Discseel® Procedure?
Since it’s possible to have intervertebral disc damage even in places where no abnormality appears on the MRI, we check for cracks before treatment and decide the area(s) to treat. We check because, if there’s intervertebral disc damage, it becomes the cause of low back pain, and nucleus pulposus matter leaks from the damaged areas and brings about inflammation of the nerves. We therefore do contrast radiography on all intervertebral discs suspected of abnormality, and the areas to treat are decided after we clarify the presence or absence of damage.
About Differences in Recurrence Rates for Our Outpatient Treatment vs. Surgery
Since 1960s surgical operations were used to remove tissue such as deformed bone or herniated discs and occasionally attempted to immobilize the area, but because of new bone damage from screws or the fact that no treatment of the root cause was being done, the problems of chronical post operative pain and high recurrence rates appeared.
That is why the need for treatment of the root cause of back pain increased in the 1980s, and the development of new intervertebral disc treatments, including some of these we perform at our clinic began. Nowadays, medicine has progressed to the point of using stem cell transplantation and fibrin sealant, especially like Discseel® that has been acknowledged not only for its intervertebral disc repair and regeneration effect, but also for improving symptoms and lowering recurrence rate.
Is it possible to receive treatment as a preventive measure?
When disc degeneration is confirmed by the results of MRI and X-ray, considering the risk of developing back pain it is possible to undergo the Discseel® Procedure as a preventative measure even though there are no symptoms.
At our clinic, patients have to go through series of test before treatment to determine whether the Discseel® Procedure is appropriate them. Please feel free to contact us for details.
About the treatment
About how much exercise is possible after being treated with Discseel® Procedure?
There are no restriction for sports when played as a hobby, but if you compete on a professional level, there is a high possibility of causing new intervertebral disc damage, so we recommend undergoing the Discseel® Procedure once a year.
How long does the temporary worsening of symptoms last if it occurs after the Discseel® Procedure?
When the volume of vertebral discs increases rapidly as a result of the treatment, symptoms such as lower back tension, muscle aches and discomfort may appear because of the shrunken ligaments get stretched, and gradually fade away within 2 weeks.
Is it recommendable to go to the gym or undergo rehabilitation, massage and manipulative treatment possible after the Discseel® Procedure?
It will be fine to do it at least 2 weeks after undergoing the Discseel® Procedure. However, it is recommended that patients refrain from excessive exercise or carrying heavy luggage for about a month after the treatment.
Discseel® Procedure was developed by an American surgeon by the name of Dr. Kevin Pauza, after caring for hundreds of patients who were made worse following their spine surgery. The treatment aims to seal tears in herniated vertebral discs and help them regenerate and recover their, allowing permanent relief of back pain. Dr. Pauza holds a series of 16 patents for a device and Discseel® biologic that support the treatment. Dr.Nonaka has been licensed to perform the Discseel® Procedure in 2018, and more than 2,880 patient have undergone the treatment in our clinic since then. At present, approximately 20 doctors, including physicians from Harvard and Boston Universities are using the Discseel® Procedure to treat their patients in the USA. Dr. Nonaka is the first physician trained to perform the Discseel® Procedure in Japan.
The PIDT Method (Implant)
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The PLOT Method (Laser And Ozone)
Percutaneous Laser and Ozone Treatment
The PODT Method (Ozone)
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The PLDD Method (Laser)
Percutaneous Laser Disc Decompression
Spinal Canal Stenosis