The PLOT Method (Laser And Ozone)/ Treatment Overview
What the PLOT Method Is
Percutaneous Laser and Ozone Treatment
The PLOT Method is a minimally invasive herniated disc treatment with the goal of combining the advantages of both laser (PLDD) treatment and those of ozone (PODT) treatment by doing them at the same time. The advantage of laser treatment is that it reduces the pressure inside the intervertebral disc that is the cause of herniation; the advantage of ozone treatment is that it alleviates the nerve inflammation caused by herniation. Because the treatments’ respective advantages differ, high effectiveness can be anticipated by combining them.
With the patient under local anesthesia, and while using an X-ray fluoroscope so as not to cause nerve damage, we place a 1.0 mm thick paracentesis needle into the intervertebral disc. Then we decompress the nucleus pulposus with a laser. After that, we finish by injecting ozone in proportion to the damage. We use a special 1.0 mm (paracentesis) needle that makes it possible to perform laser treatment and ozone treatment at the same time.
- Disc Herniation
Who can be a candidate for the treatment?
- Those diagnosed with herniated discs.
- Those suffering from chronic back pain caused by herniated discs.
- Those considering herniated disc surgery but who do not want to undergo it.
- Those who have undergone herniated disc surgery but not improved (or whose condition has recurred).
- Those afraid of herniated disc surgery.
- Those who do not want to be hospitalized for herniated disc surgery.
- Those who are hoping for treatment that doesn’t take such a toll on the body.
We can also treat elderly patients ( 80 years or above ).
The Benefits of Doing the PLOT Method
Almost No Scar Will Be Left
The PLOT Method is effective for herniated discs with especially high internal pressure that have not prolapsed from the ligaments and have mild to moderate herniation. In cases of prolapse or separation, PIDT or The Discseel® Procedure will be an effective treatment method.
Outpatient Treatment That Takes Les
Treatment takes about 20-25 minutes, and you will need to rest for around 60 minutes afterwards. You can go home in about 90 minutes.
No Need for Continued Hospital Visits or Rehabilitation
Because no continued hospital visits or rehabilitation is necessary after treatment, it’s easy even for those who come from far away to return to their daily lives and work.
How Treatment Is Done and Treatable Conditions
The PLOT Method removes the cause of pain by decompressing the intervertebral disc that is protruding and placing pressure on the nerves. In this treatment approach, as in PLDD and PODT, we use X-ray fluoroscopy from the back and pierce into the intervertebral disc with a 1.0 mm (paracentesis) needle. By sticking laser fiber through the needle and shining a laser into the protruding intervertebral disc (its nucleus pulposus), we evaporate and eliminate the nucleus pulposus, and we remove the part that is the root cause of pain. Furthermore, this is a treatment effective in using the anti-inflammatory effect of ozone to take away pain by injecting ozone from a needle, as in PODD. In particular, this treatment’s distinction is that it is more effective than conventional PLDD or PODT treatment.
- Disc herniation causing inflammation of the compressed nerve.
- A hole is made by cauterizing the nucleus pulposus inside the intervertebral disc with a laser, and the disc is caused to shrink.
- Ozone is injected into the inflamed area through the tip of the inserted needle, and inflammation is reduced.
Efficacy of the Method for Disc Herniation
The PLOT Method is effective for herniated discs with especially high internal pressure that have not prolapsed from the ligaments and have mild to moderate herniation. In cases of prolapse or separation, PIDT or the Discseel® will be an effective treatment method.
- approx. 20-25 minutes
You will need to rest for about 60 minutes after treatment, and you will need about 90 minutes until you can go home. Light activity can be done the following day, but you will need to postpone sports or heavy labor for around 7 days.
About Post-Treatment Issues
When the intervertebral discs have been damaged, there is concern about the recurrence rate just as there is with surgery. The reason is that, like with surgery, repair of the intervertebral disc itself cannot be done. To lower the possibility of recurrence, PIDT (Percutaneous Implant Disc Treatment) or The Discseel® is necessary.
About Side Effects
After receiving The PLOT Method, you may experience some unprecedented back pain, numbness, or muscle tension in your thighs. These symptoms should be temporary and may subsist from one week to one month after surgery, depending on the symptoms and condition of the patient. Although the probability is much lower than with surgical procedures, there is a risk of infection or complications in the treated area. At our clinic, the doctor will explain the treatment in detail in order to reduce these risks as much as possible. Please contact us with any questions or concerns you may have before treatment.
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 Costs for the PLOT Treatment
|Disc||1 disc||2 discs||3 discs||4 discs|
|Cost of Treatment||440,000(JPY)||495,000(JPY)||550,000(JPY)||605,000(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 PLOT Method: FAQ
Who is eligible for PLOT treatment?
This treatment is often performed on persons who are experiencing severe chronic numbness and pain or who are suffering from a strong inflammatory response.
What are the differences with the PODT method?
Ozone has a calming effect on inflammation. With the PODT method, ozone is injected into the disc to reduce the internal pressure of the disc, whereas in the case of the PLOT method, the purpose is to reduce the nucleus pulposus in the intervertebral disc, then cauterize it with a laser (PLDD method) in order to create some hollow space in the disc, which will then cause the disc to shrink. The purpose of the treatment is to inject ozone into the area of inflammation by inserting a needle in that area.
Can the PLOT method be used for back conditions other than herniated discs?
For other conditions, we will most likely consider other treatment options, such as The Discseel® Procedure or ozone therapy for spinal stenosis. It may be used as an alternative treatment.
How long does it take for the inflammation to go away once ozone is injected into the inflamed area?
The inflammation may go away within a week of treatment, or it may take up to a month, depending on the individual.
Do I need rehabilitation after the PLDD method of treatment?
Light exercise can be done starting one week after the treatment, but if you are in severe post-operative pain, you should refrain from sports or strenuous exercise. You can start with light walking and stretching.
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
Percutaneous Implant Disc
The PLOT Method
(Laser And Ozone)
Percutaneous Laser and Ozone Treatment
The PODT Method
Percutaneous Ozone Disc
The PLDD Method
Percutaneous Laser Disc
Spinal Canal Stenosis