FAQs

Q?

Have there been any cases of nerve or spinal cord damage?

A.

No, but there is always the risk of both.

Q?

What have been the complications?

A.

In our series of over 4,000 procedures in over 20 years, we have encountered post-procedure discitis (disc infection) in only 10 cases. All of these patients got well with antibiotics.

Q?

What is the success rate?

A.

It varies from 80% to 89%. When it is not successful, we believe it is due to a free fragment that is not detectable 20% of the time by even the best MRIs worldwide.

Q?

My insurance company wants to know what the CPT (common procedure terminology) code is for PLDD.

A.

The CPT code for PLDD is 62287.

Q?

Is the procedure covered by my insurance?

A.

Patients from all over the United States and around the world come to the Laser Spine Center to undergo PLDD. It would be impossible to be associated with all of the health insurance companies. We suggest that you contact your own health insurance provider prior to the procedure to inquire about reimbursement. After the procedure we will give you a detailed billing insurance form that is accepted by the majority of insurance companies. We will fill out any additional forms from your insurance company and do everything possible to facilitate your reimbursement

In addition, financing your treatment is possible through third-party providers including banks and medical procedure financing specialists.

Q?

What condition is PLDD used to treat?

A.

PLDD is an effective treatment for a herniated disc with or without sciatica in the lumbar, cervical or thoracic spine. It is not effective for pain or weakness caused by bone spurs, arthritis, or bony spinal stenosis. Spinal stenosis due to disc herniation responds to PLDD.

Q?

What tests are needed to decide if I’m a candidate for the procedure?

A.

Dr. Choy must see an MRI that has been performed within the past 6 months. He does not accept CDs or discs of these MRIs. He must have the actual film. In some cases, a recent CT scan will be acceptable.

Q?

When can I go back to work?

A.

Most office workers can go back to work within one week. If your job consists of manual work, depending on the demands of the job, it could take up to one month.

Q?

How long will it take me to feel better?

A.

The majority of patients feel some pain relief immediately after the procedure. During the first week, you will experience some localized swelling which will be controlled with ice and medications. At one month, you will start to participate in a 6-week physical therapy program at your local physical therapy center. This will promote improved functioning and maximize recovery. A very small number of patients take up to eleven months for full recovery.

Q?

Will I feel any pain during the procedure?

A.

Local anesthetic (numbing) medication is used to prevent the sensation of pain. There may be few instances when pain is felt. This will be explained to you during your initial consultation.

Q?

How long will the procedure take?

A.

The actual procedure takes approximately 1 hour per disc. Immediately prior to the procedure you will be given intravenous antibiotics, which takes an additional 30 minutes. After the procedure there is no "recovery time".

Q?

Will I be put to sleep?

A.

No, you will not be put to sleep. This is a minimally invasive procedure that is done using local anesthetic to prevent the sensation of pain as well as medication to help you relax.