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The Discseel® Procedure?

If you are like most back pain sufferers, you are willing to try anything to get your pain-free life back. However, not all treatment options are the same. Currently, the traditional treatments for repairing a damaged or torn spinal disc leave patients with a host of side effects, without consistently providing relief.

Recognizing the need for a real alternative to invasive spinal fusions and discectomies Dr. Bonnabesse felt that he needed to provide a solution that is minimally-invasive and effectively treats long term chronic back pain. The Discseel® Procedure does exactly that. This revolutionary and minimally-invasive procedure uses an FDA-approved, 100% natural biologic called Fibrin. The Fibrin is injected into the disc, which seals the tears and allows for natural healing to occur. When Fibrin is used in combination with PRP, the disc is not only sealed, but promotes healing. That is why Dr. Bonnabesse offers the Discseel® Procedure as a true alternative to spinal fusions at his office in Plattsburgh, NY.

Invented by Dr. Kevin Pauza, MD, the Discseel® Procedure actually restores the spinal discs by repairing the tears in the discs, something that spine surgeries, spinal fusions and discectomies can’t accomplish. Fibrin was first approved by the FDA to assist in facial reconstruction surgery, for splenic repair following blunt trauma, and to control cardiac bleeding. Recognizing Fibrin’s ability to effectively repair tissue that cannot be sutured or ligatured, Dr. Pauza began developing the Discseel® Procedure.

Surgeons have attempted to suture tears in the discs of the spine without success. Overcoming this challenge with the Discseel® Procedure has led to advancements in the way Dr. Bonnabesse treats chronic back pain issues. Often the source of chronic pain in the back is the result of “gel” inside the annulus fibrosus leaking out of the torn disc, causing the loss of hydration and height of the disc which leads to degeneration. This leaking gel also inflames the nerves in the surrounding tissue, causing pain. Using Fibrin as part of the Discseel® Procedure not only seals the torn disc, but it also allows an individual’s body to replenish the lost cells in the annulus with new cells. The result is the restoration of the degenerated disc to a healthy state.

Essentially Dr. Bonnabesse’s goal is to heal the damaged discs by sealing the disc with Fibrin and instigating healthy growth of new disc tissue.

How the Discseel® Procedure Compares to a Traditional Spinal Fusion

For over 100 years, physicians have been performing spinal fusions on their patients. Although medicine has advanced significantly in the last 100 years, spinal fusions are still performed using hardware that is permanently screwed into the spine. When a patient has a portion of their spine fused, they experience permanent limitations to their mobility and flexibility. These permanent changes, coupled with the significantly high failure rate, and need for patients to manage lingering pain with opioid pain medication beg the question: Why are physicians still performing invasive spinal fusions?

The answer is simple. An average spinal fusion patient typically has multiple procedures and a lifetime of follow-up, which can add up to over $250,000 in insurance payouts during the patient’s lifetime. The poor outcomes and long term side effects are what led to the creation of the Discseel® Procedure. To better understand how the two procedures compare here are some facts to consider:

  • Over 40% of spinal fusion patients don’t find relief from their long term chronic pain.
  • Nearly 1 out of 3 spinal fusion patients need a second fusion within 10 years of the original fusion surgery.
  • A staggering majority of spinal fusion patients report that post surgery, they still require strong pain medication to manage their chronic pain.
    70% of Discseel® Procedure patients report an improvement and a reduction in overall pain.
  • The Discseel® Procedure is a minimally-invasive outpatient procedure, whereas spinal fusions are not only invasive, but they leave scars and requires days of recovery time in the hospital.
Spinal X-ray after the Discseel® Procedure
Spinal X-ray after spinal fusion procedure

What to Expect

Before Dr. Bonnabesse performs the Discseel® Procedure on a patient, it is important that he review your history and condition to make sure you are a candidate for this Procedure. The first step is for you to complete the Discseel® Procedure Application.

Once you have completed our online application, our Discseel® Patient Liaison will contact you to review the details of your applications and to answer any initial questions you may have. During that call, they will also set up your one-on-one consultation with Dr. Bonnabesse to discuss the Discseel® Procedure and review your current back pain symptoms.

The day of the procedure will start with Dr. Bonnabesse performing an Annulogram. An annulogram is detailed imaging of your spine and the discs within it. This will identify your pain source. It specifically determines which discs are healthy and which disc appear abnormal and are leaking due to a tear. Anything missed by the MRI will show up on the annulogram.

During the Discseel® Procedure, Dr. Bonnabesse will inject the biologic Fibrin into the annulus fibrosus (the outer wall that makes up your spinal disc), sealing the tears and preventing further leaking of the “inner gel,” which eliminates the inflammation of the nerves, and the source of your pain. The entire procedure is performed with image-guided through live x-ray.

After the procedure, most patients are walking normally within the first 24 hours. Immediately after the procedure, your once damaged disc will begin to heal as your body grows new disc tissue. The overall healing process will continue over the next 12 months.

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