An Easier Type Of Medical Care
More and more, medical advances are cutting down on cutting people open. Improved imaging procedures make diagnostic and even surgical procedures less invasive.
Medical imaging enables a range of less-invasive, highly targeted medical therapies that translate into better and more comfortable care for patients. Because they are less invasive, these treatments mean fewer complications, shorter hospital stays and, in many cases, no incisions or surgery.
Physician specialty groups, independent organizations and peer-reviewed journals agree that medical imaging is one of the most important parts of modern medical care. In fact, many renowned medical experts believe that without imaging to guide diagnosis and treatment, patient safety would be compromised and quality of care diminished.
Doctors have long used surgery for diagnostic as well as therapeutic purposes, looking inside a patient to see what's causing his or her symptoms. Now, improved imaging procedures mean this is often unnecessary, saving patients discomfort, time and money. Here are some of the ways imaging has improved health care:
Image-guided biopsies allow doctors to remove a small piece of tissue for testing through a tiny incision, while still being able to see exactly what they're doing.
CT scans can reduce the need for invasive procedures and additional imaging tests in helping physicians diagnose pulmonary embolism.
Microcoil stents are used to repair brain aneurysms, reducing a patient's chance of death by almost a quarter. Placing stents would be impossible without the use of video X-ray imaging technology.
The preferred therapy for reopening blocked arteries and permitting blood flow to the heart is a procedure called coronary angioplasty. Again, only through the use of imaging technology can doctors see where the blockage is and how to get there.
Back Surgery Is Not Always The Answer
So many people suffer from chronic low back pain. Its the number one reason Americans miss work. Back pain can either come on slow and get worse, or all at once you wake to find you cant get out of bed like a lighting strike out of the blue. Either way its a terrible thing to cope with. When after a few days or a couple of weeks at tops, most people end up going to the doctor. Upon going to the doctor, a lot of the people hurting with low back pain are told by physicians that surgery is needed. This news alone can be devastating in itself. Back surgery required recovery time that most people cant afford to take from work. Back surgery also is very expensive. Not only does it take a to recover and expensive, its also sometimes not even necessary.
So many people have low back surgery when other alternatives could have been used. Other methods of dealing with back pain can be physical therapy, biofeedback, traction, exercise, steroid injections, and electric stimulation therapy of muscles and nerves just to name a few. People that rush into back surgery have found that their back actually hurts worse than it did before the surgery. Some people also need follow up surgery either to correct mistakes made in the initial surgery, or problems in the back that crops up later. Either way this is also devastating. By this time, the patient has been out of work so long, that a financial hardship has occurred, medical bills have piled up, or some people have lost their employment, and find their back pain is no better or even worse.
People needlessly put themselves in this situation. I blame this on a couple of things. Physicians are quick to suggest surgery for the simple reason they do not believe in treating people with pain medicine. Some physicians are more worried about writing prescriptions for pain medication, than the pain your suffering from. This is due to people abusing the system when it comes to prescription drugs, or the lack of knowledge the physician sometimes has towards chronic pain sufferers. Either way the true chronic pain patient suffers tremendously.
When it comes to your back, going under the knife should always be the last resort. Everything under the sun should be tried, and tried again before anyone should have surgery. There are a few exceptions when having back surgery right away is necessary, but for the most part, other measures and therapy are out their and should be used. As a low back pain sufferer myself, though Im not a medical doctor, I would suggest something like this. First find a doctor who believes treating pain with pain medication. Combing physical therapy with pain medication can relieve pain tremendously. Do physical activities such as stretching, walking, sit-ups if possible, this strengthens the muscles around the disc taking the pressure off the nerves that cause such pain. A good program of pain medicine combined with other pain management tactics can do wonders over a period of time. A lot of people have found that the pain has actually went away with this type of therapy.
Worse case scenario, its better to have your back still in tact with pain, compared to the many complications, the severe pain, permanent nerve damage, loss of physical mobility, being unable to work, and even becoming disable due to having low back surgery. Remember no matter what anyone tells you, its your back, not theirs. Its easy for someone to tell you what you should do, but they don't have to walk in your shoes after a failed back surgery.
Author is an advocate in pain managment, helping people who suffer from chronic pain to get the proper pain medication to treat their pain for a better quality of life.