Health Care

A Patient Shares His Discectomy Experience at AdventHealth

The Altamonte Springs team with patient, Ryan Nguyen,

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Ryan Nguyen was in serious pain — but worried about the thought of having surgery and the risks involved.

“With the pandemic,” Mr. Nguyen said, “I was even more concerned and hesitant to go through with it.” But after meeting with Chetan K. Patel, MD, and the Spine Health team at AdventHealth Altamonte Springs , he felt comfortable moving forward with his discectomy surgery and is now getting back to some of the activities he had been missing.

Patient, Ryan Nguyen, talking with Dr. Patel

Meeting at AdventHealth Medical Group Spine Health at Altamonte Springs

“Mr. Nguyen came in to see me indicating that he was having severe pain and numbness in his cervical region, with those symptoms radiating down his shoulder into his fingers,” shared Dr. Chetan K. Patel , Executive Medical Director for Spine Surgery at AdventHealth.

From there, Dr. Patel recommended that Mr. Nguyen have an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) procedure. Mr. Nguyen was struggling with cervical stenosis at multiple levels, along with a herniated disk. “His condition was causing pressure on the spinal cord. During this surgery, I removed the disc that was herniated,” says Dr. Patel.

During a discectomy, once the disc is removed, the space between the vertebrae is empty. To prevent the vertebrae from collapsing and rubbing together, a graft is inserted to fill the open disc space. This graft serves as a bridge between the two vertebrae to assist with a spinal fusion. “The vertebrae are then stabilized with metal plates and screws,” Dr. Patel explains.

Mr. Nguyen had been struggling with neck pain and seen other care providers before coming to the Spine Health practice at Altamonte Springs. “Unfortunately, no other treatment was available for me, as I went for a second and third opinion,” Mr. Nguyen says.

Ryan Nguyen twenty-four hours after his spinal surgery

Comforting and Effective Care

The discectomy surgery at Spine Health at AdventHealth Altamonte Springs was a success, and both Mr. Nguyen and Dr. Patel are very happy with the outcome. “I’m also grateful for the care that was provided to me by Dr. Patel's medical team. Before surgery, I was in so much pain but after surgery 80 – 90% of that pain went away,” says Mr. Nguyen.

Now, Mr. Nguyen continues his recovery and says that it’s going even better than he expected. “Just three weeks after my surgery, I was able to drive a car and perform other household tasks like before.”

Safety Standards at AdventHealth Medical Group Spine Health at Altamonte Springs

When Mr. Nguyen first came to see Dr. Patel, he expressed that he was initially nervous about going into a physician’s office due to concerns about COVID-19. “After experiencing the safety standards that we have in place at Spine Health, he knew that we were going to keep him safe,” says Dr. Patel.

“This was my first experience with the Spine Health team at AdventHealth, and Dr. Patel was very caring and explained the whole procedure to me clearly. He answered all my questions and concerns dealing with risks. He made me feel like I could trust him and that he was an expert in his field, and I felt very safe even during the pandemic,” Mr. Nguyen explains.

AdventHealth has enhanced all of our disinfecting processes, as well as having procedures in place to screen employees every day for symptoms of COVID-19. We’re also offering online pre-registration, which allows us to communicate directly with you when we’re ready for you to enter the building, eliminating the need for a waiting area. We have decreased seating in our common areas to ensure social distancing and anyone entering our building will be required to have their temperature taken at the door and wear a mask at all times.

“Although I can understand why people might have concerns over COVID-19,” says Dr. Patel, “I would encourage our community to not put off having their spinal concerns addressed by a spine specialist for two main reasons:

  1. The number one fear patients express, as a reason why they put off seeing a spine specialist, is the fear of needing to have spine surgery. At AdventHealth Medical Group Spine Health at Altamonte Springs, only 9% of our patients end up needing spine surgery. The remainder of our patients find relief through less-invasive options.
  2. There are spinal conditions, when left untreated, that can cause irreparable damage to the spine and body. If identified in time, we have a better chance of intervening and addressing the condition.”

Ryan Nguyen out of the hospital and back to his lifestyle

Staying on Top of Your Spine Care

If you’re looking for a specialist for your spine health, Mr. Nguyen says, “I would definitely recommend Dr. Patel, physician’s assistant Tara, and the Spine Health team, as they are an exceptional group that are professionals in their field while always considering the patient's care as their top priority.”

“Of all the surgeons that do the ACDF procedure in Orlando,” Mr. Nguyen shares, “I would consider Dr. Patel the top in his field. I am very grateful for the care that both AdventHealth Altamonte Springs and the Spine Health team provided to me. I feel like they have given me an opportunity to live a healthier life again.”

For more information on Dr. Patel and the Spine Health team, click here .

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