Mustak, a returned patient, first visited Bumrungrad International Hospital in 2005 for a scheduled executive check-up while on vacation. He is the CEO of a major distributor in Bangladesh and will be retiring soon. In different years, doctors in Bumrungrad for various reasons observed him. Faced with major back surgery, Mustak returned to Bumrungrad International Hospital because he feels comfortable, safe, and secure here.
Mustak has been suffering from chronic back and leg pain
since 2015. Over the past six months, the back pain has become unbearable. During the last two months, he had been experiencing radiating pain down his right buttock and right thigh. Mustak's pain was so excruciating that he could not walk up and downstairs and had to take a break from work for fifteen days.
Mustak went to a neurosurgeon in Bangladesh, who did an MRI
and suggested emergency surgery. He received a second opinion from a physical therapist in Bangladesh who gave him the same advice. They found a herniated disc in L2-L3. The herniated disc
came out of its place, moved down, and compressed his nerve.
His pain became so severe that the doctors advised him to have a cortisone injection. In August, he received a cortisone injection that instantly relieved his back pain, but surgery was still recommended.
Mustak and his family - his wife, two daughters, and two sons - decided that Bumrungrad International Hospital would be the best option for the operation. Many of his friends had successful surgeries here, and he was inspired by his friend's advice to come to Bumrungrad. Although the cost of the operation would have been a burden, Mustak's family encouraged him to receive top-notch treatment to "come back (home) with a new life. When it comes to health, the cost is ok.”
We don't treat pictures, we have to treat patients.
Dr. Verapan Kuansongtham and Bumrungrad International Hospital provided telemedicine support to Mustak ahead of his trip to Bangkok for back surgery. However, when Dr. Verapan and Mustak met in person and had a physical examination, they were both surprised and delighted by what they found.
On October 22, 2021, Mustak had an appointment with Dr. Verapan. During a medical examination, they found that Mustak is in better shape and his condition has improved by 80%. Mustak could walk and had no disability, muscle weakness, or limping. "Dr. Verapan listened to me very attentively.”
Dr. Verapan suggested Mustak get a new MRI because the MRI in Bangladesh was done two months ago and Mustak's symptoms did not match the old MRI. Dr. Verapan's extensive experience helped him understand that some patients have strong immune systems and can heal on their own.
On October 23, the next day, the results of the new MRI showed that the herniated disc was much smaller, 80% smaller than before. Nerve compression has decreased and the nerve is now free. Dr. Verapan congratulated Mustak: “You don't need an operation. You can expect very good healing without surgery.” “I was so happy to hear this information,” Mustak beamed.
Dr. Verapan later explained that this is not how most hernias occur. In this case, the hernia migrated to an area rich in blood supply. On the one hand, this creates severe inflammation and pain in the patient, and on the other hand, the immune system works better in this area. The hernia was so large that surgery was initially suggested, but Mustak's immune system was able to reduce the size of the hernia.
Mustak was delighted with the honesty and integrity of Dr. Verapan when he learned that he did not need an operation. Dr. Verapan's professional leadership style emphasizes to his team: "We don't treat pictures, we have to treat patients." It is obvious that Dr. Verapan listens to patients and sympathizes with their symptoms. His team doesn't overreact to an MRI, especially when the picture doesn't match the symptoms. “We treat patients like they are our family.”
A Great Doctor Working for Humanity
Mustak is recovering well. He feels good". His cortisone injection in August lasts another month. Dr. Verapan told Mustak that if his pain returned, he could give another cortisone injection, which would last another three months.
Dr. Verapan also informed Mustak that this was not the end. Mustak will need 3-6 months of treatment. In the meantime, Mustak will be making small changes to his lifestyle. He should avoid sports, vigorous exercise, heavy lifting, and bending up and down. He can do light exercises and basic exercises. This is important because there is a risk of recurrence, especially within one year.
Most of the stories feature a patient traveling long distances for world-class treatment that ends in a successful operation. However, in this story, the patient was expecting an operation, and instead was given the honest and positive news that he would not need an operation. This was a relief for Mustak.
“Bumrungrad is moral, committed to us, and they adhere to medical ethics,” he explained. "Dr. Verapan is a great doctor working for humanity.”
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