Scoliosis Patient Testimonial | Khun Boonsiri Chutinawee’s impressions of scoliosis surgery

Boonsiri Chutinawee, a 15-year-old patient, found out that she had scoliosis after she underwent a health check-up at school. Having noticed an uneven waistline, she lost self-confidence.  She then talked with her family about getting surgery as a cure. Earlier, Khun Boonsiri and her family were told by a doctor at another hospital that her surgical wound would start from the neck and extend almost to the tailbone. They thus decided to seek further consultation with Dr. Sompoch Phaiboonsirijit at Bumrungrad, considering the hospital’s trustworthiness and modern medical equipment. 

Impressed with the doctor’s detailed advice and attention to patients

In her first visit with Dr. Sompoch Phaiboonsirijit, he gave her a thorough exam ranging from a physical exam of the spine, an x-ray, to an MRI.  Khun Boonsiri shared her impression of Dr. Somphoch, “At first I was afraid that the doctor would be stern.  But having talked to him, I found he could translate medical terms, making them understandable from a layperson’s point of view.  I understood what he would do in treating me.  He explained every step to be taken and the technology to be used to help. That made me feel confident.”

The diagnoses that led to the life-changing treatment

Khun Boonsiri was diagnosed with scoliosis where the spinal curvature measures 60 degrees, in which case treatment with surgery is recommended. Dr. Sompoch also said not to worry about getting a long scar as an incision would be made only at the curve.  The surgery would not affect her growth either as she had almost stopped growing in height.  Any further bone length would be in the legs and not in the trunk segment. Initially, the family was concerned as it was a major surgery and wondered if Khun Boonsiri could lead a normal life after surgery, with the screws in the back. Nevertheless, trusting the doctor’s advice, she decided to undergo surgery without hesitation.

Safe surgery with surgeons’ expertise and advanced technology

Khun Boonsiri said, “I didn’t feel nervous when checking in the hospital. I felt the hospital was very big and beautiful. It was like I took a rest at a hotel for a week. The operating room didn’t look threatening like what I saw in drama series either. It looked modern and reliable. I only started to get excited when they gave me saline solution and wheeled me to the operating room. But Dr. Sompoch reassured me that he would try his best so that it wouldn’t hurt.”  

The procedure the surgical team decided on for Khun Boonsiri was to correct the deformity with pedicle screw fixation and fusion.  And for the patient’s maximum safety, the intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring (IONM) was used to help assess the integrity of neural structures, reducing the risk of neurological injuries during surgical procedures. The O-arm navigation system was also used to provide 3D visibility of the spine, enhancing the precision in placing instruments, and minimizing recovery time.  

No postoperative pain, contrary to the expected  

After the surgery, Khun Boonsiri was provided with oral medications and a patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) pump.  However, she didn’t feel any pain after surgery. In her words, “I don't know the difference between taking and not taking the medications.  From the time after the surgery was over, I dare say that it didn't hurt at any step.”  And she shared her impressions of the doctors and nurses’ services during her recovery, “All the doctors and the nurses were very nice. Several doctors came to see me including a rehabilitation medicine doctor and a pediatrician as I’m just over 14. Dr. Sompoch came every day. And the nurses were really nice, reaching me immediately I pressed the call button. Good service.” 

On the 8th day after surgery, Khun Boonsiri started walking but could not walk very well and felt dizzy getting up and sitting down. So she was given medications and blood. With her symptoms improved, Khun Boonsiri returned home on the 10th day after surgery.  From then on, she could lead a normal life, going to school, sitting, carrying bags, and going swimming.  She was also taught how to exercise to help strengthen the abdominal and back muscles.

The confidence and happiness enhancing surgery 

After surgery, while Khun Boonsiri's spine is still slightly curved but that’s not visible. She said, “Before the surgery I was very sad.  With an uneven waistline, whatever clothing didn’t look good on me. I wasn’t confident at school. But after surgery, it’s been a normal life. I simply have to be careful with my back. But I don’t feel any pain. ….I feel more self-confident. And I’m now three centimeters taller. I'm glad I made the right decision.”

Khun Boonsiri concluded, “I got my hopes up for the times after leaving the hospital. Then I got everything I wished. I can lead a normal life and I’m also taller. I recommend this hospital. You can rest assured they’ll meet your expectations.”

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