Testimonial – Patient’s impressions of Spinal Canal Stenosis

Khun Pornchanok Thomson Glover has been Bumrungrad Hospital patient for more than 30 years. She currently divides her time between Thailand and the UK, regularly travelling back and forth between the two countries.  But she decided to seek medical treatment in Thailand at Bumrungrad Hospital thanks to her confidence in the knowledge and expertise of its doctors and in its modern medical equipment which helped in the surgery that satisfactorily restored her quality of life. 

Several years ago, Khun Pornchanok started having back pain due to Spinal Canal Stenosis. She had been seeing Pol. Maj. Gen. Dr. Chanchit Sangkaew for treatment for about seven years. The treatment with medications was effective in improving her conditions during the early stages. However, the back pain became more severe during the past two years due to Lumbar Spondylosis (Degeneration of Spine). She could not straighten her legs and felt like the left leg was shorter than the right one. She limped, feeling like a disabled. Every day, her conditions seemed to improve after about an hour of exercise, but the following day, the pain would come back. As a result, it took longer for her medications to work. In other words, instead of three days, she had to take the medicines for 1-2 weeks before the symptoms would improve. In addition, as a side effect, she’d often feel drowsy and would like to sleep all day. Khun Pornchanok then wished to do away with the back pain without relying on medicines. So Dr. Chanchit referred her to Dr. Sompoch Paiboonsirijit for further treatment by steroid injections or surgery.

Dr. Sompoch first put Khun Pornchanok on additional medication for another while. However, as her conditions did not improve, after four visits, he suggested treatment with steroid injections or surgery. Having learned more about the surgical approach herself, Khun Pornchanok decided to opt for surgery, also following Dr. Sompoch’s recommendation after the various tests and procedures determined that with her conditions, she was a suitable candidate for endoscopic decompression surgery. 

Feelings before surgery

At first, Khun Pornchanok was very afraid of the surgery as it was a major surgery, which would take about three and a half hours and require general anesthesia.  Before surgery, she got a thorough physical examination, checking for diabetes and heart disease, as well as blood tests and an MRI. This made her more nervous of surgery, wondering if it would be even more demanding considering a lot of tests before surgery. But then Dr Sompoch clarified that the pre-surgery clearance aimed to make sure that the patient did not have any other diseases or complications, to ensure the patient’s utmost safety. If she got the clearance, it meant it was safe for her to undergo surgery. 

Khun Pornchanok said, “Dr. Somphoch’s explanation was informative and reassuring. Now that I'd learned more, I felt encouraged and was confident that this surgery would go well. I became less anxious and more uplifted.”

Feelings after the surgery, one that restores quality of life


Khun Pornchanok has seen several people close to her with similar problems but haven't had surgery become unable to walk and wheelchair-bound in old age. “If I’m not very old yet but need a wheelchair, can't travel, can’t sit in a plane, can't go shopping, I’d feel my life was over,” she said.  After the surgery, her fear of not being able to walk quickly dissipated. After only one-night stay at hospital, she could go recuperate at home. And one day after that, she could walk right away although there’s numbness down the left hip. During the first few days after surgery, Khun Pornchanok still was not sure if her ability to walk would last as it was ok on some days and not quite on others. 

She said, “In short, I could start walking normally within the first week after surgery. It's been two months now and I feel so happy that I can walk normally. I wake up feeling fine, no worrying about what to do like “Do I have to reach for the table or the door panel for support when walking to the bathroom?” The numbness is still there. But 95% is good, the other 5% is numb.  I ‘ve been taking B vitamins to deal with that for a few weeks now. Dr. Sompoch told me that it would gradually go away but for now, I should take it slow and not get too hasty…”

Khun Pornchanok added, “I think I made the right decision in having this surgery because I feel that surgery can help patients get better in a really short period of time. I thought it would take a long time. But it took only a few weeks. I wonder why doctors don't recommend surgery to all patients. 

Satisfaction with the results of the minimally invasive surgery with little pain

Khun Pornchanok has degenerative spine disease, with herniated disc problems affecting L3-L4 and L4-L5 areas. The surgeon thus performed two endoscopic procedures in a single operation. Khun Pornchanok said, “The surgical wounds were at the waist in the back. They were very tiny, about 8 millimeters, like large specks. If you don't look carefully, you won't see them. The wounds were surprisingly very tiny and left no scars. It feels great.”

Impressions of the service provided by Bumrungrad Hospital and the doctors

Khun Pornchanok concluded, “As someone who spent time gathering information and learning about hospitals, doctors, and treatment methods before deciding to have surgery, I found that Bumrungrad Hospital has really talented and highly qualified doctors. Many have been trained overseas. You can choose to see a doctor of your preferred age range and medical school. I think that at Bumrungrad Hospital, I have a chance to be cured.

Khun Pornchanok added, “If anyone in our family has a problem, we'll choose to go to Bumrungrad. It’s the hospital of choice for our family. All my folks are Bumrungrad patients considering the quality of doctors and treatment. What I also like is the hospital design, which makes patients feel warm, relaxed and comfortable like staying at a five-star hotel.”


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