New Zealand pilot travels to Germany for Artificial Disc Replacement
Jeff is a 48 year old commercial airline pilot from New Zealand. He was diagnosed with Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) at the bottom two levels of his lumbar spine, L4/5 and L5/S1.
He contacted Skygen in 2016 to enquire about Artificial Disc Replacement in Germany. While we readily assist NZ patients every week, our offices are based in Queensland, Australia, and so after speaking with Jeff he organised for his close friend to visit our offices and meet our team in person. Jeff proceeded with his assessment and was confirmed as a good candidate for 2-level Artificial Disc Replacement (ADR) with the latest M6 Implant. This disc is favoured by our German neurosurgeons because it’s the only disc which can move in 6 directions, including shock absorption, with an external sheath to protect the patient from wear debris. The controlled movement of the M6 device means that it’s safe to be offered at up to 3 levels in the lower back and 4 levels in the neck.
After taking around 3 months to try a final conservative approach in the form of Spinal Decompression Table therapy with his chiropractor, Jeff was sure that he still required surgical intervention and he was now ready to proceed with the surgery in Germany.
Jeff kept us updated with some photos of his trip
He wanted to share his story, so we asked him a few important questions below:
Q1. What was wrong with your back and how did it effect your work/lifestyle?
My lower lumber discs (2) were degenerated causing pain when sitting or loading the spine for too long.
Q2. What were your options with your spine surgeon at home?
The only option here in New Zealand was a double fusion.
Q3. What made you choose to go to Germany?
The German spine surgeons are experts in the field and have the most experience with complicated cases.
Q4. What was your experience like with your surgeon Dr. Bierstedt and the rehab centre?
My experience at the hospital and at the Rehab centre was first class, I was impressed by the attention to detail and care.
Q5. What lifestyle can you enjoy now that you’re home and recovered?
I am now able to enjoy my outdoor pursuits, work and have a quality of life without pain 6 months post surgery.
Q6. What would you say to anyone considering travelling to Germany for spine surgery?
At the very least, get a diagnosis from the ONZ centre, currently the German spine team lead the world.
Before & After Jeff’s M6 Disc Replacement
Jeff and his wife enjoyed spending time with other couples from the USA & Canada who were also recovering from motion-preserving spine surgery. They shared some photos together.
Since his full recovery Jeff has generously made himself available to talk with any new SkyGen patients who’ve been recommended spine surgery in Germany. We have new happy patients returning from Germany every week, and many are happy to give some of their time as a “reference” to speak with new patients. We aim to put new patients in touch with someone around the same age, with a similar lifestyle, who’s already had the same surgery that’s been recommended for them.
Have you received a diagnosis or been recommended for spinal surgery?
Contact SkyGen today with any questions, and our team are happy to assist you. So far we’ve helped patients travel from Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Singapore and South Africa to Germany for motion-preserving spine surgery. We are experts at coordinating every little detail of the medical travel journey from start to finish.
*Please read: Although the information provided on this page may describe a particular patient experience and/or outcome, readers must understand that each patient presents with a unique medical history and may be recommended a different treatment/surgery by their surgeon to that described above. Individual results may vary between surgery centre/hospital, surgeon, surgery type and patient. Although SkyGen agrees to share all updates from patients at their request, SkyGen does not endorse any physical activities attempted by patients following surgery which do not follow the explicit instructions provided by their surgeon. SkyGen encourages all patients to discuss the risks of such activities with medical professionals before attempting these themselves.