A grandmother who spent eight months in agony and could barely walk because of excruciating back pain has become one of the first patients at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals to undergo a new approach to spinal surgery.
Monica Clegg, 64, of Hutton, near Preston, says she has made an amazing recovery and got her life back following the day case surgery.
Until recently, patients having a discectomy or spinal decompression procedure usually had to stay in hospital for a few days and the current standard across the country is at least two days.
However, Mr Ali Hassan, spinal and lower limb surgeon at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, has developed a new approach that allows patients to return home on the same day as their operation.
Monica, a mum-of-three and grandmother-of-three, said: “I have suffered from back problems for quite a while but on this occasion, when my back went, I went through eight months of absolute hell where I could barely walk. I lost two-and-a-half stones because of the sheer pain.
“I could hardly walk and even lifting a kettle caused me terrible pain. It was horrendous.
“I tried not to let it affect my life as a grandmother and I still picked my grandchildren up one day a week and gave them their tea. But I wanted to be a more active grandmother.
“My three sons and my daughters-in-law and grandchildren were all so supportive during this difficult time.”
The operation involves the surgical removal of herniated disc, which causes pain by stressing the spinal cord.
Monica, who was one of the first patients to have the procedure as a day case patient, said: “The day of the operation, I went into Chorley hospital in the morning and by tea-time I was going home with all the pain gone.
“The pain just disappeared instantaneously as soon as I’d had the procedure. My recovery was so good I was back at work on the check-out at the supermarket where I work three weeks later.
“I am so impressed with my care and the results.”
Mr Hassan said: “We know patients prefer to recuperate in their own home so we made a number of changes to enable us to provide these procedures as day-cases.
“The way we carry out the operation is still the same, but by admitting patients first thing in the morning and using a local rather than a general anaesthetic, it is now possible for patients to return home on the same day.”