Carmen & Lena C.
Carmen and his wife Lena first met with Dr. Anand in January 2018. At that time, Carmen was experiencing severe pain radiating down his right leg, which was not improving with conservative therapies. X-rays of his back revealed a spondylolisthesis, or “slipped spine”, at L4-5. An MRI of his back showed stenosis (nerve compression) at L4-5 and a facet cyst on the right side. It was determined that he was a good candidate for surgery to decompress the nerves and stabilize the spine. Therefore, in February 2018, he underwent a minimally invasive L4-5 transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion with posterior instrumentation and fusion. He described his experience as follows:
“Getting out of bed on a Monday morning I suddenly was unable to walk due to extreme pain in my right leg. For the next 18 months I had 3 epidurals, countless acupuncture sessions, physical therapy, pain management doctors for spine injections, and interviewed with 3 “back” surgeons. During that time, I reduced my daily business and social activity and tolerated pain staying mostly at home.
Through good fortune I was provided an appointment with Dr. Anand at Cedars. Unlike the previous 3 surgeons I interviewed, he immediately diagnosed my condition and infused in me his confidence of success. That was followed by being embraced by the Anand Staff lead by Sheila Kahwaty, PA and a team of doctors who met with me pre-op at Cedars for a whole day. Going into surgery I was confident.
Post-op I was provided exceptional care by a dedicated staff at Cedars with wonderful accommodations for me and my wife, Lena. MY PAIN WAS GONE AND HAS NOT RETURNED! Lena and I reduced our work schedule to travel a bit more and transition into retirement.”
In 2019, Lena presented to Dr. Anand with pain in her leg. The pain began in her left buttock and radiated down her leg to her left foot. She also noticed tingling, numbness, and heaviness in her left leg, making walking particularly difficult. She had tried over-the-counter pain medications and epidural injections, with no significant improvement. Imaging showed significant instability of her spine at L4-5, with a Grade 2 spondylolisthesis and stenosis.
Given the spinal instability and the compression of her nerves, she was considered an excellent candidate for a minimally invasive L4-5 transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion with posterior instrumentation and fusion. Carmen explained Lena’s journey and his experience as the spouse of a patient as follows:
“Unfortunately, Lena started to feel pain in her leg and over time it became progressively worse. We were advised to have spinal injections to reduce the pain as a first course of action before considering surgery. We followed that course for approximately 6 months until the injections no longer provided relief. We interviewed with a spine surgeon near our home who explained his surgical process. As a veteran in this surgical area, we elected to come to Dr. Anand.
This past September Dr. Anand did the surgery on Lena’s L4 & 5. Preceding the surgery, we were again embraced by the Anand Staff headed by Sheila Kahwaty and the Staff at Cedars who provided pre-op evaluation. After surgery the nerve pain Lena was experiencing was gone.
While I was able to go home a few days after surgery, Lena needed a bit more time to regain strength. A member of Dr. Anand’s team of doctors who looked after us pre & post-op arranged for Lena to receive additional physical rehab at a wonderful facility near the hospital. Lena spent 5 days at the facility receiving physical therapy and was appreciative for the additional time for recovery before coming home.
Both Lena and I continue to see Dr. Anand on scheduled follow ups. X-rays are done to view the back and evaluate our progress after surgery. We enjoy the brief time we get to spend with him and especially appreciate the time we have with Sheila Kahwaty who is informative and patient with her time.
As spouse of the patient during surgery, I lived the anxiety Lena must have had for me. Waiting is not fun. I recalled Dr. Anand’s confidence which made the time slightly less stressful. Seeing and talking with Sheila and Dr. Anand after Lena’s surgery reinforced all the confidence I had when I first met them two years earlier. We are grateful to have made the connection and very comfortable in the choices we made.”