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Thursday, April 18, 2024

They live with constant pain. Doctors showed how they can help patients

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Living with constant, excruciating pain is hard to imagine, but for some it is a sad everyday reality. Fortunately, doctors know how to help suffering patients. However, in Poland we have a lot to do in this matter.

Mr. Waldemar Czajkowski was attacked by ophthalmic shingles two years ago. The viral disease has already been cured, but it left behind terrible pain. As Mr. Waldemar says – it’s as if someone was burning the left side of his face with a hot iron every day. – I don’t want much. I want to fall asleep without pain for one day, sleep without pain, wake up without pain and go through one whole day without pain – admits the man.

The doctors promised the patient that this would finally happen after two years of suffering. They implanted a pain stimulator with special hooks to prevent the electrode from moving.

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Zbigniew Napierała was also put on the operating table, struggling with piercing pain in the sciatic nerve from his thigh to his foot. He underwent surgery seven years ago. It left microscopic scars in the spinal canal that began to press on the nerves. – After stabilization of the lumbar spine. This pain is so powerful that it cannot be stopped with available means, says Mr. Zbigniew.

Doctors implanted a morphine pump in him. She administers a drug that can bring relief to many patients. – These are patients with chronic pain, with pain that cannot be treated pharmacologically. Most often, there are patients who do not respond to treatment with stimulators – explains Professor Jarosław Maciaczyk, head of the Department of Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery at the Friedrich Wilhelm University in Bonn. – Unfortunately, this therapy is not reimbursed in Poland. However, this therapy is standardly used in other foreign countries to treat cancer pain, for example – adds Bartosz Czapski from the Department of Neurosurgery of the State Medical Institute of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration in Warsaw.

An innovative procedure in the hospital in Chrzanów. “They didn’t expect me to make it out at all.”Marek Nowicki/Fakty TVN

Lots to do

Pain stimulators are reimbursed in Poland, but very few of them are implanted. In the United States, 50,000 such implantations were performed in 2023. In Germany – twice the size of Poland – 4,000. In Poland, only 500. We have a lot to do in this matter. That is why the National Institute of Medicine has launched a nationwide pain clinic from 2024. – We implemented it only at the beginning of the year, with the permission of the National Health Fund. I think there will be quite long queues, because this problem is huge, says Dr. Artur Zaczyński, neurosurgeon and deputy director for medical affairs of the State Medical Institute of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration in Warsaw.

Main photo source: Fakty TVN

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