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WDAY: The News Leader

Published July 21, 2012, 09:40 PM

A German Doctor visits Fargo to show treatments not found in this country

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- Americans are realizing some of the best treatments for something like chronic back pain, may not be found in this country. German doctors say America is using technology they had 10 years ago and they're now flying here to prove it and recruit patients.

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- Americans are realizing some of the best treatments for something like chronic back pain, may not be found in this country. German doctors say America is using technology they had 10 years ago and they're now flying here to prove it and recruit patients.

American doctors told Judy Whittlesey she'd need a full spinal fusion for her degenerative disk disease.

Judy: "Like a cement block is what my spine would have been, I would have not been able to bend."

She found German Doctor Thomas Bierstedt. He preforms Artificial Disk Replacement surgery using technology not approved by the F-D-A in the U.S.

Judy: "Take out the old degenerate, degenerated thin disk and they implant a titanium M-6 disk."

Now she has full relief and wants to spread the word. Whittlesey Became a patient liaison to help people in her community who are suffering like she once did, someone like Vicky Pizzey.

Vicky: "I have my life back, my husband says he has his wife back."

Vicki suffered from chronic pain due to disk herniation. Dr. Bierstedt says the artificial disks used in her cervical spine are the closest thing to your bodies natural disks.

Vicky: "When I came out of surgery, I mean this may sound funny, but my pain was gone."

This is Dr.Bierstedts first time coming to the states for a seminar like this. He says it's a great opportunity to explain to a patient what they can expect from surgery, explain the technology, and also ease some of their fears of going under the knife in a foreign country.

Dr. Bierstedts: "I can have the first picture of the patients and of their problems of the pain and so it's much more better, I can much more better say if a surgery helps the patient."

The testimonials show how beneficial a surgery like this can be..but one major downfall might be the price tag. For just one disc replacement it will run you around 30 thousand dollars...maybe that's why more and more millionaire celebrities are opting to go all the way around the world for treatment.

Dr. Bierstedt is headed to Denver next.

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