Charles Hahn MD
Dear Professor Doctor Bertagnoli,
With the end of 2011 fast approaching, this is an excellent time for me to reflect over the events of this past year and to thank you and your team for returning me to an active lifestyle.
As a Medical Professional in 2003, I understood how serious my back problems were when I progressed from a Grade 1 Spondylolisthesis to an advanced Grade II, and became symptomatic. I realized I had to seek a solution before there was further deterioration. I had dismissed non-fusion technology for two basic reasons: Manufacturers of the hardware only discussed Grade I in their presentations, and, every Doctor I consulted with was negative to using this approach for my problem. This left me with one surgical option, a fusion at L5-S1, which I had done in January 2004. How I wish I had found you prior to that time!
Unfortunately, my fusion was less than optimal as no spacer was placed between L5-S1, the screws that were used protruded into adjacent nerve spaces and I was fused in an abnormal biomechanical position, resulting in a constant feeling of distress whenever I stood.
In 2009 adjacent segment syndrome developed resulting in a year spent consulting with various Surgeons only to be told again and again told that fusion extension, pain medication and Pain Clinics were my only options. Miraculously, in the course of one week, two separate sources recommended I consult with Professor Doctor Bertagnoli in Germany. In late May 2011, after extensive testing and consultation, my wife and I flew to Germany and you surgically implanted Pro-Disk-L ADRs at L3-4 and L4-5 in my spine. Immediately following the procedure I was finally free of the pain I had lived with for years.
As a Physician, I have given a great deal of thought about the medical care I received from you, your Assistants and the Hospital Staff at Bogen, and how different it is compared to the United States experience. In American hospitals, surgeons must adhere to a rigid surgical schedule, using standard hospital surgical packs and must sometimes rely on Operating Techs that they may or may not have worked with frequently. The patient’s hospital stay is often stressful, noisy and less than restful with staff running in and out of the room at all hours of the day and night.
In contrast, Professor Doctor Bertagnoli you are not confined by time restraints in your Operating Room and you take the time necessary to achieve an optimal result for each unique case. Adjusting cases intra-operatively is a skill set you developed through your vast experience and which leads to enhanced outcomes. You have designed many of your surgical instruments and know specifically what is required in your surgical arena. You have assembled and trained an elite group of medical professionals and assistants. My stay at the hospital in Bogen was unique in that my wife was allowed to stay in the same room, share meals with me and it was quiet and restful.
While in the hospital, we met several other patients who had ADRs who were from the United States. As fate would have it, we all stayed at the same hotel in Straubing during our post-operative stay, and had many opportunities to convene and enjoy each other's company. I maintain contact with these individuals and all have had rapid and complete recoveries and marvel at their good fortune and improved lives.
Professor Doctor Bertagnoli, my decision to go to Bogen for ADR surgery was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I cannot thank you enough for everything and especially for the future care you may render me; after all, I still have a suspect fusion that I am living with! ADR is truly a procedure whose time has come, in large measure because of you.
Happy New Year,
Charles R. Hahn, M.D.
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