Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy

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Procedure Description

Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) is a specialized neurosurgical procedure aimed at reducing spasticity or muscle stiffness in the lower extremities. The procedure involves cutting specific sensory nerve rootlets that come off the spinal cord and contribute to spasticity. Originally developed as a treatment for cerebral palsy in children, it has also been used to treat adults suffering from conditions that cause lower limb spasticity. The procedure is highly specialized and should only be performed by experienced neurosurgeons skilled in the technique.

The main objective of SDR is to improve the quality of life for individuals who experience difficulty in movement due to muscle stiffness. By selectively cutting the nerve rootlets that contribute to spasticity, patients often see an improvement in mobility, reduction in pain, and a decrease in long-term deformities. While SDR is not a cure for cerebral palsy or other underlying conditions, it offers symptomatic relief that can significantly improve a patient’s daily life.

Whether you are an adult or a parent of a child who struggles with lower limb spasticity, opting for an SDR can be a transformative decision. However, this procedure isn't universally available, and the expertise required to perform it successfully can vary from place to place. This brings us to the option of medical tourism, which can broaden your choices for both experts and facilities capable of performing SDR with high success rates.

Procedure Duration

Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy typically takes about 3 to 5 hours, although the duration can vary depending on the individual case. Patients are usually placed under general anesthesia during the operation. Following the procedure, patients are often required to stay in the hospital for a period of around 4 to 7 days to monitor their recovery and ensure that there are no immediate complications.

After being discharged, it’s crucial to adhere to a stringent rehabilitation program. Recovery time can vary widely but expect to dedicate several weeks to intense physical therapy. This therapy is critical to help patients learn how to use their newly relaxed muscles properly. It often takes up to a year or more for patients to fully realize the benefits of the surgery, which include improved mobility, ease in daily activities, and reduction in pain.

Given the long-term commitment to physical therapy and recovery, patients considering medical tourism for SDR should plan on extended stays near the treatment facility or multiple trips to ensure proper aftercare. The rehabilitation phase is as vital as the surgery itself for the procedure to be deemed successful.


  • Cost Savings: Medical tourism can offer substantial cost advantages, especially for patients from countries where healthcare is expensive.
  • Expertise: Certain countries specialize in neurosurgical procedures like SDR and have a wealth of experienced surgeons.
  • Advanced Technology: Opting for medical tourism can give you access to state-of-the-art medical technology that may not be available in your home country.

Potential Destinations

  • India: Known for highly-skilled neurosurgeons and advanced medical technology.
  • Thailand: Offers a mix of quality healthcare and luxury recovery facilities.
  • Germany: Renowned for medical precision and advanced healthcare infrastructure.
  • South Korea: Emerging as a leader in various specialized surgeries, including neurosurgery.

Risks & Considerations

  • Travel Logistics: Consider the physical strain of long-haul flights before and after surgery.
  • Cultural and Language Barriers: Make sure you are comfortable with the local language or that there is a translator available.
  • Legal and Ethical Considerations: Be aware of the medical laws and malpractice policies of the country you choose.

How to Choose the Right Doctor and Hospital

  • Credentials: Look for board-certified neurosurgeons with a specialty in SDR.
  • Experience: Ask how many SDR procedures the surgeon has performed and what the outcomes were.
  • Facility Tour: If possible, take a virtual or in-person tour of the facility to assess its standards.

To receive a free quote for this procedure please click on the link:

Patients are advised to seek hospitals that are accredited by Global Healthcare and only work with medical tourism facilitators who are certified by Global Healthcare Accreditation or who have undergone certification from the Certified Medical Travel Professionals (CMTP). This ensures that the highest standards in the industry are met. GHA accredits the top hospitals in the world. These are the best hospitals in the world for quality and providing the best patient experience. Click the link to check out hospitals accredited by the Global Healthcare Accreditation:

Frequently Asked Questions

What actually happens during hyperstimulation of the ovaries?

The patient will take injectable FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) for eight to eleven days, depending on how long the follicles take to mature. This hormone is produced naturally in a woman’s body causing one egg to develop per cycle. Taking the injectable FSH causes several follicles to develop at once, at approximately the same rate. The development is monitored with vaginal ultrasounds and following the patient’s levels of estradiol and progesterone. FSH brand names include Repronex, Follistim, Menopur, Gonal-F and Bravelle. The patient injects herself daily.

What happens during egg retrieval?

When the follicles have developed enough to be harvested, the patient attends an appointment  where she is anesthetized and prepared for the procedure. Next, the doctor uses an ultrasound probe to guide a needle through the vaginal wall and into the follicle of the ovary. The thin needle draws the follicle fluid, which is then examined by an embryologist to find the eggs. The whole process takes about 20 minutes.

What happens to the eggs?

In the next step, the harvested eggs are then fertilized. If the sperm from the potential father, or in some cases, anonymous donor, has normal functionality, the eggs and sperm are placed together in a dish with a nutrient fluid, then incubated overnight to fertilize normally. If the sperm functionality is suboptimal, an embryologist uses Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection to inject a single sperm into a single egg with an extremely precise glass needle.  Once fertilization is complete, the embryos are assessed and prepared to be transferred to the patient’s uterus.

How are the embryos transferred back to the uterus?

The doctor and the patient will discuss the number of embryos to be transferred. The number of successfully fertilized eggs usually determines the number of eggs to be placed in the uterus. Embryos are transferred to the uterus with transabdominal ultrasound guidance. This process does not require anesthesia, but it can cause minor cervical or uterine discomfort. Following transfer, the patient is advised to take at least one days bed rest and two or three additional days of rest, then 10 to 12 days later, two pregnancy tests are scheduled to confirm success. Once two positive tests are completed, an obstetrical ultrasound is ordered to show the sac, fetal pole, yolk sac and fetal heart rate.


Built into this technology there is a microscope with a powerful camera that allows the uninterrupted monitoring of the embryo during its first hours of life. In this way, we can keep a close eye on the embryo, from the moment when the oocyte is inseminated and begins to divide into smaller and smaller cells, until it can be transferred to the uterus.

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