Patient Interview with Richard Bein
Today is the 30th of October, one day before Halloween, and I’m sitting here with Rich Bein. Where are we and what are we doing here?
So, I am one week post-surgery and I’m at the Medicos Rehabilitation Center in Gelsenkirchen and I’m doing great.
What is your program here at the Rehab Center?
They have us doing everything. They have massage, physical therapy and electrical therapy. You get to see the doctor once a day. They check your bandage and everything. It’s a fantastic program for you. When you get here, they check you in and the hotel is fantastic here.
When was your surgery and of what kind was it? Who operated on you?
My surgery was a week ago. It was performed by a doctor, Dr. Thomas Bierstedt. I had a two-level artificial disc replacement in my lumbar spine. L4/5 and L5/S1.
You’re from the United States. Why did you come from the US to Germany to see Doctor Bierstedt?
Well, in the United States I had two pervious surgeries – microdiscectomy surgeries. The first one was good for fifteen years. My disc ruptured doing something not that strenuous. I had a second microdiscectomy that lasted about six months. At that point my surgeon in the United States told me, I was only a candidate for a fusion from that point forward. I did not want a fusion and he said I could also evaluate the potential for artificial disc replacement. If I chose that route, he would send me somewhere else. In the United States they only offer single level disc replacement. I started doing my research and it led me to Doctor Bierstedt.
Now since you had a previous surgery on your spine - how would you compare the different experiences? In terms of care, the duration of stay, the surgeon and also the integration of post-surgical care at the hospital and rehabilitation?
I’d like to start with the hospitals in the United States that I countered. They were fantastic. I have worked with the same neurosurgeon there and they’ve been wonderful. Come here I have experienced nothing less. The hospital stay was incredible. The great thing about coming to Germany is the whole concept of the health care that you receive pre- and post-surgery and then rehabilitation after the surgery. It has been amazing. The coordination between Doctor Bierstedt’s group, the ONZ, and the Medico’s Rehabilitation Center has been seamless. The transportation, the stay at the hospital after the surgery and the transfer to Medicos is phenomenal. I have never experienced anything like this before. Medicos is like the nicest health care club you’ve ever been to in your life, but it’s huge.
Would you recommend it to anyone else who is in your situation?
Absolutely and I’m going to!