Back Surgery in El Salvador

After our short trip to Guatemala we returned to El Salvador and found that the persistent pain I have had in my leg for 4 months, had gotten significantly worse.  After some research we visited the Mediclinic in San Salvador, who to our surprise had doctors who spoke English.  After explaining the symptoms they gave me an injection and organised for me to have an MRI the following day.

Following the MRI we returned to the medi-clinic to discover that I had one severely herniated disc and a bulging disc.  The herniated one was squashing the nerve and causing all the pain in my leg.  I was told it wouldn’t get better without surgery and that I would risk losing feeling in my leg if I did nothing.

We saw a neurosurgeon at the medi clinic.  He was very young and was not listed on any of the hospitals, so we were a little hesitant to be the guinea pig and looked around for someone else.  After seeing two other neurosurgeons, one who wanted to charge twice the price as everyone else, we decided to go with Dr Cristobal Perla y Perla.  He organised for his daughter (also a doctor) to do a nerve study on my legs and discovered there was chronic damage to the nerves in both legs.  After seeing an endocrinologist, cardiologist, getting x-rays and blood tests we were ready for surgery.

We went in Saturday afternoon to spend the night prior to surgery.  The hospital requires a relative to stay in the hospital with you.  We are unsure if this is the procedure for everyone of just foreigners.  So unfortunately Andrew had to sleep on the couch for three night.

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Through Andrew’s Spanish and google translate we were able to communicate with the doctors and nurses to find out what was going on.  I was wheeled into the surgery ward and off to sleep I went. 

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Dr Cristobal came to check on me after my recovery and to bring me two gruesome containers.  One is the bone fragments from making a hole in my vertebrae and the other with the disc parts they removed.  My leg pain was gone immediately.  I spent two further nights in hospital, before they let me go home on the Tuesday.

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All of the nursing staff at the hospital were fabulous and Dr Cristobal is a lovely man with a great bed-side manner.

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These are the staples 11 days after surgery

11 days after surgery I went back to the doctor.  Half of the staples were removed and I was told to come back in four days to get the remove the remaining ones.  As we are off to Chiapas it will have to be done there.

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Dr Cristobal and his assistant Wendy. 

Wendy, Dr Cristobal’s assistant was fabulous, she spoke a bit of English and used google translate when she couldn’t.  She helped us get checked into the hospital and translate where necessary and helped us get parking, an all round lovely person, who made the procedure so much easier.

Information on Doctors and Neurosurgeons:

Dr Cristobal Perla y Perla Urbina (Neurosurgeon)
Locales S-1, S-2 y S – 3, Contiguo al Hospital 
de Diagnostico.  Medica, San Salvador
Telephone: 2223-0577/2235 7834/2235-7835

Dr Chicas is a fabulous endocrinologist with great English and very thorough and up to date knowledge on diabetes

Dr David Ernesto Chicas Nunez
Condominio MD #224, Local 304,
31 Planta, Diagonal Dr Luis Edmundo Vasquez,
Colonia Medica, San Salvador
telephone: 2235-3665/Cell: 773-2142

If you need a general doctor the mediclinic charges $10 US a visit with an English speaking doctor and no appointment are necessary.

65 Avenida Norte
San Salvador
Telephone: 2602-2020
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday:7 am – 7 pm/Saturday: 7 am – 12 am





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