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Please read if you have had discectomy; especially if you experienced reoccurance of syptoms afterwa

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,002
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:31 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Please could anyone who has had the aforementioend surgery tell me if contrast enhancing dye was used when they had their MRI scans after the operation? This is especially relevant if your symptoms re-occurred after surgery.

The contrast enhancing dye would have been administered intravenously.

I was recommended surgery as treatment for my sciatica, and had a disc herniation removed. Following my op, my pain came back. A few months later I had an MRI done (without dye). There was no visible herniation, but the surgeon said they do not always show up, and I was recommended further surgery.

Following the 2nd operation, my surgeon told me there was no herniation and only scar tissue was removed. Again my symptoms returned.

I had another scan, with dye this time, and they diagnosed scar tissue as the problem. As a result further surgery was ruled out, as scar tissue will simply grow back.

I believe if I had dye before the 2nd op they could have diagnosed scar tissue them and I could have avoided the 2nd op.

Please let me know your experiences regarding this, I am trying to find out what is the norm in this situation.



  • Ive had 3,1 prior 2 after,the first of the two was with dye,I have scar tissue all over now.but 3-5 months after the surgery it really didnt show until the dye but that was also before the recall on the dye.
    Let me know if your ever given a cure or procedure for the scar tissue.Jon
  • I reherniated L5-S1 11 months after my discectomy, and MRI with contrast dye was needed to see what was going one (and you can really see the difference between the dye and non-dye images, they did both in mine).

    Sorry to hear you had to go through what sounds like an unnecessary surgery - very frustrating.

    Jan 2009 L5-S1 ALIF
    May 2017 ALIF L4-L5 with PLF rods added L4-L5-S1
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  • Thanks for the replies.

    The 2nd op was about 6months after the first. The surgeon said the sooner the better.

    I really believe the 2nd op was unnecessary. The only reason I got dye the last time was because the radiographer asked why I wasn't having it. I asked what it was and he told me It helped to find scar tissue. I begged him to use it and he agreed, despite surgeon not ordering it. The resulting scan confirmed scar tissue for the first time.

    It would seem sensible to do a before and after dye, in the same session to get a more complete picture.

    So frustrating to know I went through all that pain and time off work when it could have been avoided.
  • Edit - double post - Please delete
  • swaize, it is my understanding that they always do the MRI with and without contrast if you've ever had surgery in the location where they are scanning. perhaps your physician wasn't aware of this in which case the radiology tech should have questioned the order for without only. good luck!
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    some good reading and i believe it can be beat with ptx - vit e, in my opinion.
  • He definitely should have had the MRI conducted WITH contrast after surgery. I believe that is standard procedure. You may have possible legal recourse. He should've known better. GL.
  • Thanks for all the responses.

    Have read more & more about this and everywhere I look it seems that contrast enhancing dye with MRI is standard, especially when symptoms have resurfaced after a discectomy.

    I might think about taking this up legally, hate to think more people will have this happen to them needlessly.

  • lilcowgirl - funny you should say that. The only reason I had dye the last time was because the radiologist queried why it was not ordered. After he explained what it did, I persuaded him to use it and consequently they found scar tissue that time!!
  • I've had several MRI tests post MicroD.All of them with
    contrast.As far as I know,it is a MUST for a post op MRI.Good luck to you.
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