Commonly Asked Questions and Answers

The Epidural Stimulation is surgically implanted on the posterior structures of the lumbar spinal cord, where it will apply a continuous electrical current that will be delivered to the electrode. The compromised nerve signals originating from the brain will be amplified and redirected to the Spinal Cord tissue below the injury level, thus, allowing the possibilities of regaining voluntary movements and restoring lost functions.

So far, every patient with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) who has received the Epidural Stimulation treatment with Unique Access Medical were able to quickly learn how to voluntarily control his or her muscle activity during stimulation. The improvements have progressed with extensive rehabilitation and locomotor-training.

The surgery takes place in Bangkok, Thailand, in a tertiary care hospital with access to all specialized departments and doctors. The hospital is accredited with the Joint Commission International (JCI), which is considered the gold standard in global healthcare. The hospital also holds the Det Norske Veritas (DNV) and Germanischer (GL) accreditations, earning an excellent reputation in terms of quality and patient safety. Most of the Epidural Stimulation patients worldwide are being treated here.

We require a full series of MRI images, medical reports, and treatment history. To confirm your candidacy, we need to know the condition of the injury site. Written MRI reports may not be enough, since we need an in- depth knowledge of each patient’s case.

An accompanying person can stay at the hospital with the patient in a private hospital room, fully wheelchair accessible, and with two beds. There are no extra costs, and family is always welcome, especially during such a life-changing treatment.

The 30-35 days treatment package is comprehensive and inclusive of all treatment related costs: Regenerative Treatment protocol, complete rehab, locomotor training and mapping of the device. During your stay, you will receive over 100 sessions of supportive treatments. The combination of specialized approach makes Unique Access Medical’ Epidural Stimulation package the most extensive in the world for patients affected with spinal cord injury.

As part of the package, In-Patient Department (IPD) accommodation is available for the post-operative period for both the patient and caregiver. Out-Patient Department (OPD) accommodation in the hospital residences is provided for the remaining days. All our rooms are fully wheelchair accessible. During the first fourteen days of recovery, there is also 24/7 nursing care to make sure the patient recovers from the surgery safely.

Meals are also provided for patients with a Thai and international menu to choose from.

Every Monday to Saturday we provide extensive training to speed up your recovery. You can expect 4-6 hours of mapping and physiotherapy per day. In the morning, doctors will meet you for regular checkups. In the evening, patients may socialise with each other and share their experiences. A common area is arranged for recreation and chatting with your friends and family. Sundays are rest day for our patients.

The surgery is minimally invasive. During the procedure, a lead with multiple electrodes is placed into the epidural space over the nerve roots at lower levels of spinal cord and the pulse generator device is placed under the nearby skin (subcutaneously). This takes two to three hours; after that, training can begin within a few days.

There are no serious side effects associated with the procedure as it is a minimally invasive surgery. The possible side effects such as a rash or infection around the incision site are not serious and are easily manageable.

Epidural Stimulation treatment works for patients with both complete and incomplete spinal cord injuries. We have treated paraplegics and quadriplegics, and so far we have been 100% successful – all of our patients have regained motor functions of the lower limbs.

  • Ability to stand
  • Ability to take assisted steps
  • Voluntary movements in lower limbs
  • Increased muscle mass and strength
  • Improved bowel and bladder control
  • Stabilized blood pressure
  • Improved temperature regulation
  • Improved sensation
  • Decreased neuropathic pain

The American FDA has approved trials for Epidural Stimulation, and the completion of the study is estimated for 2025. As we already know that treatment is safe and effective, we are confident to offer it to patients outside of trials right now, when they need it. We understand how crucial time is in the recovery process. Unlike the Clinical Trial, every patient, who is a suitable candidate can participate in the treatment, regardless of injury type, injury age or where they come from.

While Clinical Trials focus on research and studying the mechanisms and safety of the procedure; our goal is to get our patients back on their feet as soon as possible. With the World’s most experienced Epidural Stimulation medical and physiotherapy teams, you can expect fast results, along with a focused, intense physiotherapy program for the best outcomes.

FDA approval for Epidural Stimulation may take years, possibly decades to be announced. Since the results are dependent on the injury age, and indirectly on the muscle mass of the patient, we encourage patients to undergo the treatment as early as possible.

We will make sure that during the 14 days postoperative period each patient will have access to 24/7 nursing care, including shower, dressing, wound care, and bowel care on request.

Patient Case Report