Spinal Stenosis

Carol's head shot

In Her Own Words

Carol DeSanto, a patient of William Welch, MD, was recently treated for spinal stenosis.

Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the open spaces within the spine, which can put pressure on the spinal cord and the nerves that travel through the spine. Spinal stenosis occurs most often in the neck and lower back. Her email to Dr. Welch is shown here with her permission.

Dear Dr. Welch,

It has now been a few months since I had the pleasure of meeting you. At that time, I felt as though you were my last hope for a pain-free future.

Prior to our meeting, I spoke with Diana (your extremely knowledgeable and compassionate nurse) and told her that I had just completed treatment at another hospital for a Tarlov cyst. Diana informed me that because I had undergone treatment for a Tarlov cyst, I'd have to wait approximately six months before I could see you (due to how cyst aspirations protocols are).

Once the six-month mark passed, she felt that it was time for me to see "Dr. Welch." A few weeks later we met and I left feeling confident that this would be my final stop!

Both you and I were in agreement surgery was my best option. You were confident that Spinal Stenosis was my problem, something 11 doctors over the past four years never mentioned to me. During my appointment, you explained how the surgery would be performed, you offered me different options of anesthesia and, most importantly, put all of my fears of "back surgery" to rest.

Just a few weeks later I was on the operating table... and surgery went extremely smoothly!

After post-op recovery, I was sent to my room to spend the night. About an hour after arriving to my room I was greeted by your PA, simply checking to see how I was feeling and if I needed anything.  The entire staff that night really was wonderful.

I awoke to a great breakfast and then the nurse helped me get washed and ready to go home. Mid-morning you (Dr. Welch) stopped in to discharge me and to go over post-op instructions. The whole experience was a nice one.

My recovery was simple, with only mild discomfort at the incision site. Just two weeks after surgery, I felt pretty much like my old self (pain free).  At four weeks, I came in and visited with you and you lifted all my post-surgery restrictions. I was able to resume all activities as long as they were comfortable for me!

I just wanted to say that Dr. Welch is my ANGEL, HERO, A FIRST CLASS SURGEON, KIND and COMPASSIONATE MAN. He gave me my LIFE BACK!!!!! Something I NEVER thought I would have. His team of doctors and nurses are some of the finest people I had the pleasure of meeting.

Penn Medicine "ROCKS"! Thanks again Dr. Welch.

Yours truly,
Carol DeSanto

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