The DST(Discseel™) Method

What the DST(Discseel™) Method Is

DST (Discseel™) Treatment

DST (Discseel™) treatment has been researched since 2010 by a team centered on United States (Texas) spine specialist Dr. Kevin Pauza. It is a new treatment that has begun to be used clinically for spinal conditions. As of 2018, the treatment has been conducted in around 2,000 cases; those results have been written about in many journal articles, and they earned an award in an article selection by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons in 2003. DST(Discseel™) has 3 distinguishing features that surgeries (like discectomy, decompression, and fusion) do not.

  • 1

    Unlike surgery or stem cell transplantation, it can repair and regenerate intervertebral discs.

  • 2

    Because treatment is completed with just an inserted needle and local anesthesia, it can be done as an outpatient.

  • 3

    It can treat patients who are not seen to improve after spinal surgery or whose symptoms have recurred.

ILC International Lumbago Clinic has joint intellectual property rights for clinical treatment with DST(Discseel™) advocate Dr. Kevin Pauza, and DST(Discseel™) treatment, including cooperative research, became possible in June of 2018. At the present time, through our connection with Dr. Kevin Pauza, ILC International Lumbago Clinic is the only medical institution in Japan that can perform DST(Discseel™ ).

Treatable Conditions

  • Herniated Discs
  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Intervertebral Disc Degeneration
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Spondylolytic Spondylolisthesis
  • Spondylolysis
  • Lumbar Vertebrae Instability Symptom
  • Lumbar Scoliosis

Candidates Are People with These Kinds of Problems

  • 1

    Those suffering from herniated discs, spinal stenosis, sciatica, spondylolisthesis, or other low back pain

  • 2

    Those whose intervertebral discs have lost water content and collapsed

  • 3

    Those troubled by low back pain caused by intervertebral disc deformity

  • 4

    Those who do not want to have a surgery like MED (endoscopic intervertebral disc ablation), spinal fusion, or artificial disc replacement

  • 5

    Those who have undergone MED (endoscopic intervertebral disc ablation), spinal fusion, or another surgery but have not improved or whose symptoms have recurred

  • 6

    Those who do not want to be hospitalized for back pain surgery

  • 7

    Those who are hoping for treatment that doesn’t take such a toll on the body

  • 8

    Those who would like to play more golf or other sports in their everyday lives but can’t because of back or leg pain

※We can also treat older people (80 years or above).

The Benefits of Doing the DST(Discseel™) Method

  • Improvement of Intervertebral Discs’ Buffer (Cushion) Function

    DST(Discseel™) can treat many kinds of low back pain symptoms by improving the function of intervertebral discs that have been worn out due to aging, overuse, or loss of water content.

  • Outpatient Treatment That Takes Less of a Toll

    Treatment takes about 25 minutes. You will be able to walk 30 minutes after treatment, and you can go home in 60 minutes.

  • New, Non-Surgical Treatment

    DST(Discseel™) is an alternative treatment for people who are considering spinal fusion or who have undergone spinal fusion without improving.

The DST(Discseel™) Method’s Treatment Objectives

After numbing the area with a local anesthetic, we place a 0.8 mm (paracentesis) needle into the intervertebral disc. Because we use an X-ray fluoroscope at this time, the possibility of nerve damage is extremely small.

Treatment of Damage to Intervertebral Discs by the DST Method

After numbing the area with a local anesthetic, we place a 0.8 mm (paracentesis) needle into the intervertebral disc. Because we use an X-ray fluoroscope at this time, the possibility of nerve damage is extremely small.

  • The intervertebral disc

    A cracked intervertebral disc

  • The intervertebral disc

    A needle is inserted into the cracked intervertebral disc, and medicine is injected. ※ Allergic reaction to or side effects of the medicine are extremely rare.

  • The intervertebral disc

    The intervertebral disc is repaired and regenerated.

  • The presence or absence of intervertebral disc damage is made evident through contrast radiography.

  • Medicine is injected into the damaged part of the intervertebral disc.

  • Allergic reaction to or side effects of the medicine are extremely rare.

  • In-progress image of treatment

Treatment Time and Post-Treatment Issues

Treatment time
approx. 25 minutes

You will be able to walk 30 minutes after treatment (※there are some individual differences), and you can go home in 60 minutes. Deskwork or light activity can be done the following day, but you will need to refrain from intense sports or heavy labor for approximately 2 weeks. It is also possible that your symptoms will temporarily worsen for the 2 weeks or so after treatment.

About Post-Treatment Issues
Significant results can be expected 3-6 months after treatment. The reason it takes time is thought to be that, because no blood vessels exist inside intervertebral discs, the growth factor necessary for repair and regeneration is supplemented by slow permeation from the bones. Additionally, when done in the United States for sports players, DST(Discseel™) is recommended once a year.
The reason is that, even if intervertebral discs are repaired, new damage will be caused if they endure hard usage. However, there’s no problem if your athletic activity is of the degree done by ordinary people.
About Side Effects

It is said that increased height is one side effect of treatment, but that is really a return to one’s original height due to the repair and regeneration of the collapsed intervertebral discs. The side effect of increased height is also connected with the result of increased volume of the collapsed discs; therefore, it is not as though this side effect were altogether bad.

Back pain prevention

Since the DST method can repair the intervertebral discs, it can also provide preventive treatment for conditions such as disc herniation and spinal canal stenosis.
The results of MRI and X-rays can show if a degenerated disc will occur in the future, or if there are no apparent symptoms at the moment, to assess the risk of future back pain before it actually occurs and treat it preemptively.
We will run a diagnosis prior to treatment to determine if the DST method is appropriate for your condition. Please feel free to contact us first.

Treatment Flow

  • InquiryInquiry


    We are an appointment-only clinic, so before you decide to visit us please call us to make an appointment. For further information or if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

  • Remote Image Diagnostic ServiceRemote Image Diagnostic Service

    Remote Image Diagnostic Service

    To ensure in that you are a good candidate for treatment at the clinic prior to your visit to Japan, you can forward us a recent MRI for our doctor to review and determine for free. If you are located nearby and you wish to undergo the MRI and X-ray scan at our clinic, you can call us to make an appointment.

  • Choose Operation DateChoose Operation Date

    Choose Operation Date

    If your diagnose confirms that your condition makes you a good candidate for treatment, you can proceed with scheduling the operation date.

  • Travel PreparationsTravel Preparations

    Travel Preparations

    Hospitalization is not required, so you will be discharged on the same day of the treatment. Obtaining a Japanese tourist visa will be enough, in case you are required to have one to enter the country. Patients are supposed to take care of their own visas, travel and accommodation arrangements.

  • Pre-treatment ConsultationPre-treatment Consultation

    Pre-treatment Consultation

    Upon arrival to the clinic the patient undergoes MRI and X-ray scan and an examination by the physician in charge, who according to the final diagnose determines the most suitable treatment option, followed by a detailed explanation.

  • TreatmentTreatment


    Treatment is conducted under local anesthesia, and it takes about 15-60 minutes, depending on the treatment method and number of treated discs.

  • Same-Day DischargeSame-Day Discharge

    Same-Day Discharge

    After resting for 1~2 hours and receiving a post-operative check by the operating physician, the patient is discharged and free to return home.

  • 8

    Post-treatment Follow-up

    We will contact you periodically to monitor your recovery progress. You should also feel free to contact us if you are unsure about anything.

Treatment Costs for the DST(Discseel™) Method

Locations Treated 1 disc 2 discs 3 discs 4 discs 5 discs
Cost of Treatment 1,320,000 Japanese Yen (JPY) 1,430,000 Japanese Yen (JPY) 1,540,000 Japanese Yen (JPY) 1,650,000 Japanese Yen (JPY) 1,760,000 Japanese Yen (JPY)
*If the procedure is performed in our hospital, all the costs of consultation, diagnosis, MRI and other tests will be included in the costs listed above.
*If the same treatment is performed again within 3 years of the first treatment, the treatment fees will be reduced by half.
*All taxes included.
*Since this method of treatment is not covered by health insurance, the patient must bear the entire cost of the treatment.
*In case of treatment only (one day treatment), We accept payment by credit card (VISA, MasterCard, China UnionPay).
*If you wish to request rehabilitation (specialized for back pain), bank transfer by credit card is also accepted.
*You can receive a tax refund at the time of filing your tax return for medical expenses.

DST(Discseel™ ) Method Q&A

  • question

    About Differences in Recurrence Rates for Our Outpatient Treatment vs. Surgery


    The surgery that began in the 1960s removed tissue such as deformed bone or herniated discs and occasionally attempted to immobilize the area, but because of new bone damage from screws or the fact that no treatment of the root cause was being done, the appearance of new back pain and the recurrence rates were problems.
    That is why the need for treatment of the root cause increased in the 1980s, and the intervertebral disc treatment we perform at our clinic began. Thus, we have now progressed to the point of stem cell transplantation and DST(Discseel™ ), and for DST(Discseel™) especially, intervertebral disc repair and regeneration effects are acknowledged. Symptoms not only improve, but they improve with a low recurrence rate.

  • question

    About how much exercise is possible after DST(Discseel™ ) treatment?


    If sports are a hobby, you can play, but because sports players have a high possibility of causing new intervertebral disc damage, we recommend they do DST(Discseel™ ) once a year.

  • question

    Will people who have done DST(Discseel™ ) definitely get taller?


    The probability that side effects will appear varies by individual case. The reason for the variation is the state of the intervertebral discs. In other words, if the damage is severe and the discs have collapsed, the side effect of increased height will readily appear along with repair and regeneration.

  • question

    I heard that low back pain might worsen temporarily after DST(Discseel™ ) treatment, but how long will that last?


    If the volume of the intervertebral discs has increased drastically, low back pain may appear along with the side effect of increased height. The reason for the appearance of low back pain is that the shrunken spine’s ligaments will be stretched. Low back pain will last for a period of about 2 weeks and dissipate after that.

  • question

    After DST(Discseel™ ) treatment, can I go for rehabilitation, to the gym, for a massage, or to the chiropractor?


    If about 2 weeks have passed since DST(Discseel™ ) treatment, you can go with no problem.

  • question

    How is the treatment location for DST(Discseel™ ) chosen?


    Since it’s possible to have intervertebral disc damage even in places where no abnormality appears in MRI testing, we check for cracks before treatment and decide the area(s) to treat.
    We check because, if there’s intervertebral disc damage, it becomes the cause of low back pain, and nucleus pulposus matter leaks from the damaged areas and brings about inflammation of the nerves. We therefore do contrast radiography on all intervertebral discs suspected of abnormality, and the areas to treat are decided after we clarify the presence or absence of damage.

  • question

    Why is DST(Discseel™ ) appropriate in cases in which there has been no improvement even after herniated disc surgery?


    The protruding hernia is removed in herniated disc surgery, but the damaged intervertebral disc is left as is. As a result, new nucleus pulposus matter leaks from the damaged disc, and inflammation persists. DST(Discseel™ ) suppresses the leakage of nucleus pulposus matter by treating the intervertebral disc damage itself.

  • question

    Is it a problem if the drug solution used in DST(Discseel™ ) comes into contact with the nerves?


    The drug solution is not irritating or inflammatory, so there is no effect even if it by some chance comes into contact with the nerves. We have treated around 2,000 cases, but there are no reports of the appearance of neuropathy.

  • question

    Can DST(Discseel™ ) be used to treat scoliosis, too?


    DST(Discseel™ ) is possible if scoliosis is mild, but treatment of severe scoliosis is difficult. We can make a decision using image diagnosis by X-ray or MRI.

5 Types of Outpatient Treatment for Low Back Pain

  • The DST Method (Discseel™)

    An intervertebral disc treatment that began in the United States in the 2010s. Can be suitable for a wide range of conditions, including problems in patients after surgery. It is the only (※2)treatment that can repair and regenerate intervertebral discs.
    ※2 According to research by Operation Japan (Ltd.)

    Click here for details.
  • The PIDD Method (Implant)

    An implant intervertebral disc treatment that has been conducted since the 2000s. As with PLDD, results without injury to intervertebral discs can be anticipated. This treatment is suitable for herniated discs only.

    Click here for details.
  • Hybrid Laser Treatment

    A treatment that combines the benefits of PLDD and PODD. This treatment is suitable for herniated discs only.

    Click here for details.
  • The PODD Method (Ozone)

    An ozone intervertebral disc treatment that has been conducted mainly in Europe since the 1990s. It can be suitable for a wide range of conditions.

    Click here for details.
  • The PLDD Method (Laser)

    An outpatient, laser intervertebral disc treatment that has been well known worldwide since the 1980s. This treatment is suitable for herniated discs only.

    Click here for details.