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Iwai Orthopaedic Medical Hospital

Conditions Treated
Cervical Disc Herniation/Lumbar Herniated Disc, Cervical/Lumbar Spinal Canal Stenosis, Spondylolisthesis, Lumbar Instability, Lumbar Vertebrae Disc Degeneration.

Treatment Methods (enSpire Interventional Discectomy System, Various Types of Endoscopic Surgery)

Herniated discs cause pain and numbness because the medulla protruding out of the
intervertebral discs (the hernia) causes pressure on the spinal nerves. Conventionally, if drug
therapies administered orally or by injection were not effective. several centimeters of the skin
on the back was cut open, a section of lumbar or cervical vertebrae was shaved, and the hernia
was cut out and removed by surgery. This method, however, requires general anesthesia and a
long period of hospitalization.

This is why a less invasive surgery that uses an endoscope has been developed in recent years. At our hospital, micro-endoscopic disectomy (MED) is applied to herniated discs, micro-endoscopic laminotomy (MEL) is applied to lumbar spinal canal stenosis, and micro-endoscopic posterior lumbar interbody fusion/transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (ME-PLIF/TLIF) and the like are applied to spondylolisthesis, lumbar instability, and so forth. For cervical discs, surgery is performed using equipment in the same manner as MED. These methods have various excellent aspects such as less painful processes, short periods of hospitalization, small and less noticeable scars, and less risk of infection. However, the methods are offered by only a few medical facilities because they require highly sophisticated techniques and experience.

We have become the first in Asia to introduce the enSpire Interventional Discectomy System, which is the latest low-invasive surgery. With this system, guided by a fluoroscope, a needle of just over a millimeter in diameter is inserted under local anesthetic, and a wire at one end is used to remove the hernia. This surgical method offers various advantages. Since the scars are very small and only local anesthetic is used, not only is the surgery less invasive, but also the patient can leave the hospital on the same or next day. The method is effective for nine out of ten patients, and the treatment results are excellent, with very few cases of recurrence. At present, ours is the only hospital in Asia offering this treatment.

Features of Our Hospital

Our hospital specializes in less invasive surgical operations that are less painful and require only a short period of hospitalization. We are the leading hospital in Japan in terms of the number of endoscopic surgeries of lumbar herniated discs and lumbar spinal canal stenosis. As each attending doctor has excellent surgical experience, accurate treatment can be provided rapidly.

We also actively disclose medical treatment information: the patient can choose to see the examination results over the Internet as well as video images recorded during the endoscopic operation. We have also been developing surgical devices for less invasive operations and conduct comparison tests of treatment medicines, therapeutic exercises, acupuncture, moxibustion, and so forth.

In addition, we are the only hospital in Japan that uses carbon offsets. We also contribute to society in a wide range of fields by providing social activities such as supporting medical treatments for physically or mentally challenged children and by providing doctors and nurses from other hospitals with educational opportunities to observe our surgical operations.

Surgery Results

Operation Method FY2008 FY2009 FY2010 FY2011
Percutaneous Laser Disc Decompression 70 cases 33 cases 30 cases 12 cases
Micro-Endoscopic Discectomy (MED) 232 cases 274 cases 541 cases 559 cases
Percutaneous Endoscopic Lumbar Discectomy (PELD) 0 cases 54 cases 54 cases 38 cases
Micro-Endoscopic Laminotomy (MEL) 112 cases 170 cases 188 cases 196 cases
Micro-Endoscopic Cervical Laminotomy (MECL) 0 cases 0 cases 34 cases 105 cases
Micro-Endoscopic Cervical Discectomy (MECD) 0 cases 13 cases 16 cases 3 cases
Micro-Endoscopic Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (ME-PLIF) 0 cases 125 cases 139 cases 221 cases
enSpire 0 cases 0 cases 2 cases 18 cases
Other Spine Surgeries 80 cases 57 cases 50 cases 55 cases
Surgeries other than Spine Surgeries 363 cases 305 cases 245 cases 217 cases
Total 857 cases 1,031 cases 1,299 cases 1,414 cases

A Message to International Patients from Our Hospital

Dr. Hirohiko Inanami
Dr. Hirohiko Inanami
Medical Director

Our hospital staff are committed to providing many patients, including those from overseas, with high-quality, safe medical treatments as if they were our own family members. This is one of the reasons why we strive to provide highly transparent medical treatments: we not only give our patients pre-surgery advice, but also supply video footage taken during surgery and clinical data. We are not a large hospital, and some patients may not be satisfied with the amenities. Nevertheless, we do have English-speaking staff, and offer you a friendly, comfortable atmosphere in addition to advanced treatment.

Overview of the Treatment Schedule (Model Cases: Lumbar Herniated Disc)

If possible, we ask you to provide us with highly accurate MRI images in advance. If not, we will photograph you when you come to Japan.

Overview of the Treatment Schedule


External View of Our Hospital MRI System (1.5 Tesla) MRI
External View of Our Hospital MRI System (1.5 Tesla)
Cross-sections of the body can be non-invasively photographed from various angles. High-quality images can be obtained without any radiation exposure.
Precise examination images are necessary for accurate, safe surgery. This MRI image enables us to determine the positional relationship between the hernia and the nerves.
Hospital Contact Information
Email: info@iwai.com
Established 1990
Clinical Departments
Orthopedics: General Outpatient Clinic, Specialized Outpatient Clinics (Rheumatism Clinic, Knee Clinic, Foot Surgery Clinic, Spine Clinic, Plastic Surgery Clinic) Internal Medicine: Gastrointestinal Medicine, Respiratory Medicine, Cardiovascular Medicine, Neurology, Endocrinology, Lifestyle Related Disease
Payment Methods
Cash (Japanese Yen only), Credit Card (American Express, VISA, MasterCard, Diners Club: single payment only)


8-17-2 Minami-koiwa, Edogawa-ku, Tokyo 133-0056
5 minutes on foot from the South Exit of the JR Koiwa Station
Approximately 1 hour from
Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport) or
Narita International Airport by car