Dr. Gopi’s Pain Clinic at Pantai is devoted to providing treatments specially designed to help patients cope with the physical pain they experience. The clinic offers a wide range of pain therapies while specializing in a multimodal treatment of pain using lasers, physiotherapy, psychology, and pharmacology interventions. These are then combined with the latest interventional pain techniques that most effectively alleviate pain.
Founded by pain medicine specialist and anaesthetist Dr. Gopinathan Raju, the clinic has special interest in treating pain with spinal origin, pain as a cancer symptom, and joint-related pain. Dr. Gopi’s radical thoughts on pain make him an important proponent of specialty pain medicine in Malaysia, and through local and international lectures as well as social media, he hopes to create awareness about the importance of pain therapy.
As a Consultant Anaesthetist and Pain Medicine Specialist, Dr. Gopinathan Raju believes that pain should not be viewed and treated as a secondary symptom, but to be managed as an underlying cause. As such, Dr. Gopi provides pain treatment therapy using a variety of methods such as lasers, psychology, pharmacology, physiotherapy, and the latest interventional pain techniques.
Caudal Epidural Approach
The Caudal epidural approach is a procedure wherein steroids are injected just above the tailbone (sacral hiatus) or bottom part of the epidural space to control and minimize back pain by managing inflammation. Before the injection, the doctor first confirms the exact location for the medication using a contrast dye. Usually, injecting in the sacral hiatus means that the steroids can cover a huge portion of the spinal canal. He then uses fluoroscopy to guide the steroids upon injection. Aside from the steroids, the injection may also contain local anesthesia to further reduce back pain by interrupting muscle spasms. This is performed on an outpatient basis and results are noticeable after a couple of days.
Lumbar Radiofrequency Neurotomy
Also referred to as radiofrequency ablation, Lumbar Radiofrequency Neurotomy is an orthopedic procedure that uses radiofrequency waves in the lumbar section (lower torso) to disrupt pain signals by creating lesions. As a minimally invasive procedure, it requires only local anesthesia to numb the treatment site and IV sedation for the patient’s comfort. The patient lies on the doctor’s table, and the doctor cleans the skin of the areas to be treated. A needle is then inserted into the skin using fluoroscopy or live X-ray to guide it. Once the right nerves have been identified, lesions are created through electric currents that go through the needle and then into the nerves.
Administering orthopedic injections may require the use of ultrasound to ensure that the medications are injected in the right locations. This significantly increases the efficiency of the whole procedure. Ultrasound and orthopedic injections are done simultaneously. For the procedure, the orthopedist uses an ultrasound machine, similar to the one used in gynecology, to obtain a clearer image of the area to be injected. The machine is composed of a monitor and a probe, which is used to find the exact site. Ultrasound waves are then bounced off to create the image that appears on the screen. Once the right location has been identified, the orthopedist injects the medication while the probe stays to ensure the medication travels in the right direction.