I've had two levels of IDET, so will be glad to answer whatever questions I can and tell you whatever you would like to know about it. If you do a search on this board of "IDET" you'll find many, many threads and posts about it that you can also read.
First let me say that I did not
have a positive outcome from it. I was scheduled to have both levels done at the same time, but my doctor only did one. He told me that I was crying so hysterically that he couldn't bare to continue. A month or two later we did the second level. I had two VERY
different experiences. The first one I don't remember a thing about. It's done under sedation,
but you're not fully out. The second level though - HOLY COW do I remember it. I thought the discogram I had done prior to the IDET was bad... ,
IDET was soooo painful!
The idea of IDET is to heat up the inside of the disc and basically turn it into jelly, then as it heals itself over time, it should fill in the cracks and tears that were in the disc. I had to wear a corset for months afterwards whenever I was out of bed to keep me from bending. The odds for this procedure being successful are 60/40 (60% chance of positive outcome). There is also a fairly low possibility that you can end up worse off than you are before hand. I was in the lucky
percentage that ended up worse off. After the healing period was over I was actually in more pain that before I had the IDET. So that raises the question of 'if I could go back in time, would I still have it done?'. To be honest, I probably would. I was in so much pain that I had to take the chance that it would work. In theory, IDET sounds great. Unfortunately, I think a lot more needs to be done to perfect it.
Unfortunately now it's a matter of life long pain control. A discogram after IDET showed that I now have 3 bad discs instead of just the 2. Because of where they are and how bad they are I'm not a candidate for fusion. A very well respected surgeon actually told me how wouldn't touch me, saying that there was a very good chance I would end up worse after surgery. Sorry, but I've been there, not taking that chance again.
What odds is your doctor giving you that it will be successful?
It's very important to know how many he/she has done and what the outcomes have been, if you are going to consider this procedure. When are you thinking of having this done? There are many sites online that have some very good diagrams that can show you exactly how the procedure is done. Just search IDET and I'm sure you'll find a ton of information.
Please let me know if you have any specific questions or anything else you would like to know - will do my best to answer whatever I can for you. Good luck with your decision!