The Hybrid Laser Method


back pain image

Hybrid Laser Treatment What is the Hybrid Laser method?


The Hybrid Laser method combines the benefits of laser therapy (PLDD) and ozone therapy (PODD), both of which are minimally invasive treatments for disc herniation.
The advantage of the laser treatment is that it reduces the pressure in the disc that causes hernia, while the advantage of the ozone treatment is that it reduces the inflammation of the nerves that occur in hernia.
Each treatment has different advantages, and is thus expected to be more effective if used together.

Treatment with Hybrid Laser

A 1.0mm-thick needle is inserted into the disc under local anesthesia, viewed through an X-ray fluoroscopy device to avoid damaging the nerves. The nucleus populus is first depressurized with laser. After that, ozone is injected according to the lesion, thus completing the treatment. As a special 1.0 mm puncture needle is used, it enables both laser and ozone treatments to be performed at the same time.

Hybrid laser treatment area

Conditions and Symptoms Treated

  • Conditions / Spinal Diseases

    • Lumbar Disc Herniation

For those with these concerns...

  • 1

    I've been diagnosed with lumbar disc herniation

  • 2

    I suffer from chronic pain due to disc herniation

  • 3

    I'm considering surgery for my disc hernia, but I'd like to avoid it if I can

  • 4

    Past surgery for my disc herniation did not improve my condition (recurrence)

  • 5

    I'm afraid of disc herniation surgery

  • 6

    I don't want to be hospitalized for disc herniation surgery

  • 7

    I want a treatment that's less burdensome on the body

Elderly people (over 80 years old) are also eligible for this treatment

Merits of the Hybrid Laser treatment

  • Operating room

    Leaves little to no scars

    Since no incisions are made and only a small needle is inserted, there is almost no scarring.

  • short time

    Lowered stress on the body Outpatient (day) treatment

    Treatment time is about 20 to 25 minutes, and patients are required to rest for about 60 minutes after treatment. One can return home after about 90 minutes from the start of the treatment.

  • hospital

    No need for post-treatment visits or rehabilitation

    Even for those who live far away, there is no need for post-treatment hospital visits or rehabilitation, making it easier to return to work and daily routines.

How Hybrid Laser Works

With the Hybrid Laser treatment, the cause of pain is eliminated by depressurizing the disc that protrudes and applies pressure on the nerves. Similar to PLDD or PODD, a 1.0 mm puncture needle is inserted into the disc using X-ray fluoroscopy.

A laser is irradiated into the disc through the laser fiber into the needle, evaporating the protruding nucleus, thus removing the fundamental cause of the pain.

Additionally, treatment by injecting ozone into a needle similar to the one used in the PODD method, removes pain through the anti-inflammatory effects of ozone. It is particularly more effective than conventional PLDD and PODD treatments.

ct image

Hybrid Laser is effective for mild to moderate herniated discs, especially those that have high internal pressure and have not extruded from the ligament.

The Cellgel method is the more effective treatment for the extruded and sequestrated types of herniation.

Protruding type Escape type Free type
Herniated disc laser ablation image

The center of the Nucleus Pulposus inside the disc is cauterized with a laser in order to create a cavity and cause the disc to contract.

Ozone is injected from the tip of the needle into the inflamed area to reduce inflammation.

Treatment time and side effects

Treatment Time
About 20-25 minutes

You will need to rest for about 60 minutes after treatment and you can go home after about 90 minutes. Light movement is possible from the next day onwards, but sports and strenuous activties must be put on hold for about a month.

  • Potential Drawbacks

    If the disc is damaged, the recurrence rate may be similar to that of a conventional surgical procedure. The reason is that the disc itself cannot be repaired as in surgery. The Cellgel method is necessary to reduce recurrence rates.

  • Potential Side Effects

    You may experience back pain, numbness, and muscle tension in your thighs that you have not had before after undergoing Hybrid Laser treatment. It varies from person to person, but some may experience temporary symptoms for a week to a month after the surgery, depending on their symptoms and condition.

    Although the risk is much lower than with surgical procedures, there is a risk of infection from the treated area and complications. In order to reduce these risks as much as possible, our doctors will explain the treatment in detail. Please consult with us if you have any questions or concerns prior to the treatment.

Flow The Hybrid Laser Treatment Process

  • Inquiry

    1. Inquiry

    Our clinic is by appointment only, so be sure to make an appointment before visiting us.

    Contact us on Whatsapp or by our contact form on this page.

  • MRI Image

    2. Remote MRI Diagnosis

    For Tokyo Clinic:
    An MRI scan will be performed at a clinic affiliated with our clinic before your appointment at our clinic. Please send the MRI CD-ROM data to us via email prior to your visit. Also, if you have MRI images taken at another hospital, please let us know when you contact us.

    For Osaka Clinic:
    The MRI scan will be performed at our clinic on the day of your appointment.

  • Choose Treatment Date Image

    3. Choose Treatment Date

    If the diagnosis confirms that you're a suitable candidate for our treatments, you may proceed to make an appointment with us. Kindly keep in mind the time it may take for you to secure a visa to enter Japan. A Japanese tourist visa is sufficient.

  • Travel Arrangements Image

    4. Travel Arrangements

    As we are an outpatient facility, you will be discharged on the same day as your treatment. Patients are asked to take care of their own visas, travel and accommodation arrangements.

  • Pre-treatment Examination Image

    5. Pre-Treatment Examination

    For Tokyo Clinic:
    Please have your health insurance card, various medical certificates, image data, etc. ready when you come to the reception desk. After the check-in,, we will take X-ray images. After the X-ray, the doctor will spend approximately 30 minutes thoroughly examining the patient, and will consider and recommend the most suitable treatment plan for each patient.

    At the Osaka Clinic:
    After the MRI/X-ray examination, the doctor will spend approximately 30 minutes thoroughly examining the patient, and will consider and propose the most appropriate treatment plan for each patient.

  • Treatment Image

    6. Treatment

    Patients who wish to be treated on the same day can choose to be treated in the afternoon after the examination in the morning. Treatment time varies from 15 to 45 minutes (per site) after local anesthesia is administered.

  • Discharge Image

    7. Discharge

    After the treatment, we provide a recovery room for you to rest for about an hour to 1.5 hours.
    You are free to return home after the doctor examines you.

  • Follow-up Image

    8. Follow-up

    We will contact you regularly for follow-ups after your treatment.
    If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

Price Hybrid Laser Method Costs

Number of
Discs Treated
1 disc 2 discs 3 discs 4 discs 5 discs
Treatment Cost 440,000 JPY 495,000 JPY 550,000 JPY 605,000 JPY 660,000 JPY

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* The cost of treatment is indicated including taxes.
*If treatment is performed at our clinic, all examination/diagnosis costs and test costs such as MRI are included in the above costs.
*This treatment method is not covered by Japanese health insurance, so you will have to pay for the entire treatment yourself.
*Payment by credit card (VISA, MasterCard, JCB, American Express, Diners, Discover) is also possible.
*If you would like rehabilitation (low back pain specialized rehabilitation), it is also possible to pay by bank transfer.
*If you live and work in Japan, you can receive a tax refund by filing your final medical expense return.

Other Treatment Methods

  • Cellgel Method

    An advanced low back pain treatment method that started around 2010 and has been introduced in more than 54 countries around the world, mainly in Europe. This is a treatment method that treats a wide range of back pain diseases and symptoms.

  • Florence Method

    A revolutionary new outpatient treatment for Spinal Stenosis! Used mainly in Europe and South America, it is now available at our clinic.

  • PODD Method(Percutaneous Ozone Disc Decompression)

    Percutaneous Ozone Disc Decompression (PODD) has been performed mainly in Europe since the 1990s. It can be applied to facet joint disease, disc herniation, spinal canal stenosis, etc.

  • PLDD Method(Percutaneous Laser Disc Decompression)

    Percutaneous Laser Disc Decompression (PLDD) has been has been the major outpatient disc laser procedure in Japan since the 1980s. It is the primary treatment of choice for herniated discs.

Our Treatment Methods versus Conventional Surgical Procedures

Our clinic's treatments Traditional Surgery
Cellgel Hybrid Laser PODD PLDD Florence Micro Endoscopic
Discectomy (MED)
Spinal Stabilization
Disc Restoration × × × × × ×
Post-treatment Change
in Disc Volume
Same to increased Slight to small decrease Slight decrease Small decrease Same Decreased or disappeared Decreased or disappeared
Supressing of
× × × ×
Duration of
15–20 minutes 20–25 minutes 10–15 minutes 10–15 minutes 30 minutes 40 minutes – 1 hour 1–1.5 hours
Period of
About 1 week About 1 month
Treatable Symptoms &
Most lower back related conditions and symptoms Disc herniation Most lower back related conditions and symptoms Disc herniation Spinal canal stenosis, intervertebral disc hernia, facet joint disease, spondylolisthesis Disc herniation, spinal tumor etc. Spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, scoliosis, lumbar instability, intervertebral herniation, compression fracture

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FAQ Questions About the Hybrid Laser method

Is the treatment covered by the Japanese national health insurance?
No, it is not covered by the national insurance. If you have life insurance, you may be eligible. Please feel free to consult our staff regarding this matter.
Who is eligible for the Hybrid Laser method?
It is often performed for those who experience chronic strong numbness or pain or have severe inflammation.
What's the difference between PODD and the Hybrid Laser method?
Ozone has a soothing effect on inflammation. In the PODD method, it is injected into the disc to lower the disc's internal pressure, but in hybrid laser therapy, the nucleus pulposus in the disc is cauterized by laser (PLDD method) to create a cavity in the disc and shrink the disc. Then, a needle is positioned to the site of inflammation to inject ozone.
Can the Hybrid Laser treatment be performed for other low back disorders apart from disc herniation?
In such cases, other treatment methods are considered.
Cellgel method or ozone therapy may be used as an alternative treatment for spinal canal stenosis.
How soon does the inflammation subside after the injection of ozone?
Depending on the individual, inflammation may subside within a week after treatment, or it may take up to a month.
Will I need rehabilitation after treatment?

Walking and light stretching are recommended after treatment.

Even if the herniation can be reduced by the PLDD method of hybrid laser, muscle stiffness or muscle weakness may cause an inflammatory reaction and possibly recurrence. Please be sure to exercise moderately for prevention and recurrence.

We collaborate with rehabilitation facilities to provide specialized rehabilitation for back pain. Please see below for details.

*Link to specialized rehabilitation page