Dr Bernard Lee is anaesthesiologist currently practising at Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital. He has more than 20 years of clinical experience and is a pioneer interventional pain specialist who provides knifeless surgery via specialised laser injections and balloon injections to treat various pain conditions. These include neck pain, back pain, spine problem, herniated disc, nerve impingement, neuralgia, frozen shoulder, sports injury, post injury persistent pain and generalised body ache.
Dr Bernard Lee also specialises in the endoscopic laser decompression procedure, which is a cutting-edge laser treatment for back pain and nerve impingement. It is a breakthrough in minimally invasive treatments for the slipped disc condition. This procedure serves to remove pressure on the spinal cord and nerve roots in the spinal column as a result of various spinal problems. The disc can be decompressed and shrunk effectively with little complication and minimal downtime.
Dr Bernard Lee graduated from the National University of Singapore as a Master of Medicine (Anaesthesiology). Dr Lee underwent further training to subspecialise in pain management and was accredited as a Fellow of the Faculty of Pain Medicine at the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetist, Australia.
Dr Bernard Lee is the founder of Singapore Paincare Center at Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital. Dr Lee previously founded the Pacific Pain Care Center, one of the first specialist pain practices in private healthcare. Dr Lee was the Clinical Director of the Chronic and Interventional Pain Management Services in Tan Tock Seng Hospital. As the chief of the Chronic Pain unit, he established various clinical programmes (eg. back pain, cancer pain) under Interventional Pain Management, including the first intensive rehabilitative programme for difficult pain conditions, for which he was the director of the Cognitive Behavioural Pain Management Programme (ACTIVATE). Together with the Pain Task Force, he implemented ‘Pain as the 5th Vital Sign’ training module within the hospital, educating doctors, nurses and allied health workers to treat pain seriously and effectively. He has trained and mentored many doctors locally and overseas, in both knowledge and skills of pain medicine.
Dr Bernard Lee is also trained in medical acupuncture. This adds a different dimension in the provision of evidence-based practices within interventional pain procedures. Dr Lee’s wide spectrum of expertise allows him to assess and administer multi-dimensional pain relief treatments.
Professionally, Dr Bernard Lee is an article reviewer for the ASEAN Journal of Anaesthesiology and Singapore Medical Journal on research pertaining to pain advances. He is currently actively teaching in Santo Tomas University as their Associate Professor in the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery for the Postgraduate Diploma in Pain Medicine. He sits on the advisory committee for health publications including Live Well, Spring and Prime. Dr Lee is a frequent speaker on various aspects of pain treatment in orthopaedic, neuropathic and oncological conditions at local and international meetings and conferences.
CASE STUDY 1 - Mdm W, 48 years old, started having neck pain accompanied with numbness in both hands. The pain that she felt caused her difficulties in daily activities and disturbed her sleeping pattern. The problem also caused her giddiness and weakness in both arms to the extent that she lacked the strength to carry even a bowl of rice. Mdm W got to know about Dr Bernard Lee from a Channel U health programme and sought his help. She was clinically diagnosed with cervical C3/4 and C6/7 prolapsed intervertebral disc, or slipped disc. Mdm W underwent minimally invasive procedures comprising of nucleoplasty, neuroplasty and radiofrequency, and was able to return home the same day after the day surgery. She has since made a complete recovery and is now back to a pain-free life.
CASE STUDY 2 - Mr H, 55 years old, experienced progressively worse pain in his right buttock and numbness in his right leg. When he tried to bend forward when sitting down or getting into his car, he would experience a pulling pain, which made these movements difficult. Mr H took medications such as painkillers prescribed by his GP doctor but the pain was only relieved temporarily. His wife, a former patient of Dr Bernard Lee, brought Mr H to seek Dr Lee’s help. Mr H was examined and diagnosed with lumbar L4/5 prolapsed intervertebral disc, or slipped disc. Mr H underwent minimally invasive procedures comprising of nucleoplasty, neuroplasty and radiofrequency, and was able to return home the same day after the day surgery. He is now able to drive again, and sit down and get up without any discomfort.
CASE STUDY 3 - Mr C, 60 years old, runs his own business and is internet savvy. He discovered Dr Bernard Lee when searching for pain specialists on the web. He had been experiencing right arm numbness which had been progressively worsening. He experienced pain in his right shoulder, which he described as ‘electric currents’ moving down to the fingers of his right hand. He also complained of extreme pain when bending his neck up and down. The pain in his right arm made it difficult for him to carry out daily activities. After assessment, Mr C was diagnosed with cervical C3/4 and C6/7 prolapsed intervertebral disc, or slipped disc. He underwent minimally invasive procedures comprising of nucleoplasty, neuroplasty and radiofrequency, and was able to return home the same day after the day surgery. Mr C was completely pain free by the second day after the procedure and returned to the gym soon after.
CASE STUDY 4 - Ms M, 41 years old, sought help from Dr Bernard Lee after seeing several other doctors. She complained of pain in her pelvis which seemed to emanate from the womb and bladder. Sometimes, the pain extended downwards to the inner thighs and inside her pelvis. She felt pain and subsequent nausea and abdominal discomfort whenever she carried heavy items. She had undergone several investigations and even laparoscopy but none of the treatment relieved her pain. Even morphine painkillers could not ease the pain she was suffering. She was finally diagnosed by Dr Lee as suffering from pelvic nerve hypersensitivity and was treated with anti-neuropathic medications. Within a day, her pain was under control and after 3 days, she returned to her previous active lifestyle of swimming, scuba diving and running.
CASE STUDY 5 - Mr K, 63 years old, had suffered pain in his right shoulder for many years. The pain caused muscle stiffness and he was not able to rotate his right arm. This made it difficult for Mr K to wear and take off his clothes, as well as carry things. Due to his pain, it was difficult for him to find a good position to sleep. The lack of good quality sleep and continuous pain affected his life profoundly. He was assessed and diagnosed with right frozen shoulder syndrome by Dr Lee. He was given a paravertebral block injection, which helped to reduce his muscle stiffness, and suitable medications to help with his recovery. Mr K has now fully recovered and is able to carry his grandchildren without any problems.
Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, National University of Singapore
Master of Medicine (Anaesthesiology), National University of Singapore
Fellow of the Academy of Medicine (Anaesthesiology)
Fellow of Faculty of Pain Medicine, Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetist (Australia)
New South Wales Medical Acupuncture College, Australia