Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
Minimally invasive spine surgery is a general term for a group of procedures performed through small incisions. The incision size is typically small in comparison to the incision that would be required in an “open” procedure.
Spine surgeons who utilize minimally invasive approaches are also trained in traditional spine surgeries and can select the best option for each individual patient.
Spine Treatment Centers of America is fortunate to work with many of the leading experts in minimally invasive spine surgery. They have extensive training, years of experience and in many cases are the surgeons who train other surgeons in these advanced technologies.
As time passes, more and more surgeons are finding less invasive ways to perform traditional surgical techniques.
Minimally invasive spine surgery is a relatively new discipline and thus not all spine surgeons are trained in these techniques. Minimally invasive surgeries require a good deal of training and specific skills to perform. This helps explain why every surgeon in the world does not use them.
Example: Endoscopic Spine Surgery
One common method of minimally invasive spine surgery is endoscopic spine surgery. Since the late 1970s, endoscopic techniques have been used for diagnosis and treatment in several surgical disciplines. These same endoscopic techniques have been advanced and refined for the treatment of spine disorders.
During an endoscopic procedure, the doctor inserts a thin tube (endoscope) through a very small incision – usually, less than 2 cm — into the back, chest or abdomen. Through this tube, the doctor inserts a specialized video camera and medical instruments to access the spine and perform the needed procedure.
Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Benefits
Minimally invasive spine surgery has generally been found to have equivalent or better outcomes with fewer complications and lower risk. Open surgery requires more anesthesia, large incisions, muscle stripping, a long hospital stay and a longer recovery period. Compare that to minimally invasive spine surgery, which usually means:
- One (or a few) tiny scars instead of one large scar
- Shorter hospital stay – may be performed outpatient in many cases
- Reduced post-operative pain
- Less blood loss during surgery
- Reduced risk of infection
- Shorter recovery time
- Faster return to daily activities, including work
Am I A Candidate?
Today, the majority of spine conditions can be treated with a minimally invasive technique. In some instances, your condition may require a more traditional approach.
The key is determining a customized treatment plan to best treat your condition. This goes back to the point of not focusing on one specific solution, as each spine condition may require a different or various techniques.