Minimally Invasive Surgery

Endoscopic spine surgery is a revolutionary minimally invasive procedure that effectively treats disc herniations, spinal stenosis, bone spurs, slipped vertebrates, and spinal joint arthritis. Using only local anesthesia, no fusion, micro-instruments and laser technology, this procedure is clearly very different from standard open surgery.

 

Advantages of Laser Endoscopic Spinal Surgery (LESS):

  • Outpatient procedure
  • No general anesthesia
  • Small incision covered with bandaids
  • Uses state-of-the-art endoscope combined with laser and micro-instrument techniques

The Procedure:

Laser Endoscopic Spinal Surgery 1

Every case is different however, in general, this surgery will proceed as follows:

  1. Surgical Approach:
    • Endoscopic spine surgery may be done using local anesthesia with the patient awake.
    • Only a tiny incision, less than 10 mm, is needed.
    • Care is taken to protect the muscles, arteries and nerves surrounding the spine.
    • The surgeon reaches the spinal area by gently working slender surgical tubes between the muscles. These tubes are the pathway for the micro-instruments used to perform the surgery.
  2. Laser Endoscopic Spinal Surgery 2
  3. Removal Process:
    • An x-ray is done to confirm that the surgeon is at the correct level of the spinal segment.
    • Using a high resolution endoscope, the surgeon can visualize the spine on a monitor. The surgeon carefully removes only the damaged part of the spine. The supporting spinal structure is not affected.
    • A laser is directed through the endoscope to the surgical area to shrink and cut tissues as well as coagulate and control bleeding.
    • The limited amount of muscle transection or dissection during this surgery helps to minimize post-operative pain.
  4. Final Steps:
    • Upon completion of the surgery, the instruments and surgical tubes are slowly extracted, allowing the muscles to move back into place.
    • Occasionally, a stitch or two is needed for the incision.
    • A small Band-Aid is applied over the tiny incision.

After Surgery

The recovery from endoscopic spine surgery depends on the physical condition of the patient, the extent of the diseases, and the complexity of the surgery. However, most patients after this type of surgery are discharged the same day.

As with most surgeries, it is normal for patients to feel some initial pain, especially at the incision site. Patients are frequently encouraged to be up and moving around within a few hours after surgery. Most patients will benefit from a postoperative exercise program or supervised physical therapy after surgery. They are encouraged to maintain a daily low-impact exercise program. Walking, and slowly increasing the distance each day, is the best exercise after this type of surgery. Some discomfort is normal, but pain is a signal to slow down and rest. Keep in mind, the amount of time it takes to return to normal activities is different for every patient. You should ask your doctor about exercises to help with recovery.

Possible Risks/Complications :

No patients are identical therefore risks and complications can vary. It is important to understand that this procedure is very technical. For optimal outcome, your surgeon should have specialized training and extensive experience in this type of surgery.