Today, Doctors are using new equipment and robotic technology to conduct minimally invasive spine surgery that results in much quicker recovery times. 

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Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery is a Surgery that Instead of creating a large incision, your surgeon will make one or more tiny incisions, each very small in length. Surgical tools for cutting, cauterizing, and suturing can be inserted through the incisions where they are manipulated by the surgeon, who is guided by real-time X-ray images of the patient’s spine. Minimally invasive techniques can be used for simple procedures such as micro discectomies and laminectomies, and for complex procedures such as fusions. In comparison to conventional surgery, this technique means shorter hospital stays, a quicker recovery, less pain, and a smaller risk of infection.

Minimally invasive Spine surgery is used to correct the following conditions and more:

  • Herniated discs
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Some spinal deformities
  • Spinal instability
  • Spondylolysis (a defect in a part of lower vertebrae)
  • Fractured vertebra
  • Removal of a tumor in the spine
  • Infection in the spine

The Meaning of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

With minimally invasive surgery, your doctor can employ methods that reduce the size and quantity of incisions. Generally speaking, it is seen as safer than open surgery. Generally, you’ll feel more comfortable as you heal and recover more rapidly. Additionally, you’ll waste less time in the hospital. In conventional open surgery, your doctor makes a single, significant incision to view the area of your body they’re working on. In minimally invasive surgery, your doctor makes numerous tiny incisions in your skin and inserts tiny instruments, cameras, and lights. As a result, your surgeon can do surgery with less skin and muscle damage. Robotic technology is used in some minimally invasive procedures to provide the surgeon with greater accuracy and precision control.

What Takes Place During Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery?

To “sleep” through a minimally invasive operation, the patient will get an anesthetic. The surgeon then inserts the endoscope via a very small incision. In order to provide surgeons with a good (and enlarged) view of the surgical region, images from the endoscope are shown on monitors in the operating room. Special surgical equipment or devices are then placed through additional tiny incisions during the procedure. The surgeon uses these to diagnose, address, or resolve the problem. Endoscopes come in a wide variety of styles. Some have small surgical instruments attached to the end. While some are flexible, others are rigid. Depending on the procedure, the endoscope has different names.  As an illustration:

  • Colonoscope: used for operations on the colon (such as a colonoscopy).
  • Laparoscope: used for abdominal procedures (laparoscopic surgery).
  • Thoracoscopy: used for chest operations (thoracoscopic surgery).

Robotic Surgery

Robotic spine surgery, or robot-assisted spine surgery, describes the use of robotic technology to assist with guidance during spinal neurosurgery. This minimally invasive spine surgery technology employs small incisions, a camera, and tiny surgical equipment, making it comparable to laparoscopic surgery and other minimally invasive procedures. However, robotic surgery is much more sophisticated and employs cameras that can provide a 3D color image that is 10 times magnified. Robotic surgery gives our surgeons greater control, flexibility, and precision than traditional techniques while performing a variety of complicated spine surgeries.

Robotic systems have been used successfully in the following spine procedures:

  • Anesthetic block for nerve pain
  • Correction of spinal deformities
  • Minimally invasive anterior, lateral, and posterior fusion
  • Minimally invasive decompression
  • Revision surgery after previous surgeries for conditions such as spondylolisthesis, stenosis, spondylolysis, vertebral fractures, and osteomyelitis
  • Spinal fusion
  • Tumor resection
  • Vertebroplasty for compression fractures in the spine

Details about Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Minimally invasive surgery is a very new technique: Although the practice of minimally invasive surgery (MIS) dates back to the early 1800s, it only really gained popularity as a diagnostic tool in the 1930s and 1940s. Due to advancements in camera and video technology, the surgical technique truly began to gain popularity in the middle of the 1980s. This gave surgeons the anatomical information they needed to carry out more difficult treatments.

Solid-state cameras and high-definition video made it possible for surgeons to view their work on a video screen rather than with their own eyes. This has been made possible by the laparoscope, a device necessary for minimally invasive surgery. Small surgical instruments called laparoscopes make use of fiber optics, light, and high-definition cameras. The light enables the camera to capture a clean image of its surroundings, which it subsequently transmits to a video monitor for your medical staff to watch. Due to this, your surgeon is able to operate in real time and with a very high level of accuracy and precision.

Typically, Less Blood Loss Occurs

In contrast to open surgery, MIS greatly lowers the risk of blood loss. This is mostly because it necessitates smaller incisions. Your risk of blood loss and the potential need for a blood transfusion increases with larger incisions. This increases the attraction of minimally invasive surgery for many patients and doctors who are concerned about complications. Blood loss is less likely, which benefits more than just your health. Additionally, it might ease your anxiety before the operation. It’s quite normal to feel anxious before having surgery, but knowing there’s a lesser chance of some consequences might make you feel less anxious.

Usually, There Is Less Pain

Although it’s normal for patients to have anxiety leading up to surgery, recovering is challenging and patients will suffer from pain. But the degree of pain patients experience from minimally invasive surgery will not last as long and is far less severe than with open surgery.  The little incisions formed during your operation will heal considerably more quickly and with less discomfort than a large one from open surgery. Based on the skill and expertise of our doctors, when all is considered, minimally invasive surgery is far better for the patient’s health.

Benefits of Minimally Invasive Surgery

Obese individuals benefit from minimally invasive procedures because they are less likely to get infections or other complications that require extensive incisions on the patient’s body. These procedures appear better for patients with persistent pain problems and for whom a big incision might need the use of additional painkillers, which is often avoidable with minimally invasive procedures. Small incisions appear great for elderly patients because they allow them to heal more quickly and increase their likelihood of avoiding problems like blood clots in the legs.

Benefits associated with Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

  • Minimally invasive surgery – less trauma to muscles and soft tissue than with traditional open surgery
  • Quick recovery time
  • Minimal pain or discomfort following the surgery
  • Immediate leg pain relief in most cases
  • Fewer problems and risks than open spine surgery
  • Small incision and minimal scar tissue
  • High success rate and sustained success of the therapy
  • No or minimal blood loss
  • Use of local anesthesia
  • Visual endoscopic control of the treatment
  • No hardware placement or loss of mobility

When is a Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedure not an Option?

Every patient is different, and we treat each individual patient based on a number of things. In some cases, open surgery is the preferred method. For example, if the surgeon has to make an incision that is very large to expose the tissue and structures that need treatment, then that procedure will take place.  In addition, small incisions just aren’t practical for some spine procedures. We will discuss the issues with you and present the facts so that there is a clear understanding of the procedure and the reason for the procedure.  Please note that surgery is the last choice.  So if physical therapy, a brace, observation, or medicine will reduce or stop the pain, that is our first choice. Other than that, the next step will be to use a minimally invasive surgical procedure whenever possible.


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