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What is Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery?

Posted April 22, 2014

Dr. John Milani

When someone learns they need to have spine surgery, it's a natural reaction to wonder how painful it might be and how dangerous the procedure is. While there are different levels of spinal surgery, one of the least intrusive and fastest-healing options is minimally invasive spine surgery. This type of surgical operation is designed to avoid the most muscular tissue in the back region, allowing the fastest healing time possible and limited downtime. All of this is very important if you or a loved one is about to go through minimally invasive spine surgery.

You can also alleviate some stress you might have about the operation by learning more about the procedure.

With minimally invasive spine surgery, the procedure takes advantage of a small video camera that is passed through a tiny incision on your back, which is less than 2 centimeters in length, across the spine. The video camera and required instruments are used inside of this small incision in order to perform whatever the operation requires.

Different injuries and issues are going to require slightly different treatments, but all of it is based on this very small incision, which leaves almost no visible scar, and over time, the scar should heal and be undetectable.

Conditions

There are very specific conditions that are treated through minimally invasive spine surgery. Generally, these revolve around spinal fusion, which typically takes place on degenerative disks. Additionally, correcting deformities along the spine, repairing herniated disks and decompressing spinal tumors are all common conditions where minimally invasive spine surgery is used.

Benefits

There are many benefits in opting for the minimally invasive spine surgery instead of other surgical procedures. This includes only a few small scars instead of the large scar that is common with other spine and back surgeries, a shorter hospital day (typically a few days), reduced pain, shorter recovery time (often just a few months until you are completely back to optimal health), less blood loss and a reduced chance of infection. All of these are extremely desirable over your other potential surgical operations.

How to Prepare

Every surgical operation is going to require some very specific forms of preparation.

With minimally invasive spine surgery, you need to quit smoking and exercise on a regular basis in order to improve your recovery time. The better shape you are in, the faster you are going to recover from your surgery. Additionally, you want to stop taking any sort of non-essential medication, which includes herbal supplements as these can cause problems with the anesthetics you might receive during minimally invasive spine surgery.

All surgical procedures are serious and can cause anxiety. However, minimally invasive spine surgery is one of the best options when it comes to correcting issues with your back and spine. While there is some recovery time involved, your downtime is greatly reduced over the other options.

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