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What You Need to Know about the Process of Laser Spine Surgery

If you've ever suffered from any type of chronic back pain, you know how potentially debilitating it can be. Some people are in so much agony that they are willing to do just about anything to relieve the pain. In some cases, that means invasive surgery that includes a measure of risk and long recovery periods. Others have found comfort in minimally invasive laser spine surgery. The question for each patient is one of which type of surgery is most appropriate.

More and more people are choosing laser spine surgery due to its less invasive nature. Laser spine surgery can be used to treat some the following conditions:

  • bone spurs
  • bulging or degenerating discs
  • herniated discs
  • sciatica, pinched nerves
  • scoliosis
  • spinal stenosis
  • facet disease

The first step in determining the appropriateness of laser spine surgery is to figure out exactly what's causing your pain. An experienced back specialist is the right person to consult.

Two Kinds of Laser Spine Surgery

Patients need to know that there are two kinds of laser spine surgery. The first is two-dimensional surgery using endoscopy. An endoscope, in simple terms, is in instrument consisting of a hollow tube, a camera and an external light source. Think of it as a small, long flashlight a surgeon uses to illuminate the tissue he is working on.

The other type of laser spine surgery is three-dimensional. It involves newer technology that allows surgeons to perform procedures that are minimally invasive. These new procedures are often referred to as microsurgery.

Rather than using an endoscope, surgeons use a small and powerful microscope inserted into tissue through a very small incision. This gives the surgeon better illumination and a 3-D field of vision. Depending on your condition, the phyisican choose the most appropriate type of procedure.

How the Process Works

Regardless of the choice of 2-D or 3-D laser surgery, the process begins with a small incision very near the area to be treated. When 2-D surgery is chosen, an endscope is inserted through the incision and directed to the tissue in question. The doctor then uses a small laser guided by images displayed on a video screen.

The 3-D process is slightly different. Rather than an endoscope being inserted into the incision, a powerful microscope is put to use. The surgeon looks directly through the dual eyepieces of the microscope to guide the laser instrument as he performs the procedure. The laser is used to remove tissue, open up the spinal column, remove bone spurs, etc.

The biggest difference between laser spine surgery and traditional surgery is how tissue is removed. Traditional surgery uses instruments to cut away the tissue causing the problem. While such methods have proven largely effective over the years, these types of procedures are always risky in terms of infection and spinal damage. Laser surgery is considerably less risky because surgeons are using focused light to burn away unwanted tissue. The procedure is a lot more exact and, because of the smaller incision, less prone to infection.

Results Do Vary

It's important to emphasize the fact that the results of laser spine surgery vary from one patient to the next. There is no foolproof procedure that works for everyone; laser spine surgery is no exception. Most patients enjoy permanent relief after just one outpatient procedure.

If you are interested in finding out if your are a candidate for laser spine surgery, please contact our consultants to discuss your options. It could turn out to be one of the best decisions you've ever made.

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Suffering From Constant Back Pain?

There is a minimally invasive solution that could provide relief quickly and locally.

Want to be contacted by a qualified spine surgery
specialist right here in Georgia?

Just complete the form above