Minimally invasive spine surgery is performed on the bones that form your spine (backbone). The standard spine surgery, also known as open surgery, involves making a long incision down the back. When performing open surgery, the surgeon has to move away the soft tissues and muscles, sometimes even removing them. Unlike open surgery, minimally invasive surgery involves making small incisions, thus causing less damage to the nearby muscles and tissues. Minimally invasive spine surgery causes less pain and has a faster recovery period than standard surgery. For reliable Utah minimally invasive spine surgery, contact LAMIS.

Understanding Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

When performing minimally invasive spine surgery, the surgeon makes a tiny incision in your back. The surgeon then inserts a device known as a tubular retractor. The purpose of this tube-shaped device is to create a tunnel in the problem area. It gently pushes the soft tissue and muscles around the problem area. The surgeon works on the spine by putting small tools through the tunnel. Using a special operating microscope, the surgeon also views real-time images of your spine. Minimally invasive spine surgery comes in handy for certain types of spine surgery. It can be employed in laminectomy, discectomy, and spinal fusion.

Who Needs Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

No one hopes to undergo spine surgery. However, sometimes, spine surgery is the only option to treat the underlying condition, eliminate pain, and restore function. When you need treatment, the first step involves determining whether surgery is good for you. The good news is that minimally invasive spine surgery is a good treatment option for most people.

Who is a candidate for Utah minimally invasive spine surgery?

Most people with back pain do not need back surgery. However, when you have back pain that does not improve with other treatment methods like medication and physical therapy, your doctor can recommend spine surgery. Surgery could fix your problem if you have severe back pain. However, spine surgery cannot fix certain types of back pain.

What makes minimally invasive surgery a better option than open surgery?

Minimally invasive surgery means smaller incisions on your back. It keeps your muscles intact; there is minimal bleeding and reduced trauma. Therefore, you will experience less pain after the surgery and heal faster. Open surgery involves making a long incision in your back to expose the spine. This means that you will be in the hospital much longer following the surgery.

Surgeons will only recommend spine surgery if the cause of your back pain can be addressed with surgery. Conditions that can be treated with minimally invasive spine surgery include:

  • Spinal instability.
  • Herniated disc.
  • Spinal deformities, including scoliosis.
  • Spinal stenosis is characterized by the narrowing of your spinal canal.
  • Fractured vertebra.
  • Spondylolysis, which is a defect that occurs in a portion of your lower vertebrae.
  • Infection in the spine.
  • Removal of a tumor in the spine.

If you are considering minimally invasive surgery, you should first speak to a doctor to know if the procedure is an option.

Who Is Not a Candidate of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Minimally invasive spine surgery is not suitable for everyone, meaning that open back surgery is still needed for some patients. The extent or severity of your spinal injury can call for open surgery. Minimally invasive spine surgery is not a good option for you if you have an active infection, extensive epidural scarring, or severe osteoporosis. You are also not a candidate for minimally invasive spine surgery if:

You Respond To Conservative Treatment

Before doctors recommend minimally invasive spine surgery, they try conservative treatments. Most people with neck or back pain respond to treatments like physical therapy, medication, and injections. Conventional treatment methods are more affordable than spine surgery and pose less risk. If the conservative treatments effectively alleviate your back pain, it is a win-win for the patient and the doctor. Unfortunately, these treatment methods are not effective for everyone. Minimally invasive spine surgery is usually the next appropriate option when other treatment methods fail.

Some Elderly Patients

Spine surgery is not a good treatment option for very elderly patients. Even with minimally invasive surgery, the body will need time to heal. Most elderly patients, especially those with other health conditions or compromised immunity, are not up to the required recovery. These patients would benefit more from non-surgical treatment options.

People With A Higher Risk Of Infection

All surgical procedures, including minimally invasive spine surgery, pose a risk of infection. Medical professionals do everything possible to sterilize the surgical tools and the operating room. However, it is challenging to guard against infection entirely. If a patient has a condition that puts him or her at a higher risk of infection, they are better off with non-surgical treatment options.

Every person's situation is unique. Your age, overall health, and personal preferences also play a role in determining the best surgery for you. So many variables determine whether or not you are a good candidate for minimally invasive spine surgery. Your doctor will talk to you about your medical condition, the surgical procedures, and the pros and cons of different surgeries. You will have all the information you need to make an informed decision.

The Benefits Of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Compared to open surgery, Utah minimally invasive spine surgery offers many benefits that include:

  • Less blood loss during surgery.
  • Less anesthesia.
  • Reduced risk of infection.
  • Less muscle and soft tissue damage.
  • Less pain after surgery.
  • A better cosmetic result since you will have several tiny scars instead of one large, noticeable scar.
  • Less use of pain medication after surgery.
  • A shorter recovery period could range from several months to a year.
  • A shorter hospital stay that can vary from a few days to a week.
  • You can go back to your routine activities, including work, much faster.

The Risks of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

As its name suggests, Utah minimally invasive spine surgery does not pose significant risks like open surgery. However, like any other medical procedure, minimally invasive spine surgery poses the following risks:

  • Excess bleeding.
  • Infection at the surgical site.
  • Pain at the graft site.
  • Blood clots.
  • Nerve damage.
  • Complications from anesthesia.
  • Not sufficient relief from back pain.

The risks posed by the surgery will vary depending on your general health, age, and the type of surgery you undergo. You can lower your risks by ensuring that you undergo Utah minimally invasive spine surgery in a medical facility that has the proper equipment. Your doctor will advise you on the risks that apply to your situation.

How To Prepare For Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Your doctor will advise you on how to prepare for minimally invasive spine surgery. You should review all the products you usually use a few weeks before the surgery with your doctor. Ensure that you inform your doctor about all the medication you are taking. You should include over-the-counter medications like aspirin. If you are on blood thinner medication, your doctor can advise you to stop taking the medication ahead of the surgery. Some medications can react with the anesthetics or the additional medications you are given during surgery.

You should also stop smoking before the surgery since smoking can slow the healing process. If you find it hard to quit smoking, you should discuss the situation with your healthcare provider.

Your doctor can recommend imaging tests ahead of the surgery. For example, you can undergo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or X-rays.

Several weeks before the surgery, you should ensure that you exercise regularly. Regular exercise keeps your body and muscles in shape and shortens recovery.

You should ensure that you do not eat or drink the night before the surgery. Inform your healthcare provider about any changes in your health. For example, if you develop a fever, you should inform your doctor about it.

What To Expect During A Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Now that you are scheduled for minimally invasive spine surgery, you are probably wondering what to expect. An orthopedic surgeon performs the procedure, assisted by a trained medical team. The surgery details will vary depending on the affected part of the spine. Your doctor will prepare you beforehand by informing you what to expect during the surgery. Here is what you should expect if you are scheduled for minimally invasive spine surgery:

  • You will receive anesthesia to numb the part of the body being worked on. Your doctor can also administer sedation to help you relax during the surgery. With sedation, you can relax but remain awake during the surgery. You can also receive general anesthesia. Unlike local anesthesia, which only numbs the part of the body being worked on, general anesthesia helps you sleep through the surgery.
  • A medical expert will closely monitor your vitals, blood pressure, and heart rate during the surgery.
  • Your doctor can give you antibiotics before and after the surgery to reduce the risk of infection.
  • Your surgeon will use a particular type of X-ray during the surgery to view the area of the spine being worked on.
  • The surgeon will make a tiny incision in your back to access the treated area. The next step involves inserting a tubular retractor into the incision. Inserting the device exposes the part of the spine that needs treatment.
  • The surgeon then puts tiny tools through the retractor to access the treatment site. The tools include a light and a small camera.
  • The surgeon will then treat the affected part of your spine.
  • After completing the treatment, the surgeon removes the tools and the retractor. The surgeon then closes the incision with stitches, staples, and glue. The doctor also places a bandage on the wound.

After Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Some types of minimally invasive spine surgery are part of an outpatient procedure. This means you can undergo the surgery and go home the same day. You must remain at the healthcare facility after the treatment, where the doctor will observe you to ensure no problem arises. Depending on your unique circumstances, your doctor can recommend that you remain in the facility for one or several nights. Having someone drive you home when you are discharged is best.

It is expected to experience some pain after surgery. Your doctor will likely give you pain medication or prescribe over-the-counter medicines to help you manage the pain. Ensure that you consult your doctor before purchasing over-the-counter medication. Usually, the pain fades away fairly quickly. You can resume your normal activities fairly quickly.

You could notice some fluid leaking from the surgical site. This is normal. However, if fluid oozing from the surgical site increases, you should inform your doctor immediately. You should also seek immediate medical attention if you experience pain that worsens over time or develop a fever. Other symptoms that call for immediate medical attention include severe headaches and difficulty breathing.

Your surgeon will advise you on positioning or using your back after surgery. In the first few days following surgery, your doctor can advise you to limit bending and lifting. Your doctor can also advise you to wear a back brace for some time after the surgery. Physical therapy can also come in handy after surgery to help you recover by strengthening the muscles of your spine.

The recovery period will vary depending on the type of surgery you undergo, the treatment site, your age, and your general well-being. You will likely be ready to resume normal activities after a few weeks. You can speed up the healing process by following your health practitioner's instructions and adhering to follow-up appointments. This will ensure that the surgery works well for you.

Find Reliable Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Services Near Me

You should work with a well-established spine treatment center if you need reliable Utah minimally invasive spine surgery services. Choose a highly knowledgeable and experienced surgeon with experience in minimally invasive surgical procedures. Neither hesitated to ask questions about the surgical procedure, including the benefits and risks involved. For more information and guidance on minimally invasive spine surgery, contact LAMIS. Call us at 310-734-6088 to speak to one of our experts.

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