4 Benefits of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Compared to open back surgery, minimally invasive spine surgery allows physicians to correct spine related issues in a manner that greatly reduces recovery time and overall risks. With minimal scarring, reduced blood loss, quicker recovery, and less anesthesia needed, minimally invasive spine surgery has become an industry standard. By utilizing cutting-edge technology, physicians are able to pinpoint key areas of the spine while disturbing the surrounding tissue as little as possible. This allows for patients to receive the vital procedures they need without the lengthy recovery time typically associated with back surgery. To further elaborate, here are a few benefits of this revolutionary surgical method:

Minimal Scarring

If you’ve ever received surgery before, minimal scarring is always welcome. Scars can last a lifetime, so it’s only reasonable to limit them as much as possible. Minimally invasive surgery is performed through small incisions in the back and uses advanced tools and technology to guide the physician. Since these incisions are limited in size, they can be easily mended and leave minimal scarring. Over time, the scars can hardly be noticed compared to those who have received open back surgery. During the procedure, an advanced tool called a tubular retractor is entered through a coin-sized incision and is guided slowly through soft tissue to the spinal column. The instrument then pulls back the muscle tissue around the spinal column to allow enough room for small tools, which are fed through the hollow tubular retractor, to perform surgery. Since these instruments are small enough to work through small incisions, the end result leaves minimal scarring and a faster healing process.

Reduced Blood Loss

When spine surgery is typically performed, a long incision is made down the back of the patient to allow full access to the problem areas. As you can imagine, this is likely lead to a great deal of blood loss, which prolongs a patient’s time in the hospital and leads to a longer recovery period. Reducing the loss of blood can especially be vital for those with rare blood types. Those with AB-negative and AB-positive only make up 1-3 % of the population, and it’s vital to limit blood loss since supply may be scarce. Discuss with your doctor the best course of action if you have a rare blood type and require spine surgery. Minimally invasive spine surgery may be your safest treatment.

Quicker Recovery

As mentioned before, minimally invasive spine surgery limits the amount of trauma surrounding spine tissue will be exposed to since the procedure is made through small holes throughout the back. This leads to quicker recovery time and a shorter hospital stay. Recovery time will vary from patient to patient, but compared to traditional spine surgery, they will be able to return to a normal life sooner. Typically, patients will be able to go home in 2 to 3 days, depending on the specific procedure. Afterwards, your physician may ask you to engage in physical therapy to help you gain strength and return to work. Those who receive fusion surgery will most likely need longer to recover. It generally takes months for the bones in your back to fully mend, but recovery time will still be much quicker compared to open back surgery.

Less Anesthesia

Since the overall scope of the procedure has been scaled down—smaller incisions, focused efforts, lower risk of blood loss—less anesthesia will be needed to be administered to the patient. In most cases, general anesthesia is a safe way to sedate a patient during surgery, but it also introduces several rare risks and side effects. Nausea, vomiting, sore throat, postoperative delirium, muscle aches, itching—-can all be reduced if the amount of anesthesia is limited. Of course, anesthesia has several rare life-threatening risks, which can likely be avoided with skilled anesthesiologists and minimally invasive surgery.

Before you are considered for minimally invasive spine surgery, your physician will administer and monitor various treatments and/or medications to see if they have a lasting impact. If not, you may become a candidate for the surgery. However, the procedure can only be performed if they’re able to locate a herniated disk or spinal stenosis. If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of minimally invasive spine surgery, contact a back specialist at US Pain & Spine Institute. We offer more than state-of-the-art spine procedures—we are your health partners. Each medication, each treatment, each procedure is catered to your unique needs to yield lifelong results. If you suffer from chronic pain on a daily basis, you may be a candidate for a minimally invasive spine surgery. Stop living in pain, and start living your life.