Endoscopic & Key Hole
What is minimally invasive spinal surgery (MISS) (Keyhole Spinal Surgery)?
Minimally invasive techniques, however, are changing the face of spine surgery. What used to result in a week-long hospital stay, a year's recovery period and a large scar has been diminished to a few days, a few weeks and a few small scars.
How is minimally invasive spinal surgery performed?
Conventional spine surgery requires a long incision and a lengthy recovery period. Minimally invasive surgery, also known as "keyhole" surgery, small surgical instruments may then be passed through one or more inch incisions. Following the procedure, the small incisions are closed with sutures and covered with surgical tape. After a few months, they are barely visible.
Is this technique applicable for all forms of spinal surgery?
No. While the field of minimally invasive surgery is changing rapidly, five main types of minimally invasive spine surgery currently are being performed in selected cases of:
- Spinal fusion, which often is performed on degenerative disks
- Deformity corrections, such as for scoliosis
- Repair of herniated disks
- Spinal fractures
- Spinal bony tumours
Which spine procedures may be performed using minimally invasive techniques?
Minimally invasive procedures include:
Surgical removal of all or part of the disc
Surgically enlarging the spinal nerve pathway (foramen) to remove pressure on a nerve
Stabilizes vertebral compression fractures with medical-grade cement, restores vertebral body height, and reduces deformity
Removes part or all the lamina (thin semi-circle like arch of bone behind the vertebral body) to reduce pressure on the spinal cord
Makes a hole in the lamina to create more space for the spinal cord; allows access to the structures beneath the lamina
Treats bulging discs by removing tissue from the center of the disc
Stabilizes the spine using bone graft and instrumentation
Stabilizes vertebral compression fractures with medical-grade cement and reduces deformity
What are the benefits of minimally invasive spine surgery?
Typically, minimally invasive spinal surgery allows for the same outcomes as conventional spine surgery. Benefits of minimally invasive back surgery include:
- A few tiny scars instead of one large scar
- Shorter hospital stay - a few days instead of a week
- Reduced postoperative pain
- Shorter recovery time and quicker return to daily activities, including work
- Less tissue trauma
- Less blood loss
- Preservation of physiologically important normal structures
- Decreased incidence of failed back surgeries
- Increased patient satisfaction
What can I expect after surgery?
It is important to follow your doctor's instructions after surgery. Although many people feel better after just a short while, you may need to take it easy per your doctor's recommendation.
How will I know if minimally invasive spinal surgery is appropriate for me?
Every patient is evaluated individually. Consult with your doctor about the various treatment options available.
How safe is minimally invasive spine surgery?
If performed by experts in this field, minimally invasive spine surgery is as safe as "open" spine surgery in carefully selected cases.
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This information is for educational purposes only and should not be relied upon as medical advice. It has not been designed to replace a physician's independent judgment about the appropriateness or risks of a procedure for a given patient .