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Laser Spine Surgery

Laser surgery involves the use of a precisely focused beam of light to cut into soft tissue. Laser means light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. In spine surgery the laser is sometimes used for removing tumors from the spinal cord, removing soft tissue around a nerve and shrinking disc material around a nerve. In the laser assisted microdiscectomy procedure, diseased or damaged discs are trimmed with the use of the laser.

It is important to understand that the laser is not suitable for all spinal surgical procedures. The majority of elite spine centers use the laser in only 10-20 percent of their cases. The true advance in spinal surgery is minimally invasive spine surgery. Over the past 15 years, there has been a paradigm shift from open spine surgery to minimally invasive spine(MIS) surgery. The key differences between the two techniques are highlighted below:


Minimally Invasive Surgery

½ inch incision
No muscles cut
Same day discharge (majority of cases)
Quick recovery (4-6 weeks most cases)
Minimal post-op pain
Minimal blood loss
<1 % infection rate
Minimal scarring

Open Spine Surgery

4-5 inch incision
Muscles are cut and damaged
5-7 day hospital stay
>6 month recovery in most cases
Severe post-op pain
Increased blood loss
As high as 10-15% infection rate
Large scar

There are only a few centers that offer true minimally invasive spine surgery. This technique requires a very high level of training. There is a big difference between operating through a ½ inch incision and operating through a 5 inch incision. Minimally invasive spine surgery is very technically challenging and requires a tremendous amount of skill. We are able to accomplish a lot working through tiny incisions because we employ the use of the surgical microscope which provides excellent magnification and lighting of the surgical field. The safe execution of these procedures requires an immense level of hand eye coordination and microsurgical skill. One has to perform these procedures on a regular basis in order to achieve world class proficiency.

At San Jose Neurospine, we have performed over 2000 successful minimally invasive spine surgery procedures. This is our area of expertise and this is ALL we do. Our Board Certified Neurosurgeon is Northwestern/UCLA trained and has mastered these techniques from the pioneers in the field. You don’t have to suffer with chronic back or neck pain. A ½ inch incision could equal a lifetime of pain relief. If you are considering spine surgery, you owe it to yourself to explore minimally invasive options. As a spine center of excellence, we have seen numerous patients who were told by other centers that minimally invasive spine surgery was not an option when in fact it was a viable option.


San Jose Neurospine Treatment Philosophy

  • We understand the negative impact chronic neck or lower back pain could have on quality of life. We are fully aware that these conditions cause a significant amount of suffering for our patients. We also understand the significant fear and anxiety most patients have about the prospects of having to undergo spinal surgery
  • We do NOT believe in conventional OPEN spinal surgery techniques because they are too invasive and the recovery is too prolonged
  • We are STRONG believers in MIS Surgery Techniques and we possess world class expertise in this field
  • We believe that the results with MIS surgery are far superior to those with open spine surgery
  • We believe the overwhelming majority of spinal conditions could be treated effectively through tiny incisions using endoscopic techniques
  • We believe in muscle and soft tissue sparing surgery techniques
  • We believe that patients recover much faster when MIS surgery techniques are employed as opposed to open surgical techniques
  • We believe in consistently maintaining an obsession with achieving the very best patient outcomes and our safety record is second to none nationwide.
  • We believe in preserving spinal motion whenever possible
  • Our core purpose is to return our patients back to life and activity utilizing highly sophisticated and advanced minimally invasive surgical techniques. The surgery is only the means to the end.


We have changed the lives of thousands of patients using these minimally invasive techniques. Learn more about these patient’s experiences by watching their video testimonials below.


Watch Colleen's emotional story...



Watch Nancy's story...





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