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.
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...
Am I a Candidate for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery?
If you suffer from neck or lower back pain and have tried conservative treatments with no success, you should consider minimally invasive spine surgery. If you answer yes to any of the following questions, you could potentially benefit from surgery.
- Do you avoid walking because it worsens your back or leg pain?
- Do you have numbness and tingling in your extremities?
- Do you find yourself hunching over to get back pain relief?
- Has your physician recommended spine surgery to you?
- Have you tried conservative treatments such as massage therapy, chiropractic treatments and physical therapy without pain relief?
- Do you have neck or back pain that radiates to your extremities?