Minimally invasive neck surgery is a safer alternative to highly invasive open neck surgery. Because of technological advances in the use of endoscopic techniques for spine surgery, risky open neck surgery is no longer the only option for patients who have been unable to achieve relief from neck pain and other symptoms through the use of conservative treatment methods. The main difference between the two is that open neck surgery requires overnight hospitalization and a long recovery, while minimally invasive procedures are performed on an outpatient basis and patients are typically back to work and the rest of their normal routine quickly.
Open neck surgery versus minimally invasive procedures
Of course, there are other differences between minimally invasive neck surgery and open neck surgery besides hospitalization. Here is a breakdown of the contrasts between the two:
- Open neck operation – requires a large incision in the throat or neck, removal of a large portion of spinal anatomy, insertion of metal stabilizing hardware, integration of bone graft material, and cutting of muscle and other soft tissue.
- Endoscopic – requires only a small incision; entails the use of a small tube to guide surgical instruments for targeted access to the anatomical abnormality; does not usually require metal hardware or bone graft material.
In addition, endoscopic procedures carry much less risk of infection and other side effects, and require a far shorter period for recuperation than open neck or back surgery.
When to consider minimally invasive neck surgery
Any type of elective spine surgery should only be considered after a regimen of conservative treatment methods has proven ineffective after several weeks or months. Even then, surgery should not be consented to until a second, or even a third, medical opinion has confirmed the prognosis. To learn more about the many benefits of minimally invasive, outpatient spine procedures, contact the leader in endoscopic spine surgery, Laser Spine Institute.