Minimally invasive neck surgery is an effective alternative to highly invasive open neck surgery. Because of technological advances in the use of minimally invasive 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 surgeries is that traditional open neck surgery requires overnight hospitalization and a long recovery, while minimally invasive procedures are performed on an outpatient basis.
Open neck surgery versus minimally invasive procedures
Of course, there are other differences between minimally invasive neck surgery and traditional 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.
- Minimally invasive surgery – requires only a small incision for targeted access to the anatomical abnormality and does not require bulky hardware or muscle dissection.
In addition, minimally invasive 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 minimally invasive spine surgery, Laser Spine Institute.