Endoscopic Discectomy procedure explained by Stefan Prada, M.D.
Listen while Stefan Prada, M.D., orthopedic spine surgeon, explains how an endoscopic discectomy is completed at Laser Spine Institute.
A percutaneous discectomy is the surgical removal of herniated disc/bulging disc material that presses on a nerve root or the spinal cord. Laser Spine Institute surgeons use an endoscopic - or minimally invasive - approach for this procedure. It is performed when a patient's history, physical examination and imaging (such as a CT scan or MRI) indicate a herniated or bulging disc, and the material inside the disc has not ruptured into the spinal canal.
A percutaneous endoscopic discectomy is used to treat the following conditions:
Along with these conditions, there may be signs of serious nerve damage in the leg, such as severe weakness, loss of coordination and/or loss of feeling. Anyone with any significant bony anomalies or foraminal stenosis would not be a candidate for a percutaneous endoscopic laser discectomy, but would benefit from Laser Spine Institute's foraminotomy procedure.
When a percutaneous endoscopic laser discectomy is performed, the surgeon uses X-ray monitoring and fiber optics that display images on a monitor similar to a TV screen, allowing the surgeon to see what is compressing the nerve during the procedure and removing it with a laser, ensuring a much higher rate of success. At Laser Spine Institute we perform percutaneous endoscopic laser discectomies in an outpatient surgical setting.
After the patient receives IV sedation and a local anesthetic, the surgeon creates a small incision and inserts a round Depuy tube. This tube allows surgeons to perform percutaneous endoscopic laser discectomies with minimal damage to the surrounding muscles, which are moved aside and are not torn or cut.
The laser, camera, suction, irrigation, and other surgical instruments are inserted through this translucent working tube. Once all the tools are in place, the surgeon uses a laser to vaporize the disc material, thus diminishing the pressure on the spinal cord and/or the spinal nerve. Many patients feel immediate relief during the percutaneous endoscopic laser discectomy as the pressure is minimized. When the procedure is complete, the tube is slowly removed, allowing the muscles to move back into place.
A percutaneous endoscopic laser discectomy is a relatively short procedure that takes 30 to 45 minutes, followed by a quick recovery. After one to two hours of monitoring, the patient (with a companion) is free to go.
The patient then returns the following day for a postoperative visit to get clearance from the physician to return home.
The Laser Spine Institute offers various minimally invasive procedures to relieve neck and back pain caused by spinal and nerve conditions. Procedures offered include foraminotomy, percutaneous discectomy, facet thermal ablation, and fusion alternatives. After-surgery option includes physical therapy sessions to help minimize the recuperation period.
Advantages of having spinal surgery performed at the Laser Spine Institute include no hospitalization, minimally invasive surgery, minimal scar tissue formation, and the availability of outpatient procedures.
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