These are Spine surgeries done using cutting-edge technology and specialized instruments to accomplish the same clinical outcomes as traditional open surgery through a less traumatic approach. These are performed through one or more small incisions or punctures through which tubular retractors or an endoscope is inserted.
Using specialized instruments and microscopic visualization, surgery is performed through the tube. Endoscopes are thin tubes with a light source and camera. The endoscope is inserted through a small stab / incision and positioned. Small instruments are passed through the endoscope to the surgical site where the surgeon performs the procedure. The endoscopic set up enables the surgeon to view the surgery on a monitor.
Surgery should always be the last resort when it comes to treating spinal conditions in the neck and back. However, if various non-operative treatments have been attempted without improvement or worsening over a 6-12 month period, then surgical treatment seems reasonable for certain specific conditions such as spinal stenosis, sciatica, spondylolisthesis or degenerative scoliosis. The decision for surgery should be individualized to the patient and the patients symptoms, along with their level of function.
The field of minimally invasive spine surgery continues to grow. Most surgeries today can be treated with some aspect of minimally invasive surgery. However, there are certain conditions that require standard open treatment, such as high-degree scoliosis, tumours and some infections.
In general, minimally invasive spine surgery decreases the hospital stay by one-half. In a typical endoscopic discectomy, the surgeries are performed in the same day, and the patients go home shortly after surgery on the same day. For various types of lumbar fusion surgery, the patient typically goes home in 2-3 days, where previously they stayed in the hospital 5-7 days. Furthermore, the immediate post-operative period is marked by much less pain when using minimally invasive techniques.
The decision to return to work should be individualized to the patient, as well as the patients occupation. For patients with sedentary jobs, such as office work, a minimally invasive discectomy would allow that patient to begin part-time work within 1-2 weeks. For a larger surgery such as a fusion, this may take 4-6 weeks. Again, return to work is much faster using minimally invasive surgery vs. standard open surgery but this decision is individualized to special needs of each patient.
Recovery from each surgery is different. Some patients return to full activity in 6 weeks while other patients require more time. We encourage all patients to participate in a physical therapy program to safely begin the process of returning to all normal activities.
On average, patients who have had minimally invasive spine surgery are discharged in half the time of traditional surgery and the pain usually follows this rule. Each procedure will have a different rate of recovery.
Although most patients are provided a brace, this is for comfort only. The use of minimally invasive techniques that preserve muscle function, along with specialized implants that act as an internal brace, allows one to avoid having to wear a brace. Most patients find that the brace improves their pain for about 1-2 weeks, and thereafter it is only worn occasionally.
Physical therapy is an important component of a rapid recovery. This is individualized to the patient, but in most cases, physical therapy started 2 weeks after surgery, depending on the surgery performed and the patients overall condition.
Minimally invasive surgery is highly technical. This requires significant training of the surgeon as well as the Operative staff. Furthermore, the equipment needed to perform these procedures safely and effectively can be very expensive. At Kokilaben Hospital, we are committed to the efficacious advancement of new technologies that promises to improve patient health and well being.