Traditional open spine surgeries are costly and much harder on the body when it comes to recovery. This is why most patients in Georgia are electing for minimally invasive surgeries like laser back surgery, otherwise known as Percutaneous Laser Disc Decompression (PLDD), and minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS) when they are available.
Medical advances and technology have enabled doctors to perform spine surgeries without any major incisions thanks to the development of minimally invasive procedures. This approach can be more precise by allowing direct targeting of the affected areas in the spine while minimizing damage to healthy tissue.
How Does Laser Back Surgery Work?
Compared to traditional open spine surgery that can treat nearly every spinal condition, laser back surgery (or PLDD) is only ideal for certain conditions (i.e., nerve compression pain). Using a laser, surgeons can target areas to remove tissue around the spinal cord or nerves in the back.
Herniated discs are another area laser back surgery can successfully treat. If you have a spinal disc bulging onto the nerves of your spinal cord, you may be experiencing numbness, pain or weakness in the legs. A small probe containing a laser sends heat to the inner nucleus of the herniated disc, causing it to evaporate slowly and return to its normal size.
It’s important to remember that PLDD is different from MISS, although some doctors may also incorporate lasers with MISS in special circumstances.
How Does Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery (MISS) Work?
Compared to the long incision of an open spine surgery, a doctor performing MISS on a patient can instead access the spine by small intentional incisions using specialized instruments. This technique alleviates back pain caused by spinal issues and minimizes the body’s trauma during and after surgery — meaning MISS can be performed as an outpatient procedure.
What Conditions are Typically Treated with Minimally Invasive Surgery?
Degenerative conditions and other issues that cause pain in your neck and back could benefit from MISS or laser surgery. These are some of the more common conditions that can be treated by minimally invasive procedures:
- Pinched nerve (occurs when surrounding tissues put too much pressure on a nerve, causing pain, tingling or numbness)
- Herniated disc (ruptured discs bulge into the spinal canal and spill a pain-inducing substance)
- Spinal stenosis (occurs when spaces within the spine narrow and add pressure on nerves in the neck or back)
- Sciatica (often caused by a bone spur on the spine, spinal stenosis or herniated discs)
- Spinal cord tumors (a growth that forms within the bones of the spine or spinal canal)
What Are the Benefits of Minimally Invasive Surgery?
- Shorter recovery period
- Less post-operative pain and discomfort
- Reduced operating time
- Lower risk of infection and blood loss
- Minimal or no scarring
- Outpatient procedure
- May or may not require general anesthesia (depends on the type of minimally invasive surgery)
- Costs 75 to 80 percent less than traditional surgery
Learn More About Minimally Invasive Surgery Options in Atlanta
If you’ve been suffering from severe back pain due to a herniated disc, spinal stenosis or sciatica and other treatment methods haven’t alleviated your symptoms, speak with an Atlanta spine surgeon at AllSpine Laser and Surgery Center. After a consultation, our doctors will be able to answer the question, “Are you a good candidate for minimally invasive surgery?”
You don’t need to live with your pain. Find the treatment that’s right for you and let AllSpine help relieve your symptoms.
Schedule an appointment at one of our five locations in Atlanta by giving us a call at (770) 997-0600 to discuss the minimally invasive surgery options we offer to patients in Georgia.