Lumbar Endoscopic Discectomy
Lumbar Endoscopic Discectomy is a minimally invasive alternative to the open surgical approach for lumbar discectomy. It is indicated in patient with herniated disc, experiencing lower back and leg pain. However, the choice between a lumbar endoscopic discectomy and an open procedure depends on the preference of the surgeon and the condition of the patient.
Before the procedure
In the days before your surgery, tell your surgeon about any medications you take at home including herbal supplements and over-the-counter medications. You may be asked to stop taking aspirin or other medications that thin your blood and may increase bleeding.
- Tell your surgeon if you or someone in your family has any history of reaction to general anesthesia.
- If you smoke, you may be asked to stop smoking well before surgery and avoid smoking for a period of time after surgery.
- Before surgery you will probably be given instructions on when to stop eating and drinking. It’s common to have nothing to eat or drink after midnight on the night before the procedure.
- Ask your surgeon if you should take your regular medications with a small sip of water on the day of the procedure
During the procedure
The patient lies face down on the operating table. The patient is then administered a mild sedative to keep them relaxed throughout the procedure. A small incision is made on the skin over the back of the patient, just above the disc space. A thin wire is inserted through the incision till it touches the damaged area of the spine under fluoroscopic guidance. A tube is then inserted through the same incision, over the guide wire. The endoscope and other special micro-surgical instruments are introduced through this tube and the segment of the herniated disc compressing the nerves is removed. The endoscope and intra-operative fluoroscopy guide the surgeon throughout the procedure. The tube and the endoscope are then withdrawn and the incision is closed.
After the procedure
The patient is usually discharged home on the same day of the surgery. Most patients experience a significant reduction in their back and leg pain after the procedure. The numbness and tingling sensations may take some time to resolve. The patients are advised to avoid bending, lifting or twisting for a few weeks after the procedure. There are chances of recurrence of a herniation at the same level, which can cause the back and leg pain to reappear.
Risks of the procedure
Lumbar Endoscopic Discectomy is a relatively safe procedure. However; with all surgeries carry some risks. You will need to sign a consent form that explains the risks and benefits of the surgery. Some potential risks of cervical spine surgery include:
- Reactions to the anesthesia
- Nerve injury Spinal fluid leak
- Voice change
- loosened artificial disk Need for further surgery
There may be other risks, depending on your specific medical condition. Be sure to discuss any concerns with your surgeon before the procedure.