If you have back problems that are causing consistent pain, you may be in need of an endoscopic discectomy. A back injury can cause you to have a herniated disc, which can cause debilitating pain that doesn’t go away on its own. You may need to seek out a back pain doctor to go over your options. One of those options will probably be an endoscopic discectomy.
What is Endoscopic Discectomy?
Endoscopic discectomy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to alleviate herniated disc pain. This back surgery is designed to remove herniated disc tissue that is causing back problems.
According to the Atlantic Spine Center, this is the least invasive and most effective procedure for patients with herniated disc pain. Surgeons do not need to remove bones or muscles in order to remove herniated discs using endoscopic discectomy. The surgeon can look at the spine with a small camera through a surgical port. In doing so, large incisions can be avoided. The procedure does not traumatize your spine like traditional spine surgeries do. The entire procedure only takes about 30 minutes. You can go home within two to three hours after the surgery is completed.
Advantages and Disadvantages
This back surgery comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages, as with any surgery.
There are plenty of advantages to having this procedure performed. First off, endoscopic discectomy is the most minimally invasive surgery you can have to treat you herniated disc pain. It has a high rate of success among patients coupled with a short recovery time. There is minimal blood loss and scar tissue formation. Endoscopic discectomy is an outpatient procedure that requires no hospitalization. It can treat a variety of back problems such as a herniated disc in back, disc degeneration, and disc tears.
The disadvantages of this back surgery are not to be ignored, however. The learning curve for this procedure is steep, meaning there are not many back pain doctors that can perform the surgery. There are also limitations to performing back surgery endoscopically due to the anatomy of the spine. The possibility of complications during surgery, though lessened, are always present.
How is Endoscopic Discectomy Performed?
Under anesthesia, a small metal tube is inserted into the spine to see the area needing correction. This tube serves as a passage for the surgical tools so that the patient’s muscles do not have to be torn or cut. Then the afflicted region can be found easily under direct visualization looking through the tube. Once the area is found, a piece of the herniated disc is pulled out with a grasper. A small disc bulge or tear can be treated with a laser, which vaporizes disc material, kills pain nerves inside the disc, and hardens the disc to prevent further leakage of disc material to the surrounding nerves. Lastly, the tube is removed and the incision is stitched closed.
Although there are some disadvantages to this back surgery, the advantages significantly outweigh them. If you are suffering with herniated disc pain, this procedure can help relieve your pain and improve your quality of life. Consult with your physician if you feel this could be a viable solution to your back problems.