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The Benefits of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Robert Watkins IV';

By Robert Watkins IV

Posted on August 28th, 2020 in Spine Center

Spine Surgery BenefitsAnnually, over 1.62 million people undergo spine surgery, which treats problems such as compression fractures, disc herniation, degenerative spondylolisthesis and adult degenerative scoliosis.

While a significant portion of these procedures is performed using traditional open surgery, numerous surgeons employ a minimally invasive approach.

The purpose of minimally invasive spine surgery is to stabilize the vertebral bones and spinal joints, as well as to relieve the pressure exerted on the spinal nerves.

Because considerably less damage is done to the muscles and soft tissues during minimally invasive spine surgery, it has a series of important benefits for the patient, such as:

  • minimal scarring
  • less bleeding
  • faster recovery
  • shorter hospital stay
  • reduced risk of infection
  • diminished pain and discomfort

However, it is worthy of note that not everyone is a good candidate for minimally invasive spine surgery, as many patients have severe back problems that require open surgery. Only after being thoroughly examined by a medical specialist you will know if you are eligible for undergoing minimally invasive spine surgery.

Minimal Scarring

Because tiny incisions are made by the surgeon during minimally invasive spine surgery, there will be less scarring, which also reduces the risk of infection. During minimally invasive spine surgery, several incisions will be made by the surgeon in your back to gain access to the problematic area. The medical instruments will be inserted through the small incisions so that the surgeon can fix the back problem you are experiencing. Minimally invasive spine surgery also results in a better cosmetic outcome, since the scars are more likely to fade over time than the big scar entailed by open surgery. The incisional scars will often become invisible within 3 months following the procedure.

Less Bleeding

Because it involves small incisions, the risk of major blood loss is very low during minimally invasive spine surgery. Therefore, the need for a blood transfusion after such a procedure is very rare. For this reason, minimally invasive surgery may be the perfect option for elderly patients, who may be greatly affected by major blood loss if it occurs. Furthermore, since the surgeon will cause less damage to the muscles and the adjacent soft tissue during surgery, there will be significantly less bleeding.

Faster Recovery

Minimally invasive spine surgery entails a faster recovery, as the surgeon only focuses on the problematic area during the procedure, without causing damage to adjacent muscles and tissues. Therefore, your recovery will be quicker than with open surgery. In fact, the recovery time for minimally invasive surgery is twice shorter than for open surgery. Full recovery is achieved within 4 to 6 weeks, but patients can return to work and to their usual activities within a shorter period of time. Nevertheless, during recovery, it is crucial to follow the instructions of your doctor, such as avoiding lifting heavy weights or engaging in strenuous exercise.

Shorter Hospital Stay

After minimally invasive spine surgery, you will only have to spend 2 to 4 nights in the hospital, depending on the complexity of your procedure and on your health following the procedure. The medical team will constantly monitor your vital signs to ensure no postoperative complications arise. In the rare case that you experience a complication following minimally invasive spine surgery, the medical team will promptly attend to it and restore your health. Nonetheless, very few patients experience serious health complications after they undergo minimally invasive spine surgery. Therefore, your hospital stay will be shorter, as you will become functional within a shorter period of time.

Reduced Risk of Infection

Since only small incisions will be used during minimally invasive spine surgery, the risk of infection decreases considerably, as tiny incisions will heal faster and will rarely cause problems. Moreover, the risk of developing infection inside your body following minimally invasive spine surgery is also very low, as the surgeon causes significantly less damage to your muscles and soft tissue during this procedure than during open surgery. If you take care of your incisions as recommended by your doctor, by regularly cleaning the wounds and changing the dressings, the risk of infection will be very low.

Diminished Pain and Discomfort

One of the greatest benefits of minimally invasive spine surgery is that you will experience significantly less pain and discomfort following the procedure than if you underwent open surgery, since the surgeon only makes small changes inside your body. By focusing only on the problematic areas of your spine, there will be little to no damage inflicted on the adjacent muscles and tissues by the surgeon, which will result in less postoperative discomfort and pain. Thereby, you will be able to return to your normal life within a shorter period of time and will not need to take pain-relieving medication for a long time after the procedure.

Choose Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

If you need to undergo spine surgery, please feel free to contact our hospital, as we have a whole department focusing on spine surgery, which includes some of the best surgeons in the state. After being examined by our medical specialists, they will be able to recommend you the most effective and the safest procedure to treat your back problem. You will undergo spine surgery in a warm and calm environment and our medical team will carefully monitor you after the procedure to make sure you do not develop any serious complications. If you are a good candidate, you may undergo robotic spine surgery, which is also minimally invasive and implies the use of the latest technology. For more information, do not hesitate to contact our hospital and our medical staff will gladly answer all your questions and address all your concerns.