What is Laser Spine Surgery?

Category: Minimally Invasive Surgery | Author: Stefano Sinicropi

laser spine surgeryWhen people hear the phrase “laser surgery” they generally imagine a futuristic surgical procedure right out of a science fiction story.  That’s what doctors use in the Star Wars movies, right?

In reality, the technology is now available to perform surgery with the help of lasers. There are benefits and drawbacks to using lasers in surgery. We’ll explore these pros and cons in this article.

Pros of Laser Surgery

It is difficult to determine the exact effectiveness of laser surgery in improving patient care due to the fact that they are usually used in conjunction with a minimally invasive surgical procedure. The laser is just another tool that the surgeon can utilize during a procedure, but it is not in itself a huge surgical revolution. A laser in the wrong hands will not be effective.

It was the development of minimally invasive spine surgeries (which arose around the same time as the surgical laser) that truly revolutionized spine surgeries and improved patient recovery periods.

Cons of Laser Surgery

Unfortunately, lasers are not effective in every procedure. In terms of spinal surgery, lasers are really only usable in a discectomy procedure. A laser is a great tool for precisely cutting tissue, but it is no good at removing boney overgrowths.

Laser Surgery vs. Minimally Invasive Surgery

Finally, it is important to note that laser spine surgery and minimally invasive spine surgery are not synonymous.  Minimally invasive surgery is the approach to the spine. Lasers are tools that are sometimes utilized during minimally invasive surgery. Although laser surgery sounds like a giant leap towards the future of “Star Wars” health care, minimally invasive surgery is the true revolution. Lasers are simply an effective tool in the right surgeon’s hands. Minimally invasive procedures are the way of the future.

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