Category: Spine Surgery | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: October 4, 2018
Minimally invasive spine surgery is becoming more common as techniques continue to improve, so if your conservative treatment plan isn’t providing you with relief, don’t be surprised if the doctor begins a conversation about surgery. But what goes into minimally invasive surgery, and what can you expect from the operation?
Minimally invasive spine surgery, also known as a laparoscopic operation, involves creating a couple of small incisions above the surgery site. Through these centimeters-long openings, the surgeon inserts a laparoscope, which is a tiny camera attached to a long thin tool. The surgeon navigates the laparoscope to the surgical site, and it relays a live feed to a screen in the operating room. The surgeon can then visualize the surgical site and perform the operation by watching their movements on the live feed.
Benefits of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
While the process may involve more cuts than the open operation, these cuts are much smaller than a traditional open technique which can involve a 6-inch or larger incision, as the surgeon will be viewing the site without the aid of a laparoscope. Although there are more incisions, due to their size, they are less likely to create a noticeable scar and your risk of complications like bleeding or an infection are reduced.
Other benefits of a minimally invasive spinal procedure include:
- Quicker recovery
- Fewer days spent at the surgical center
- Decreased medical costs
- Less pain during recovery
- Reduced likelihood of scar tissue
What To Expect After Your Operation
Although minimally invasive spine surgery has numerous benefits, you still need to put in the work after the operation to ensure you make the fullest recovery possible. After surgery, there are four things you’re going to want to do to ensure your rehab is successful. Those four steps include:
- Discussing Rehab With Your Surgeon – Make sure you understand all aspects of what is expected of you after your operation. Know when physical therapy starts, how PT will progress and what to do if things aren’t progressing as quickly as expected.
- Asking Questions – Communicating after surgery needs to be a two-way conversation. Ask your surgeon any questions you might have, whether they be about the operation itself or your rehab. The more you understand, the better you can manage your rehab and your expectations, which is crucial at this start of recovery.
- Following Through – Whether it’s calling to set up an appointment with your PT, doing your daily at-home exercises or following a dietary plan after surgery, stick to your rehab plan and follow through with everything to give yourself the best chance at a full recovery.
- Incision Care – Finally, the most common reason for readmission after spine surgery is infection, and this can happen if you don’t take good care of the incision sites. Change your bandages regularly and follow your doctor’s instructions for washing and showering to avoid problems.
For more information about minimally invasive surgery and what to expect from the procedure, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi’s office today.