Minimally invasive spinal surgery (MISS) is a general term encompassing a variety of spinal surgeries done through small incisions using miniature surgical tools and video-assisted equipment.
MISS was developed out of the desire to treat spinal disorders that no longer respond to nonoperative treatment without having to create large incisions and do extensive muscle dissection. Smaller incisions and less muscle damage mean a lower risk of infection, less operative blood loss, better cosmetic results, and a quicker return to normal activities.
Minimally invasive spinal surgery is not only quick and safe, but it also boasts a high success rate – with up to 90 percent of patients reporting significant symptom relief and better mobility after their procedures.
With these benefits, you can go from having a debilitating back problem to being on the road to recovery within a few hours to bouncing back in just a few weeks. But have you ever wondered what exactly happens during a minimally invasive surgery? Read on to get a basic idea.
What to Expect During Minimally Invasive Spinal Surgery
What exactly happens during a minimally invasive spinal surgery depends on which part of your spine is being treated.
When discussing the option with your spine surgeon, they can explain to you what to expect during the procedure. In general, the following are what may transpire:
- Your spine surgeon will administer anesthesia: local epidural anesthesia to numb the specific part of your body; and general to keep you comfortable, relaxed, and even asleep throughout the surgery.
- Your care team will monitor your vital signs during the surgery and give you antibiotics before and after to prevent infection.
- Your doctor will also use image guidance (real-time X-ray) to pinpoint key aspects of your spinal anatomy.
- Your spine surgeon may then proceed with making a small incision on your back, specifically in the area that needs to be treated. They will then put a tubular retractor into the incision to expose the part of your spine in need of treatment.
- Your spine surgeon will then insert instruments – including a thin, fiber-optic video camera – through the retractor. The camera has a built-in magnification feature and a light source, allowing your spine surgeon to have excellent visualization of the area and to carry out the procedure without causing extensive damage to the surrounding tissue.
- Your spine surgeon will then do the necessary repairs to your spine.
- Once they’re done, your doctor will remove the tools and retractor and close your incision with glue, sutures, or stapes. They will then put a small bandage over your incision.
After the procedure, your care team will take you to a recovery room where they can monitor you for signs of complications. They will also give you medication to help with any discomfort. Before sending you home, they will hand you a list of post-operative care instructions, which will likely include details as to what activities you should avoid during your recovery.
Minimally Invasive Spinal Surgery in Colorado
If you live in Colorado and are in search of a neurosurgeon who is reputed to deliver exceptional outcomes for minimally invasive spinal surgery, you don’t have to look far. Visit us here at Front Range Spine and Neurosurgery.
Whatever type of MISS procedure you need – whether a laminectomy, discectomy or spinal fusion – you can trust one of our board-certified neurosurgeons to set you free from the pain and movement limitations that come with your spinal condition.
Contact our friendly staff at (303) 790-1800 to arrange an appointment. Alternatively, you may fill out this appointment request form. We are eager to serve you at one of our locations in Lone Tree, Parker, Colorado Springs, Castle Rock, or Centennial!