Minimally invasive surgery is an advanced surgery. It is cutting-edge, compared to traditional open surgery. Back in the day, open surgery was the only option for patients, which entailed many hours on the operating table, massive blood loss, a high complication rate, and a long hospital stay. Minimally invasive spinal surgery changes all of these.
A Smaller Incision Size
One of the most glaring distinctions between minimally invasive spine surgery and traditional open surgery lies in the size of the incision. Minimally invasive surgery requires only small incisions measuring between 1 cm to 7 mm in size. This is quite a departure from the traditional open surgery incisions that measure up to 6 inches long. Larger incisions result in larger scars, and an increase in the risk of complications.
Muscle and Tissue Disruption
Traditional open spine surgery necessitates substantial muscle and tissue dissection to access the area of interest in the spine. There is a higher degree of trauma, bruising, and more bleeding. The patient can also have greater postoperative pain due to this traumatic surgery, and this can prolong their recovery.
The specialized tools used in minimally invasive spine surgery allow spine surgeons to work through the smaller incisions without disturbing healthy tissues for a highly targeted approach.
Visualization and Imaging
Advancements in imaging technology have been pivotal in transforming spine surgery. Minimally invasive techniques rely on real-time, high-definition imaging tools. An endoscope is used in the surgery, and this thin, flexible tube has a light fixture and tiny camera affixed to it, which allows the surgeon to navigate the spine and have a magnified view of the surgical site. Traditional open surgery relies on static imaging, which can be very limiting and may not provide the same level of accuracy, or no camera at all and instead visualizing the surgical site by opening up the body through large incisions.
Reduced Blood Loss
The reduced incision size and minimized tissue disruption from minimally invasive spine surgery contribute to a significant reduction in blood loss compared to traditional open surgery. This not only reduces the need for blood transfusions but also lowers the risk of complications associated with substantial blood loss. If a patient loses about 20 percent of blood in the body, they could go into shock. The lower complication rate associated with minimally invasive spinal surgery means most patients are less likely to experience setbacks that can delay healing.
Less Postoperative Pain and Shorter Recovery
One of the biggest advantages of minimally invasive spine surgery for a patient’s recovery is less postoperative pain. It is due to the smaller incisions and minimal tissue trauma, which results in less pain and a shorter hospital stayfor patients.
Being able to begin their recovery at home also improves a patient’s recovery experience. Studies show that patients who recover in a familiar environment – such as in the comfort of their home – have positive responses to healing.
Furthermore, smaller incisions also heal faster, which is why most patients recover faster from surgery. They also require fewer pain medications and have an overall lower risk of dependence on pain medication. All in all, the accelerated recovery associated with minimally invasive spinal surgery allows patients to return to their daily activities sooner.
Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery in Lone Tree, Parker, Colorado Springs, Aurora, and Castle Rock
The orthopedic spine surgeons at Front Range Spine and Neurosurgery are experts in minimally invasive spine surgery. We can use this technique to address painful conditions such as scoliosis, degenerative disc disease, herniated discs, spinal stenosis, spinal fractures, and spondylolisthesis.
We will determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure and provide you with everything you need to have a successful recovery. We have a caring and supportive team committed to your recovery.