If you have a spinal condition such as a degenerated or herniated disc, then your doctor may want to treat the condition using a surgical approach. And, while an open surgery may be something that is necessary in your situation, minimally invasive spine surgery are typically available. There are many advantages of these procedures over open types of operations, so keep reading to learn about a few of them.
Minimally invasive procedures are ones that are completed using small laparoscopic tools. This means a camera-assisted operation using a laparoscope, grasper, and needle driver. Since most of the surgical work is completed with the assistance of visualization using the camera, extremely small incisions can be utilized. The incision may be several millimeters long instead of a one-half inch incision.
If your surgery is needed on the cervical or thoracic areas of the spine, then this area will be highly visible. And, the smaller incision will mean a scar that is much easier to hide.
Sometimes, the smaller incision will not require any stitches, which means faster healing as well. Surgical glue, a butterfly bandage, or internally placed dissolvable stitches can all be used to secure the area.
You should keep in mind that sometimes two smaller incisions may be required instead of one larger one. This is necessary if your surgeon needs one space for the laparoscopic camera and another for a larger surgical instrument. However, two smaller incisions will often be more cosmetically appealing than one larger one.
Reduced Infection Risks
Smaller incisions mean that your surgeon does not need to disrupt or destroy as much tissue across the back and spine. The result is less pain, reduced swelling, and a lower incidence of scar tissue formation. Your infection risks are minimized as well. Simply put, the less exposure means that there is a reduced chance of bacteria getting into the body and infecting your tissues.
Infection risk reduction is incredibly important when it comes to the spine. Some infections can spread directly into the spinal column and move up to the brain. This is called postoperative spinal meningitis and it is a life-threatening condition. Your surgeon will do everything he can to prevent this, including reduced exposure to bacteria.
Keep in mind that while your infection risks are reduced through the completion of the minimally invasive procedure, you will still need to take antibiotics after the operation. This will further reduce the possibility of an infection occurring.