Latest innovation in the field of spinal surgery, Minimal access spine surgery or keyhole spinal surgery is performed through one or more small incisions or punctures through which tubular retractors are inserted. The experienced team of spine surgeons at Paras routinely performs the Keyhole Endoscopic surgery under local anesthesia. The advantages of endoscopic disc removal are:
- Complications of general anesthesia and drugs are avoided.
- Chances of damage to nerve are minimal since the patient is awake throughout the procedure. There is no risk of paralysis.
- The keyhole incision is hardly visible after a few weeks and post-operative pain is much less as compared to open procedures.
- Recovery from surgery is very fast. The patient can start walking the same day. There is no period of absolute bed rest and the patient can join office in a few weeks time.
- The surgery is an innovation that ensures that the patients overcome their fear of opting for spine surgery.
Endoscopic Key-Hole Surgery – the New Way Forward
A substantial number of people suffer from this problem of herniated disc and go through a lot of pain. Endoscopic keyhole surgery can be a boon for many such people for whom conservative treatments like physiotherapy fail to help. It is the best option for spine surgery available today and has tremendous advantages over the traditional open surgery.
The aim of a slipped disc surgery is to remove the bone or disc matter that is causing pressure on the nerve endings of the spinal chord and the resultant pain. These procedures are often referred to as decompression surgeries, and may vary according to the need from discectomy or laminectomy to laminotomy.
Traditional surgery to relieve the pressure caused due to a ruptured disc is conducted under general anesthesia through a large incision of at least 5-6 inches to gain access to the damaged disc. This requires cutting through the back muscles as well, with the wound needing stitches to be put together. Understandably, this is painful and needs greater recovery time to be followed by extensive physiotherapy.
All this is eased tremendously when there is no need to cut through the back in the case of minimally invasive spine surgery. This is the advantage that keyhole endoscopy brings with it. This surgery is dong under local anesthesia as it requires an extremely small incision, not more than a small puncture using the microscopic camera or endoscope. The procedure is performed through an endoscope which gives a view of the spine to the operating surgeon. The surgery takes not more than 40 minutes and the since there are no major stitches involved, the patient can start walking the same day. Some patients are even discharged on the same day.
At Paras Institute of Spine Services, we are currently treating 30-40 per cent of the people with slipped disc through endoscopic surgery, which dramatically reduces anxiety or fear of surgery and allows a faster recovery. We are conducting 25-30 such surgeries every month. Since risks and threats are minimized, success rate is very high in these procedures, as high as 99 per cent.
- Fast recovery is a major advantage. The patient starts walking the same day; can step out of the house in the first week itself and within 2-4 weeks he/she can join work.
- Since the cut is extremely small, the risk of infection is negligible. This again aids faster recovery and minimizes risks associated with surgery.
- No damage to muscles because of the cutting means the back remains stronger. This is another reason for faster recovery. There is no damage to other tissues and bones as well.
- It’s a day care procedure and the patient can go home within a few hours, not needing any overnight stay. This also reduces costs of hospital stay and is extremely convenient to patients and their families.
- Other benefits are lower risk of blood clots, no major scarring or blood loss, no risk of nerve damage and no side effects that are traditionally associated with general anesthesia.
Despite major advantages, this procedure of spine surgery is yet to become a norm in India because not many spine surgeons are equipped to perform it. Keyhole surgery requires specialist training and we need greater training modalities for doctors.
The field of medicine today needs to move towards shorter hospital stays, less medication, less cost & highly skilled medical professionals. This is what patients look for as well as medical conditions can be a drain on resources. We hope by achieving such advances as day care spine surgery, we can help reduce attributes like the fear of machines, hospitals & doctors among people.