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Laser Spine Surgery - Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Undergo advanced laser spine surgery by the expert and skilled surgeons at Medifee and get relief from painful symptoms associated with the spine. Book an appointment with us today!

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What is Laser Spine Surgery?

A laser spine surgery is a surgical procedure that uses a form of light energy (laser) to treat problems related to your spine. Laser helps in the removal of tissues and treating pathological changes that have occurred in a minimally invasive manner. However, the type of laser used in a laser spine surgery depends on the approach of surgery being performed and the type of tissue being treated.

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Why is Laser Spine Surgery Required?

A spine surgery is one of the best diagnostic and treatment methods to deal with your spinal disorders. Many approaches can be used to perform spine surgery. A spine surgery assisted using a laser mechanism has been found to have several advantages over the traditional methods. One of the advantages is that this surgery utilizes a minimum minimum-invasive approach that reduces the recovery period for the patient.

A laser spine surgery can be required to get accurate results out of surgery by causing minimum damage and bleeding. The following health conditions may require laser spine surgery:

  • Ablation of facet joint nerve: elimination of small nerves that supply blood to the facet joints to reduce back pain from arthritis.
  • Decompression of Disc: Ablating disc material to relieve nerve compression
  • Annuloplasty: To fix tears in the annulus, the wall of the disc

A laser spine surgery can also be performed to reduce complications that occur from a spine surgery. A laser spine surgery can be recommended by your surgeon as it involves the following advantages over the other methods:

  • Laser is useful in sealing the ends of the blood vessels, therefore it involves less or no bleeding
  • Less postoperative pain, because it uses minimum invasiveness
  • Dry surgical section as laser seals most of the blood vessels
  • Specific tissue can be treated with a specific color of laser, thus reducing damage to the nearby tissues.
  • Laser supports microsurgery
  • Laser involves precise removal and cutting of tissues, making it a precise tool

Pre-Operative Procedure

Preoperative preparations include several steps that are needed for laser spine surgery. These steps may involve various diagnostic tests for determining your spinal disorders and learning about various aspects related to it as well as collecting tissue samples to monitor it under a microscope.

A laser spine surgery can be performed for various parts of your spinal cord. Therefore, any of the above diagnostic tests can be used for various spinal conditions. Such tests may include:

  • X-rays - Any suspicious spinal cord injury or damage can be diagnosed using X-rays. X-rays are very useful in learning problems present in the spinal column, tumors, degenerative changes, fractures and many other deformities of the spine.
  • Computerized Tomography (CT) Scan - A CT scan gives a better view of the abnormalities present in your spinal cord. A CT scan generates cross-sectional images of bones, disks, nerves, and other tissue bodies of the spine. These scanned images are collected and provided to your computer. The computer screen displays this collected information in the form of pictures.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) - An MRI scanning test uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to create pictures of the internal structures of your body. This test helps to verify various problems related to the spinal cord like blood clots, nerve compressions, herniated disks, etc.
  • Myelogram - Myelogram is also a scanning mechanism that uses a contrast dye injected within your veins. X-ray or CT scan is then performed to monitor the deformities of the spinal column, nerve roots, and other tissues bodies surrounding the spinal cord.
  • Nerve Condition Velocity (NCV) - Nerve Condition Velocity is a test to determine nerve problems like nerve compressions, degenerative nerves, etc.
  • Electromyography (EMG) - An electromyography is a test conducted to learn of certain diseases that occur due to abnormalities in the muscles. This test is usually combined with the NCV test to differentiate between a muscle disorder and a nerve disorder.
  • Tissue Biopsy - Tissue biopsy tests can be performed to learn about tumors present in your spinal cord. Issues like infections, inflammation or many other abnormal conditions can also be diagnosed using a tissue biopsy. Tissue samples are collected and sent to the labs to learn about the type and other factors of the tumor.

Day Before Laser Spine Surgery

Many mandatory tests need to be conducted before any patient goes for surgery. If the results of these tests are normal, it indicates that the person is eligible for laser spine surgery.

Some of the common tests and examinations include:

  1. Blood Tests
    Various types of blood tests are performed to make a note of certain aspects of the patient.
    • Blood Group: It is mandatory to know about the patient's blood group. Blood may be required at any time of the surgery to transfuse it into the patient's body. Knowing about the blood group makes it easier for the surgeons to get appropriate blood for the patients if required.
    • Blood Sugar Level: The blood sugar level of the patients must be normal before the laser spine surgery. If the level of blood sugar is high or low, doctor may need to reschedule you surgery procedure.
    • Blood cell count: Blood tests are performed a day before the surgery to check your RBC, WBC, Platelet count, haemoglobin, etc. to check if there are normal.
  2. Imagining tests
    An imaging test can also be performed a day before surgery to locate the surgical areas. Doctors usually draw a mark on such areas where surgery is required.
    • X-ray: X-rays are used to find the correct location of the surgical site. It provides internal images of abnormal structures of your spinal cord.
    • Electrocardiogram (ECG): An ECG test is mandatory to determine the functioning of your heart. If your heart functions do not work properly, there can be a delay in your surgery.
  3. Physical Examination
    Your doctor conducts a physical examination session a day before your surgery to monitor your basic health condition. Blood pressure is one of the important part of the check up included in physical examination. If your B.P. is high or low, you are not eligible for any kind of surgery. Doctors try to normalize your blood pressure to make your body ready for the surgery.
    If you have any medical history or previous surgeries, talk to your doctor about it. Some patient's are allergic to anesthesia or contrast material. At such times, let your doctor know about it so that you do not face any problems during your surgery.
    Inform your doctor about the following:
    • If you are consuming any blood thinning medication
    • If you are under any other medication
    • If you are a diabetic
    • If you are pregnant
    • If you have any cardiovascular and/or pulmonary disorders
    • If you have any urinary tract infections (UTIs)

Your doctor may decide on a better surgery method to deal with any of the above conditions so that your health does not get affected by it.

Procedure Day

On the day of your laser spine surgery make sure you reach your surgical center on time. One must get proper sleep a day before surgery so that your body is relaxed and ready for the execution of the surgery procedure. Before the surgical process begins, your vitals will be checked. Nurses will make intravenous points on your veins to provide necessary fluids into your system. Your vital signs will be regularly monitored during your operation which also includes monitoring your pulse, blood pressure, and respiration.
The first step of laser spine surgery involves sedating your body by injecting general anesthesia into the vein of your arm. This makes your body numb and puts you to sleep while the procedure is carried out.
Methods/Techniques of Laser Spine Surgery
Method of Laser Spine Surgery involves the collection of the liver from the donor, removal of the diseased liver, and implantation of a new liver in the patient's abdominal cavity. There is a need to make connections for the new liver to get blood flow. The inferior vena cava, the hepatic artery, the portal vein, and the bile duct are the structures that need to be reconnected. Given below is the sequence of events in the operation room.

  • Incision making
  • Abdomen evaluation for abnormalities such as undiagnosed infection or malignant tumors
  • Dissection of the liver attachments
  • Isolation of the portal vein, inferior vena cava above, behind, and below the liver
  • Isolation of the common bile duct
  • Sewing in the liver collected from the donor
  • Re-establishment of venous blood flow by connecting portal veins and inferior vena cava of the donor and recipient.
  • Re-establishment of arterial flow by sewing hepatic arteries of the donor and recipient.
  • Biliary drainage
  • Making sure that bleeding is in control
  • Incision closure

Post-Operative Procedure

As laser spine surgery is a minimally invasive procedure it is mostly outpatient. Patients can go home within a few hours after the surgery is performed. Your doctor will provide you with all the necessary set of instructions you must follow at home for a better recovery. He/she will also prescribe medications to enhance healing and relieve your pain.
Recovery for every laser spine surgery is different. Most patients might completely recover within 6 weeks of post-surgery period. Those who have had a complex surgery may require a longer period for recovery.

  • Recovery at the Hospital
    It is a possibility that you will be unconscious after the laser surgery procedure as well. Your team of doctors will shift you to a general ward and allow you to rest and sleep until you gain consciousness. Your vitals will be monitored to check whether everything is working normally. Any abnormal condition after the surgery will be immediately treated by your doctor.
    Your site of wounds and stitches will be cleaned with an antiseptic solution and bandaged well. This is usually done to avoid any risk of bleeding and infections. Most patients are provided with a brace or specialized implants to improve pain for a few weeks and preserve the muscle functionalities.
    If you have undergone a complex type of laser spine surgery, you may be asked to stay back at the hospital for a few days. Most patients are sent home within hours of post-surgery.
    Make sure there is someone from your friends or family to accompany you while going home. Do not drive yourself home. Your doctor will also suggest to you about the activities you can and you cannot perform. Follow the necessary advice as well as precautions.
  • Recovery at Home
    Recovery at home depends on home care. Follow all the instructions that enhance your recovery process. Take medicines on time. Consume the proper amount of diet while you are under medication. Your medicines are quite powerful, therefore make sure you eat proper, nutritious, energy-rich food to sustain your body and health conditions.
    You are allowed to perform gentle exercises that do not put any strain on your surgical areas. Avoid putting any pressure on your surgical parts as this may open up your stitches or wounds and result in bleeding. Follow all the precautions mentioned by your surgeon. Also, ensure you keep your bandages dry to avoid infections. Change these bandages on time as a measure of hygiene. For any other medical assistance, consult your doctor.
  • Precautions
    Precautions help to avoid the occurrence of any risk or complications. Hence, it is also an important part of your healing and recovery. Following are the precautionary measures required after a laser spine surgery:
    • Do not sleep on your back until you heal completely.
    • Avoid your wounds and stitches to get exposed to water
    • Avoid smoking and alcohol intake during your medication period
    • Avoid bending or any other activities that can have a bad effect on your spine, especially the surgical section
    • Avoid rigorous activities or exercise
    • Do not drive, or resume work unless your doctor advises you
    • Avoid any kind of pressure on your back
  • Follow-up Appointments
    Follow-up appointments are also one of the important parts of your recovery phase. It notifies you about the following:
    • How well are you recovering
    • What is the extent of improvement of your health
    • How fast or slow you are recovering
    • Is there any occurrence of risks or complications
    • Are the medications working well on your health conditions
    • Is there any need to change your medication or change their dosages?
    • Are there any other complications within your body
    • Are your vitals normal

Your doctor can also conduct certain physical therapy sessions that can be helpful to enhance healing both physically and mentally. These therapies may include simple and gentle exercises to help your body recover. These exercises should be continued at home as well. Physical therapy can go for around 2 to 6 weeks.
If you have any doubts regarding your health conditions or you require any other medical assistance you should discuss it with your physician.

  • Risks and Complications
    There are potential risks and complications involved in laser spine surgery.
    The common risks and complications of laser spine surgery include:
    • Nerve Damage: There can be a possibility that your nerves could get damaged during the implementation of the surgery.
    • Infections: Infections can either occur around your spinal areas or at the site of incisions
    • Back Pain: Laser spine surgery has a disadvantage that involves continued back pain
    • Spinal Instability: There can be a complication of spinal instability involved after a laser spine surgery
    • Sciatica: Pain that radiates along the sciatic nerve of your spine which moves from your lower back down to your legs.

Ensure that you inform your doctor about these health disorders you face after the laser spine surgery. He/she will find a better treatment to fix such issues and provide relief to your body.
To conclude, the above article contains all the necessary details about laser spine surgery. Various types of surgical methods and techniques are also mentioned along with preoperative and post-operative measures.

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