Minimally Invasive Lumbar Discectomy is a surgical procedure used to treat herniated or damaged discs in the lumbar region of the spinal cord. The minimally invasive technique involves smaller cuts and is less pain than the traditional open surgical procedure. It also offers quicker recovery compared to an open procedure. Lumbar discectomy might be required when you experience pain, inflammation in the lower back radiating pain in the leg, or a tingling sensation in the legs or numbness in the floor scatica.
Microendoscopic lumbar discectomy
Lumbar (lower back) region of the spine
Minimally invasive lumbar discectomy is performed under sedatives and anaesthesia to block the pain and sensation. Small incisions are made in the skin of your lower back region to access the target location. Tubular dilators are inserted through the incisions to tunnel through the muscles. The endoscope is inserted through the dilators to create images of the damaged area while the surgery is being conducted. A variety of instruments are used through the dilators to remove the herniated or damaged disc from the lumbar region. Sometimes, fusion could be done to stabilise the spine in certain patients.
- Prior to undergoing minimally invasive lumbar discectomy, you will need to undergo certain blood tests and a pre-anesthesia check-up (PAC) that would also include a chest X-ray, electrocardiogram (ECG) along with a physical examination to assess your suitability for the surgery. In addition, your doctor will have you undergo certain imaging tests such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), and spine xrays.
- Eat light food the day before surgery and fast for 6-8 hours before the surgery, to avoid complications.
- Inform your surgeon if you are on any medications. You may be asked to discontinue blood-thinning medication. You may also be prescribed medication to calm your nerves.
- You should reach the hospital 2-4 hours before the surgery as you will be kept under observation for some time.
Being a day care procedure, you will usually be discharged on the same day. However, you should make all the follow-up visits as per the schedule for a complication-free recovery. Avoid bending and exerting yourself for a few weeks and seek help from your family or colleagues, if required. Take proper rest as advised. You can start returning to your routine activities in a few weeks. However, avoid strenuous exercises such as running, weight lifting, etc. for additional few weeks. Make sure to adhere to the follow-up plan with your surgeon to assess the recovery and the need for any additional interventions.
Minimally invasive surgeries are relatively safer than open surgeries and the wound heals quickly. The risks associated one standard for any spine surgery
- Bleeding from the incision site or surrounding tissues/organs
- Incision site infections requiring antibiotic treatment after the surgery
- Blood clot formation
- Hypersensitivity reaction to anaesthetics
- Recurrence/ residual CSF leak, nerve rooting
After the surgery, you will be transferred to the recovery room and kept under observation for a few hours. you will be made to walk before do stair climbing discharge from the hospital.
The recovery will take a few days before you before return your normal activities. While you are in recovery mode, avoid heavy-duty work for a few weeks that could stress your body and trigger pain or inflammation. Getting regular follow-ups done per the schedule is also crucial to achieving a complication-free recovery.
Take good care of the incision wounds and keep them clean. Take your medications including anti inflammatory and antibiotics as prescribed. If you experience unexplained pain, excessive vomiting, or any other side effects, seek immediate medical attention.