Minimal surgery for maximum outcomes
Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery (MIS)
What is Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery?
Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery (MIS) is a general term used to describe a variety of surgical techniques which involve making smaller incisions and reducing the amount of tissue damage beneath the skin. Spine surgeons who perform minimally invasive spine surgery should be fully trained in the correct use of these techniques.
There are many factors to consider when determining if you are a good candidate for surgery including age, weight, lifestyle, and the procedure required. Reasons someone might not be a candidate are due to unstable medical conditions that may lead to a higher risk of complications, or prior spine surgery in the same location.
How Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Works
MIS techniques include the fusion of two vertebrae together and expanding endoscopic procedures. This means the surgery is performed through little holes in the skin as opposed to a larger incision.
Minimally invasive spine surgery is accomplished with the aid of specially designed instruments which assist in visualization of the surgical field. Typically, this is done with tubular retractors which allow the surgeon to make a small incision, but visualize a larger area beneath the small incision.
Benefits of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
The potential benefits of minimally invasive spine surgery may include:
- Smaller scars, meaning less pain and blood loss.
- Less damage to the surrounding tissues beneath the skin, meaning less pain and blood loss.
The potential outcomes of such operations are the reduction of pain and morbidity associated with standard open surgery.
Conditions Treated Using MIS Procedures
Conditions that can be treated using minimally invasive surgery include:
- Spinal stenosis
- Degenerative discs
- Herniated disc
- Arthritic spine
- Spine pain
- Chronic back pain
- Abnormal alignment of the spine (Spondylolisthesis)
Please note that not all conditions mentioned above require spinal surgery. Your spine surgeon will evaluate your symptoms and perform some tests to determine if spine surgery is the best solution for you.
How To Prepare For Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
Your doctor will perform a clinical examination and possibly a few tests prior to surgery to see if you are a candidate for the procedure. These may include an MRI, discography, CT scan, and X-rays. Tell your surgeon what medications you are taking and ask if you should stop taking them before your operation. If you smoke, stop smoking as this slows the ability of bone to grow and repair adequately.
To make your recovery easier, prepare your home for life after surgery and arrange for someone to assist you.