A minimally invasive discectomy in the cervical spine is a procedure that removes a herniated or degenerative disc through laparoscopic surgery, rather than traditional open surgery. Minimally invasive surgery offers tremendous benefits over open surgery, including a shorter recovery period, less pain and a shorter procedure duration overall. For more information about how a minimally invasive discectomy can help treat your pain and suffering, contact Dr. Chetan Patel at AdventHealth Medical Group Spine Health. Make an appointment by calling Call407-303-5452.

What Does Discectomy Mean?

A minimally invasive discectomy is a procedure in which a portion or an entire disc is removed from the cervical spine. Discs sit between the vertebras in the spine and work to dampen shock, helping to prevent contact between the vertebras, as well as fracturing. Full or partial disc removal is necessary when the disc has been damaged by herniation or through a degenerative condition. Degenerative and herniated discs can impinge on the spinal cord and nerves within the spinal canal, causing compression. Spinal compression leads to pain and discomfort, but extreme cases can cause symptoms that include loss of bladder control and loss of motor skills.

How Does a Minimally Invasive Discectomy Work?

During a minimally invasive procedure, Dr. Chetan Patel will use laparoscopic techniques and tools to remove the disc in question. This provides the patient with reduced recovery times, and allows Dr. Patel to make smaller, more precise incisions – this reduces pain and discomfort, shortens the time required for healing and ensures the patient is able to go back to their regular routine quickly.

In this procedure, a small incision is made in the back of the neck. Next, the muscles in the neck will be gently separated, rather than cut as in traditional open surgery. Once the muscles have been moved out of the way, the surgeon can use dilators to access the spine. After gaining access, the surgeon can remove the damaged disc or damaged portion of the disc, as well as any debris within the spinal canal. If bone spurs are present from bone overgrowth, the surgeon will remove these at this time as well. When the disc and any other compressive materials have been removed, Dr. Patel will move the muscles back in place and suture the incision closed.

Additional Procedures

A minimally invasive discectomy is sometimes performed in conjunction with other procedures. For instance, spinal fusion is sometimes necessary, though this will depend on your specific case. Fusion involves the use of special hardware (plates and screws, generally), and bone graft material to fuse or join one vertebra to the other. This is generally performed if the entire disc must be removed and no artificial disc is inserted. Spinal fusion provides treatment for instable spine/neck areas, and is a common procedure.

For more information about minimally invasive discectomy procedures and other minimally invasive spine surgery techniques, contact Dr. Chetan Patel at AdventHealth Medical Group Spine Health. You can call Call407-303-5452 to make an appointment for a consultation.