1. A smaller incision means less pain and a quicker recovery.
Before endoscopic spine surgery technology, surgeons had to open larger areas to see the spine with their naked eyes and operate carefully around the nerve roots that exit from the spinal column. Open spine surgery without endoscopic technology generally requires a 6-inch incision.
In contrast, the average incision size for minimally invasive endoscopic spine surgery is just 1 inch. Dr. Lim creates an opening just large enough to allow his surgical instruments to fit into the body, and nothing more.
It’s important to realize that a surgical incision doesn’t mean just breaking the skin. Instead, a surgeon has to cut through the skin and through the underlying tissue (including muscle) in order to access the affected portion of the body. That’s why a smaller incision results in significantly less pain and lower risk of infection.
2. When there’s no room for error, robotic-assisted accuracy is critical.
With the endoscope, robotic guidance enables Dr. Lim to attain accuracy during surgery that is simply unattainable by the human hand. He can clearly see everything that’s happening where he’s operating without the need for bulky microscopes or other equipment.
Studies have found that surgeons who use robotic guidance are accurate to a degree of 1.5 millimeters. For scale, that’s slightly smaller than the width of a quarter.
This accuracy is absolutely essential when working near the spine. There is simply no room for error when dealing with vital systems.
3. Less anesthesia and intraoperative radiation = reduced risk
Because Dr. Lim is able to work through such a small incision in the back, our patients don’t need as much general anesthesia. And because our team pre-maps out their operation, we don’t need to take as many intra-operative scans.
Complications arising from anesthesia or intraoperative radiation are very rare, but this removes another risk factor from the operation.
AM I A CANDIDATE FOR ENDOSCOPIC SPINE SURGERY?
If you are suffering from a debilitating or painful spinal condition that has not been corrected through conservative treatments like physical therapy or medication, or your spine specialist has recommended that you undergo spine surgery to address your back pain, you might be a candidate for endoscopic spine surgery.
Candidates typically display the following symptoms:
- Pain in the back that has not been relieved through conservative treatment (physical therapy, spinal correction, pain management, etc.) or medicationNumbness or tingling in your extremities
- Weakness in your arms or legs
- Pain or a burning sensation that radiates through certain areas of your body
- Trouble standing or walking for long periods of time
Endoscopic spine surgery is specifically designed to treat the effects of chronic or consistent pain in the back that is caused by some of the most common conditions including: