Dr. Lim Performing Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

(MIS) simply describes our innovative surgical techniques that minimize tissue trauma during a spinal surgery.


In a nutshell, minimally invasive spine surgery, or MISS, describes the innovative surgical techniques that minimize tissue trauma during a spinal surgery.

In the past, spine surgery has been done in an "open surgery" format, meaning that the area being operated on is opened with a long incision to allow the surgeon maximum workspace and visibility during the operation. However, this process can often lead many painful and unnecessary complications as well as longer recovery periods.

In traditional open spine surgery, the surgeon will make a 5-6 inch incision down the back and moves the muscles to the side in order to properly see and operate on the spine. However, this technique often uses more anatomy than the surgeon actually requires and can have some serious drawbacks. One of the biggest issues is that the pulling back, or retraction, of the muscles can damage the soft tissue and lead to longer recovery times for patients.

Fortunately, thanks to exciting advances in medical technology, open spine surgery is becoming a thing of the past and minimally invasive techniques are quickly rising to the forefront.

Minimally invasive spine surgery was designed to require a much smaller incision which, in turn, leads to less muscle damage, less bleeding, less time in the hospital and a shorter recovery period.

MISS procedures are often performed using a tool that is known in the industry as a tubular retractor. In this surgery a small incision is made over the problem area of the spine and the tubular retractor is inserted. The tool creates a small passageway down to the spine and the surgeon is able to access the spinal column using small instruments that fit into the center of the tubular retractor. All bone and diseased tissue that needs to be removed from the spine exits through the tubular retractor and anything that needs to be inserted into the spine such as screws or rods comes through the retractor.1

Even more recently, Robotic Spine Surgery has become the cutting-edge of minimally invasive spine surgery.


Our surgeons conduct minimally invasive surgical procedures with remarkable speed and accuracy, using advanced three-dimensional imaging techniques. This minimally-invasive technique resulting in improved patient outcomes, reducing the average length of their hospital stay and complication rates when compared to conventional procedures.2

Minimally invasive spine surgery can address a number of spinal issues including Spinal Fusion and Decompression surgery.


Using minimally invasive techniques designed to minimize surgical impact and maximize recovery speed, we offer a range of surgeries to repair disc issues, including posterior (PLIF), Transforaminal (TLIF), Anterior (ALIF), and Interlaminar (ILIF) Lumbar Interbody Fusions. These options which offer a range of approaches to treating structural back issues surgically, depending on the the patient and the condition. We also offer an innovative technique know as XLIF, or Extreme Lateral Interbody Fusion, which may allow for a faster, less painful recovery process by avoiding surgical impact on the major muscles of the back.


Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery benefits patients by reducing recovery times, as well as hospital stays. By minimizing localized trauma as a result of surgery, MISS promotes a more rapid healing process by giving each patient an easier path to recovery.


1. Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery. (n.d.). Retrieved March 7, 2019, from https://www.aans.org/Patients/...

2. D'Souza, M., Gendreau, J., Feng, A., Kim, L. H., Ho, A. L., & Veeravagu, A. (2019). Robotic-Assisted Spine Surgery: History, Efficacy, Cost, And Future Trends. Robotic surgery (Auckland), 6, 9–23. https://doi.org/10.2147/RSRR.S... 404

Contact Us

Schedule an initial consultation today to discuss all of your surgical and non-surgical treatment options.

Related Articles

An illustration of a portion of the human spine

Neurosurgeon vs. Orthopedic Surgeon for Spine Surgery [2020 Update]

In this article, we’ll explore the similarities and, more importantly, the differences between orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons and will help shed some clarity on the unique characteristics of each of these distinct medical professions.

Read more

From Back Pain to Freedom – Kathryn's Story

Kathryn injured her neck years ago during a sporting collision and it had eventually reached the point of causing debilitating pain. This video describes her experience with Dr. Jae Lim, his office and how her spine surgery has given her life back.

Read more
Schedule an appointment
Atlantic Brain and Spine A graduate of both Yale and Stanford, Dr. Jae Lim is a board-certified spine surgeon who specializes in minimally invasive spine surgery and robotic spine surgery, significantly reducing surgical impact and recovery times. (703) 876-4270
8501 Arlington Blvd. Suite 330
United States
Jae Y. Lim Ben L. Nguyen